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ART 11 1
03 Oct 11
Played by: Paul Mac, Antony Dupont, Juno Recommends Techno, Jamie Behan (Bastardo Electrico), Posthuman, William Wild (Mindreaders)
Review: Those who have witnessed Claude Young scratching and cutting up techno records using his nose, chin and elbow will view the amiable Detroit native as a DJ first and foremost. The reality is that he also has a strong back catalogue of releases. That said, it has been a while since he put out any new material, but this collaboration with Takasi Nakajima marks a welcome return. Rapture is a classic Detroit cut, with a menacing bassline providing the basis for breathy, airy melodies. It recalls the vintage work of Aril Brikha or later period E-Dancer. The release also finds fellow techno traveler Ian O'Brien back in the fray, and his shimmering synths and rolling, rollicking groove recalls his 'Mad Mike Disease' classic.
24 Oct 11
Review: Conscious of the fact that Claude Young's return represents a major event in techno, ART have provided a second remix package of "Rapture". Label boss Kirk Degiorgio's remix is a peak-time affair, as stomping beats and a rolling rhythm underpin a liquid acid bass and glistening chords. More trancey than the classics on Sven Vath's Eye Q catalogue, Degiorgio's take is refreshingly different to modern drone techno. TJ Kong's version on the other hand is right on the pulse of contemporary electronic music. The beats are more stripped back; the central riffs shimmer with a metallic menace that is common to Dettmann's work.
24 Jan 11
Played by: Adam B (Homegrown Music/Palooza), The Revenge, Elliott Dodge - Snapshot Records, James Ruskin, Adam Khan (Void Music)
Review: With a name that features a classic Model 500 album and half of Carl Craig's most avant project, it would be easy to accuse Chris Barker and Simon Murray, aka Deep Space Orchestra of wearing their influences on their sleeves. Such criticism is instantly negated by dint of the fact that the duo are releasing on Kirk Degiorgio's relaunched ART label, which has an impeccable back catalogue that numbers Carl Craig among its releases. In any event, "Return to Dodge City" is more New York than Detroit, featuring a rippling, surging funk bassline combined with subtle disco riffs and gorgeous chord melodies. More reflective than "Return to Dodge City", the title track boasts mournfully seductive synths and tight metallic drums. "Streetlights" sees them venture further towards Detroit techno, but again, they avoid sounding like a pastiche. Starting off with an atmospheric soundscape, the driving drums and heavy, thundering claps take a while to kick in, but when they do, it sounds like a thousand hand grenades exploding simultaneously.
05 Dec 11
Review: Kirk Degiorgio dusts down his Future Past moniker for a no-nonsense techno release. The title track typifies the EP, with a bubbly bassline and doubled up claps supporting whooshing, churning filters. It's the same approach on "Sparta", where a walking bass and warbling acid lines suggest a clean, pure sound, but then an intense filter pushes it into the realms of peak-time techno. "Skrunch" dispenses with the lighter, more playful elements in favour of a tunnelling groove that flows to the sound of arcing acid and a dark riff undertow, while "An Act of Modulation" completes the transfer from bubbly techno to a leaner-edged sound with squelchy tones tweaked against the backdrop of an insistent spiky rhythm track.
20 Feb 12
Review: The long-serving Berkovi may not have the same media-friendly image as some of his peers. However, like ART boss Kirk Degiorgio, he excels at making musical techno. The title track sees him arrange sensuous woodwind instruments over a blustering, bass-heavy rhythm, and clicking, hissing percussion provides the conduit between theese two seemingly incompatible elements. Berkovi doen't pander to the lowest common denominator either and "When I Throw Down" sees him take inspiration from Detroit electro. There, shuffling, stacatto 808s provide the basis for seductive synths and a doom-laden vocal questioning 'when will I ever understand'. Based on Drive, it sounds like Berkovi knows exactly what he is doing.
15 Sep 10
11 Feb 10
Review: The man sometimes known as As One or Esoterik (to name just a few of his many alter egos) returns with the Swarm EP, bringing his truckload of influences and experience with him. His A.R.T label (Applied Rhythmic Technology) has previously released early work by legendary artists like Aphex Twin and Carl Craig, and this release won't damage that lofty reputation one bit.
As a former soul-boy and rare groover, Degiorgio brings something different to his Detroit-leaning Techno excursions, as seen on A Way of Life which combines beautifully arpeggiated keys and life-affirming chords to keep you locked in the for the ride. While A Way of Life is an airy cosmic odyssey, Swarm is heavier and more pumping, with some dark textures laid over a driving beat that'll keep the floor working easily. Final track Distant Realm keeps the hi-hats high and adds some distantly modulating pads for texture, all the while keeping the vibe peak-time and club friendly. It's obvious that a journeyman of Degiorgio's calibre has picked up some tricks over the years, but when it sounds as good as this, it's almost as though he's showing off.
07 Mar 11
Review: One of the most positive developments in contemporary techno is the resurgence of Kirk Degiorgio's ART label - and this release completes the 90s revival, welcoming long-absent producer Ian O'Brien back. "Promenade Eleven" bears little resemblance to the jazz-not-techno approach O'Brien was exploring a decade ago, but its jerky Detroit rhythms, neat claps and chiming bells do bring with them a deep musicality that has long been O'Brien's underlying signature. Degiorgio's take features a more brittle rhythm to begin with, but the heavy claps signal a ramping up of intensity and the arrangement's groove assumes epic proportions soon afterwards. Finally, newcomer The Third Man takes a stab, and his scuffled beats and brooding organ solos bring an element of new school restraint to the release.
14 Feb 11
Review: German label Great Stuff's championing of sun-kissed house music continues on "Fly With Me". A good time Balearic groove full of breathy vocals and underpinned by an irresistible bassline, it's hard not to imagine it becoming an Ibizan staple. Great Stuff's choice of remixers is also astute and will appeal to a variety of tastes. The Filthy Rich and Nicole Moudaber takes are rolling, disco-led house grooves aimed at mainstream DJs, while the Dirty Doering version, with its deft cut-ups and gypsy violin-sampling, is suitable for minimal DJs. Best of all though is the Giac Le Groove remix, based on hardcore breaks and ravey stabs.
25 Apr 11
Played by: Paul Mac, Veztax, Shadow Dancer, Detroit Grand Pubahs, Bas Mooy, Mattias Fridell, Posthuman, Mgmx, William Wild (Mindreaders)
Review: UK producer Paul Mac is one of the most prolific techno artists and has been putting out music since the mid-90s. This goes some way to explaining why his new release for Kirk Degiorgio's ART label alternates between such extremes. On "Odd Things Amount To Nothing", Mac delivers a slab of hard, jacking techno; its jarring, droning riffs and heavy filters building up to a roof-raising finale. By contrast, on "Here Comes The Swing", Mac drops a deep house gem, its bleeding acid bassline and wonderfully eerie synth riffs inspired by Adonis and Larry Heard. Only a producer of Mac's experience and talents could manage mood swings with such aplomb.
06 May 13
Played by: Alan Fitzpatrick
Review: Italian producer Bosco makes his debut on Kirk Degiorgio's label with this deep but diverse release. "State of Mind Part 1" is the most dance floor friendly, its firing percussion and pulsing bass underpinning shimmering synths that float like a ghost over the arrangement. "Part 3", featuring Fabio Petrosino, is dubbier and more relaxed, with hissing hats guiding a more relaxed tempo and heavy beats. Bosco ramps up the intensity on "Part 4", which sees a buzzing bass underpin his reflective chords, but as "Part 5" and "Part 6" show, the mood here is largely introspective with warbling melodies and muffled vocals prevailing.
07 Jan 13
Review: Shawn Rudiman is proof that quality rather than quantity counts. The US producer doesn't release much, but when he does, it matters. This is the case on Uplink: its undulating groove is supported by an acidic undercurrent, but Rudiman's hands on production approach sees more 303s emerging as the arrangement progresses. The remixes are also of a high quality; Frank Mueller drops an epic version that is propelled by old school break beats and crystalline melody lines, while John Selway contributes two remixes - both of which offer a straighter, more pumping alternative to Mueller's version, without sacrificing the spine-tingling melodic hooks.
16 Aug 10
29 Nov 10
08 Apr 13
Review: Quoted as saying their relationship is based on a shared love for the Roland SH101, TJ Kong and Eric De Man have put their all into creating a forward-thinking techno release with the same warmth as their favoured piece of kit. Warmth and techno aren't usually terms that fit together easily, but step aside from your usual preconceptions of the genre and you really can feel a positive atmosphere from "Luid". Hard enough for the dancefloor yet intriguing enough for a home listen, it's a track that keeps on giving. "Duidelijk"has the house sensibilities and wobbling swagger of Scando-pop fused to its robust techno skeleton and as a mutant track it creates something uniquely delightful. Finishing off with two remixes by techno legend Mark Broom, this is an EP filled with bright surprises.