After his successful turn on Maceo Plex's Ellum Audio Danny Daze scores further points with this signing to Jimmy Edgar's Ultramajic imprint, turning out a monstrous peak time club rocker that's equal parts heavy hitting and malicious restraint. The bassline stays firmly in place to keep the brain pinned down while all around it narcotic blasts of synth weirdness whirl in ever increasing displays of ostentatious production, and that's just the title track. "When The Freaks Come Out" is a more measured electro-tinged stalker, while "Beatdown" gets into a more techy 4/4 stomp sure to get fists shaking across the globe.
For anyone who thinks that Dutch label Delsin has seen better days, there's this release. Recalling the label's most introspective techno soul - Dimension 5 and Future Beat Alliance - as well as the cavernous, hollowed-out house of Newworldaquarium, Passions for the most part eschews the dance floor. The title track is characterised by waves of trancey synths and plink-plonk beats, while the author goes deeper still on "Reminiscence" and "Nocturnal Passions 1'" both of which unfold with the melnacholic techno ambience that recalls Aril Brikha's landmark Deeparture In Time album. Like the best of Delsin's catalogue, this is timeless deep techno for the head and soul.
Manuel Gonzalez has put out a diverse range of music, but this release for Third Ear is his most out there venture to date. "Fiber" is little more than a series of pitch-shifting tones, held together in the loosest sense by jarring rhythms, while "Meanwhile" is more subdued, its dubby beats seeing Gonzalez at his most laid back. The other tracks sit at opposing ends of the US producer's sound palette: "Extort" is a grainy banger, its rolling drums and stomping beats sitting somewhere between Omar S and Purposemaker, while "Mask" is a beautiful house groove, its chiming melodies unfolding over a fragile rhythm.
Tropic Of Cancer - "It's All Come Undone" - (4:16)
Light House - "Seven Seas You Sent" - (5:40)
The Coombe - "Tierra Amarilla" - (4:29)
Mushy - "No More" (Soft Metals remix) - (4:02)
Mushy - "Let Me Go" (Xander Harris remix) - (7:16)
Led Er Est - "Madi La Lune" (Professor Genius 'Lost Girls' mix) - (5:39)
Founded in Rome, and now Berlin-based, the Mannequin label have established themselves as a European counterpart to Minimal Wave, digging out archival gems for much needed reissues as well as shining the light on more contemporary acts with the realm of synth wave and primitive electronics. This sizeable digital compilation celebrates Mannequin ascending to it's fifth year of releasing music and the twenty tracks perfectly encapsulate the sheer breadth of their output over this time. Pioneering Italian acts such as Musumeci, Central Unit and Tommy De Chirico share space with current international bands like Sixth June and Tropic Of Cancer. Also look out for the Soft Metals and Xander Harris refixes of Mannequin muse Mushy.
Utilize Me is the debut release for Munich electro producer Thomas Kress, who, clearly inspired by the likes of Drexciya and Cybotron, delivers an EP of pulsating arpeggios, buzz-saw synths and Optimus Prime vocals - heard best on the title track and remix by Robotmachine boss Dynamik Bass System. Paying homage to his home town, "Munich Making Machine" is as creepy and interstellar as it is beat down and funked-up. After 10 years of not releasing music TecRoc enigmatically reappears to remix the track, replacing lo-fidelity sonics with a harder dynamic tension. "Beat Terrorist" bleeps like a '90s techno track that's somehow slipped through the cracks into the pop charts, while flickered 808 drums and grimey, pulsing synths make up "Aggressive Machine".
Ahead of his debut album "Human" out in March, Max Cooper delivers an initial salvo with the single "Impacts", a smart blend of rich, analogue power electronics and beat thrashing. A testament to the both the dance and experimental scenes. You also get to tasty remixes to boot, the first by Factory Floor's Gabe Gurnsey, who succeeds in transforming the original into an even nuttier soundscape, and the second by techno kingpin Perc - well, you can imagine the results...
Keith Tucker's other project has a techno focus, but it is still informed by the electro sounds of Aux 88 as well as the techno from his hometown of Detroit. Both versions of "Origins" feature breathy vocals and spacey synths, with the original version backed up by a shuffling rhythm. "Elements" sees Optic Nerve venture farther into techno territories courtesy of a prowling Reese-like bass, while "Anomaly" is a soulful affair, in the vein of vintage Stacey Pullen. Released on Arne Weinberg's Diametric, the only other mystery is why it took so long after its physical release - it was the label's first release in 2009 - to be made available in digital formats.
The evergreen Turbo label have been flirting with the rougher strains of techno lately - mostly via the Scottish duo Clouds - and here they inaugurate a short lived specialist Warehouse Series that promises to focus on "futuristic techno at it's ruffest and tuffest". Whilst future editions in the series will come from Turbo regulars Gingy & Bordello and Sei A, the honour of the first release falls on the well chiselled rhythmics of Randomer. As anyone that's been battered by his recent releases on Hemlock and his own white label will attest, Rohan of Randomer hits it as hard as you can possibly countenance and he certainly doesn't wind back the intensity here. Weighty breakbeat techno abounds on the title track "Ruffa" and the wonderfully tinny "No Hook" with the latter getting
A lively rerub from J Tijn.