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03 Aug 09
15 Jun 09
12 Oct 09
Played by: Gus Brown, Paul Mac, Kr!z (Token Records), Petter B, Ian Void, Detroit Grand Pubahs, Luke Slater, Axel Karakasis, Jerome Sydenham, Joachim Spieth (Affin), A.paul, The Advent, Grovskopa, Juno Recommends Techno, Andrez Bergen (Little Nobody), Mike Absolom, Luke Slater, Deepbass, Chris Liebing, Tobias Lenz, Alejandro Trebor, A.trebor
18 Apr 12
Played by: Paul Mac, Detroit Grand Pubahs, Thatboytim, Juno Recommends Techno, Posthuman, Advanced Human, Jt86
Review: This release proves again that it's the producers operating at the fringes who often make the most rewarding techno. Lakker are Dublin duo Dara Smith and Ian McDonnell, who for years ploughed a furrow that was inspired by Warp and Rephlex and which resulted in releases that embraced noise, high speed break beats and electronica. So when Lakker decided to focus primarily on techno, they brought with them their previous musical experiences. Unsurprisingly, their debut vinyl for Berlin label Killekill won support from Surgeon and Aphex or that James Ruskin signed their second release to Blueprint. Lakker's past is audible on "Evening Lemon" as detuned, manic piano playing and the sound of kids in a playground bubbles to the surface of a glitchy offbeat backing track - only to give way to a beautiful, dreamy synth. What's more interesting is their application of their left of centre thinking to traditional techno structures. "ED" is powered by crunchy, off beats and shards of glitchy percussion but it's the ghostly, filtered synth that lead it from the outer limits to the realms of the dance floor. Likewise "BKRO" starts with echoing, dubbed out drums and kicks low in the mix, as Lakker let the ghostly textures and melodic undercurrents occupy centre stage. Indeed, if there is a recurrent theme on Arc, it's the use of texture and sound design as a means of seduction and nowhere is the recurrent theme on Arc and nowhere is this more evident than on the title track. There, a dense, lumbering nouveau techno backing provides the backdrop for eerie Aphex-style synths that linger in the background, gradually get closer and then eventually dominate the arrangement as the beats lose their intensity and the electronic melodies prevail, arcing upwards the sublime.
05 Nov 12
Played by: Paul Mac, Lifecycle, Jamie Behan (Bastardo Electrico), Systemic, Forest Echo One, Alonso Varela
Review: The reason why Dublin-based duo Lakker has attracted a lot of attention is due to the fact that they sound genuinely different. As "Mustard Crying" demonstrates, they are unafraid of dropping a track consisting mainly of beats that sound like someone falling down a flight of stairs and loads of noisy feedback. "Ciar" is only slightly more palatable and revolves around a sludgy bass and walls of screeching noise. But Lakker also have a softer side and even thought they frame it against an itchy, scratchy minimal groove, "Summer Rains" has a fragile beauty to it, its eerie synths feeling like steam rising from the ground after a brief spell of rain on a hot day.
20 Dec 10
Played by: Gus Brown, Matt K, Paul Mac, Sebastian Bayne [if? Records], S-Tek (Gynoid, Audiolabor, Berlin), Maxx, Juno Recommends Techno, Spark Taberner, Jay Wong, James Ruskin, Luke Slater, Mattias Fridell, The Advent, Trebor, Enclave, Posthuman, Hugo Paixao, Frenkie V, Tim Xavier, Paul Brtschitsch, Ambivalent
15 Mar 10
Played by: Paul Mac, A.paul, John Karagiannis (Techhead), Honey Dijon, Concrete Djz, Detroit Grand Pubahs, Zenner, S-Tek (Gynoid, Audiolabor, Berlin), Estroe, Sinisa Tamamovic, Joachim Spieth (Affin), DJ Hi-Shock / Advanced Human, Space Djz, Odessa Soundfreaks, Juno Recommends Techno, Kozin, Andrez Bergen (Little Nobody), Jay Wong, Groove Magazine, Kai Acid, Robert Hood, Ambivalent
27 Sep 10
27 Apr 09
31 Jan 11
28 Mar 11
14 Mar 11
21 Sep 12
Played by: Paul Mac, Abnormal Boyz, Juno Recommends Techno, Posthuman, Resident Advisor, Forest Echo One, Alonso Varela
Review: Two of UK techno's most reliable producers get straight to the point on Bites. Unlike The Fear Ratio project, this EP is all about the dance floor at 4am. The title track is an insistent roller, its concrete beats sounding like SP-X, but the series of break downs and chord builds coming across like that other ultra-functional new schooler, Psyk. "D.O.D" is more noisy and grinding, as splintered beats and fractured rhythms compete with ghostly chords for the listener's attention. "Nel", meanwhile, is dubbier and less uptempo, but don't let that fool you - the atonal, surging bass at its centre is tough enough to level a powerful sound system.
21 Jun 11
20 Jul 12
Review: Mark Broom and James Ruskin follow up their Lightbox album as The Fear Ratio with the Skana EP. The introduction of "Dirty Paws" sounds like something you would hear when trying to contact a passed loved one through radio static and white noise. A broken beat drum loop and swooping bass stabs break the confused silence which is later followed by air raid snares similarly heard in Plastikman's "Spastik". "Fedec" falls somewhere between Burial, Aphex Twin and early Scuba productions - replete with fuzzy electronics, moody melodies and over-driven kick drums. Like Stroboscopic Artefacts' Monad series the EP packs an ambient or beatless track and comes in "Kingdom of Ends", showcasing the duo's rarely heard penchant for non-dancefloor sound design. The only techno synonymic styled production is "Skana", a beautifully deep and pushy piece of melancholic techno.
19 Nov 11
Played by: A.paul, Paul Mac, Owain Kimber (Owain K), Detroit Grand Pubahs, Semtek, Alkalino, Juno Recommends Leftfield, Future Beat Alliance, Gary Beck, Systemic, Posthuman, Benny Grauer, Stefano Infusino
Review: James Ruskin and Mark Broom are known as doyens of UK techno, but a closer look at their catalogues suggests that there is a less well-documented side to their work. Ruskin's last album for Tresor skirted around the edges of IDM and abstract electronics, while Broom was responsible for the excellent downbeat project, Midnight Funk Association. Light Box however is the first time that they have given full vent to their love of techno's abstract side. Drawing heavily on the intelligent techno sound of Warp's 90s catalogue, on "Pinhead" the heavy, recoiling bass and foreboding synths are reminiscent of LFO or Nightmares on Wax in bleep techno mode. "Antirac" recalls a more austere sound from this period, its icy synth lines and distended, fractured rhythms coming across like an update of Amber-era Autechre. That's not to suggest that Broom and Ruskin are engaged in revisiting old glories. "Bronik" is a wild combination of glitchy percussion and oppressive jungle sub-bass, while "Mas" integrates swirling synths with house beats and thundering claps for the only straight dance floor track on Box. Meanwhile, "Guv 3" and "The Quick & The Dead" re-imagine the sensuous electronic melodies of vintage Plaid and Black Dog in a contemporary setting, against a backdrop of splurging basslines and stepping rhythms, and "Morning Blues" provides the album highlight, its rumbling, Shed-like break beats wrapped around a melody line that recalls a more wide-eyed time.