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The title track on Randomer's first release for Dekmantel is deceptive. Although the rhythm flails and rolls with the UK producer's usual sense of urgency, it is swathed in misty, hazy melodies. There is no such ambiguity on "My Ears Hurt"; earning its place on the label's UFO Series, the arrangement features a rhythm that weaves its way in and out of a myriad of tonal blips and bleeps. In contrast, "Rendell Pips" and "Music for Two Kalimbas" are powerful DJ cuts. In the absence of any unusual sideways turns, Randomer relies on tight drums, rolling rhythms and plunging breakdowns to lead the listener down the wormhole.
The latest addition to the Sonic Groove roster is UNC, a producer from Italy. He opens his account on the US label with "Shesha", a spellbindingly hypnotic techno groove, which sounds like it was recorded at 20,000 leagues beneath the sea. By contrast, "Xellerate" is a densely tangled web of broken beats that is too abstract to work on the dance floor. "Anarchemy" sees UNC back in club mode with its dense, slamming beats and thundering, stepping rhythm hitting the listener like a breezeblock in the face. Finally, there's "Sanskrit Vinyasa"; with its nagging, insistent percussion and snaking bass, it is UNC's most subtle and sophisticated production so far.
With the likes of Batu drawing so much attention for his new bend on techno, how about a little appreciation for what Parris is doing. For an idea of what Parris has done with a 808 bass drum check out his Idle Hands debut then revert back to this 12"s woofing "Skeletal". With some light percussion added over the top, this track demands a proper dub soundsystem. It's a similar situation on "Bloom" too, only the bass has been turned down to allow for something a little more subtle... a little. Meanwhile "South East Of The Mountain" provides an alternative rhythm track with atmospheric marimbas and other African percussion giving the production as much an exotic flavour as it does an urban touch.
So you think you're up on all things bass, eh? Don't worry, if you've yet to discover the wonders of 'Beijing bass' though, because the Do Hits label are here to educate and inform. Do Hits Vol 4 collects 13 truly unique jams that seductively blend the old and new - traditional Chinese instrumentation and ultra-modern hip-hop influenced beats. Highlights include Jason Hou and inner Mongolian multi-instrumentalist Yider's distorted digital electronica "Data Forest", Jyun Jyun's panpipe electro pop workout "Fire Monkey" and the futuristic neon strip club grooves of "Yin Kou Chi Nyu" by Duanger. Welcome to the future.
Ancient Monarchy welcomes back the darkly beats of Rhythmic Theory for a second time following the Bristol producer's Lucid State / Shores of Caladan 12" which opened the Berceuse Heroique sub-label's account last year. It's dropping around the same time as Parris' debut 12" on AM (don't miss that) with Rhythmic Theory still reeling from releases on Idle Hands and Blackest Ever Black's A14 imprint. This four-track EP serves up two syncopated techno cuts - "Travelling Without Moving" the hit - with "The Bends" simmering the bass in compensation for some extra reverb. The two beatless cuts veer into ambient dub techno territory with strokes of trance and rave thrown to not upset Echospace.
Izabel Caligiore's wonderful Lullabies For Insomniacs show on Red Light Radio expands its remit with the launch of an eponymous label and the debut release showcases the distinct talents of Sugai Ken. According to Caligiore, Ken made contact with her after hearing the legendary Chee Shimizu mix on LFI, sending over some CDs of his music and she was blown away by the Tokyo artist's unique sonic vision. The end result is On The Quakefish, a delightfully odd adventure through Ken's immersive world where Gigi Masin-style new age bliss outs intermingle with strange vocal chant tracks and other quirky compositions. Nature and water specifically seems to be a central theme for this most intriguing album which sounds like it has been recorded from another dimension. A fine debut from Lullabies For Insomniacs, we are totally behind this one!