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Reviewed this week
Detroit's DJ Bone is and always has been one of his city's most underrated producers. In fact, the man is a killer behind the decks too, mashing up house and techno with that inimitable US speed that has also been championed by the likes of DJ Rush et al. His relationship with Bristol's Don't Be Afraid has been a fruitful one of the last year or two, releasing a couple of gnarly EPs under the Differ-ENT moniker, a sound that expands upon his comparatively more rigid techno sound. This is the debut album under the Differ-ENT alias, and we most certainly agree that It's Good To Be Differ-ENT." There isn't a dud tune on here, and for an LP that focusses primarily on the dancefloor, it manages to convey a strong narrative throughout, built with mastery and dedication by this talented artist. Tunes like "Met Allergic Flew Antsy" or "Marvel Less" are muscly and fast-paced, but there is still plenty of exploration going on at their core, while remnants of electro can be heard on tunes like "Compute Her". This is a vibrant LP, made up of many different guises and shades, all finely tuned around the dancehall, and strangely fitting with the UK's lust for the broken sound. Recommended.
Three men, no computers and many patch cables: That's London Modular Alliance who follow up last year's wicked Out Of Sync EP on Brokntoys with this new one for tech house heroes Hypercolour: who really seem to be broadening their horizons as a label and good on them we say. The Homegrown EP starts out with the rusty boom and snap of "Civic Society", a deep and moody electro number that treads the same territory as Anthony Rother. "Lucid" hits harder but this is exactly the kind of electro-funk we like; dark, bass-driven and minimal. Finally their ode to the North Devon coast "Saunton" is, in a surprise turn; more on the deep dubstep tip. You can almost hear the lighter going off in the background on this advanced experiment in reefer madness.
Unlike seminal Vancouver EBM/industrialists Skinny Puppy, Digital Poodle had only a cult following in Toronto and some parts of the North American continent; a real shame considering their impressive body of work. However, tracks such as 1995's "Head Of Lenin" got some international airplay, not to mention being played at quite a few goth clubs back in the day (not that we'd know, of course!). Finally there's a a renewed enthusiasm around them among a new generation of fans and die-hard nostalgists alike. 1992's Soul Crush" gets a worthy reissue on local analogue freak Solvent's Suction imprint and gets a some pretty nifty reworks. Sonic Groove main man Adam X serves up a pounding, droning and hypnotic rendition that stands in stark contrast to the slow and steely funk groove of the original. Also worthy of mention is British legends Soviet France and their "Virtual Mix" to the original release which is 13 minutes of epic ambient house bliss.
Top Labels
Puzzlebox US
Binalog Productions
Black Magic US