By Steffi's own admission, State was recorded after she had 'freed' herself from a personal situation. This explains why the Dutch producer, who now feels more comfortable creatively, has made a third album that is more experimental than its predecessors. In places, it sounds influenced heavily by early 90s UK techno and electronics - in particular "All Living Things" is a dead-ringer for B12's Detroit-focused abstractions. At the same time, it still contains echoes of her previous albums. The warm, warbling bass on "Schools of Thought" could easily fit into the Panorama Bar's deep house releases. Counteracting this link to her past is the hyper-speed title track, where she channels Stingray's pacey electro funk, and the jittery, discordant techno of "Mental Events". It all adds up to an impressive, mature work.
Dutch producer Offset inaugurates his new Rotterdam Electronix imprint with a slab of heavyweight electro and gutsy techno excursions on the Ecotone EP. Starting off with the rusty and dusted down smack electro of "You Are Not My Friend", "Bionic Circuits" then gets into some dark/deep and neon-lit techno grooves. "Gate Invader" is a nicely hypnotic dub workout reminiscent of early Davide Squillace, while "You Can't Take Me Down" gets back into the electro game in properly Dutch fashion: it's reminiscent of local legends like I-F or Alden Tyrell. This is an impressive debut indeed and we are certainly excited for what's in store next from this emerging label.
Casio Royale is a project from underground DJ Mark Forshaw, which has already yielded three fine EPs on Dixon Avenue Basement Jams. For its fourth release, the UK spinner has defected to DJ Haus' label. Channelling the sound and spirit of early minimal house and techno, the title track features a wiry groove, pitched down vocals intoning the track's title and wild analogue riffs. "Work That" sees him look to ghetto house for inspiration, with a stuttering vocal intoning the track's title over a dense, jacking rhythm. On "JFM15", Forshaw continues his fascination with raw electronic music - there's a novel take on the vocals from Pump Up The Jam, layered over an urgent, analogue workout. Only on "Organa" does Forshaw go deeper, but even there the deep melodies are laden down with warm acid and rolling snares.
Dark Entries reissue seminal Australian group Severed Heads sixth studio album originally released in 1986. A project revolving around Tom Ellard and joined by Garry Bradbury and Simon Knuckey. It was their first record to be released commercially in Australia, North America and Europe. Quite a few people still define the band by this period of 'industrial dance music' alongside other acts of the time like Front 242 and Frontline Assembly and they did well out of the tour they did with Canadians Skinny Puppy that same year. It also signalled a new direction, flirting with the dancefloor and pop songs. Like the original Australian version of the album, included are bonus tracks: three extended remixes by Sydney DJ Robert Racic, three B-sides from the 'Twenty Deadly Diseases' single and two additional tracks from the same recording sessions. All songs have been remastered by Tom Ellard,