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31 Oct 11
Review: It sounds like Abstract Division is interested in the darker side of electronic music. This becomes clear on "Shifted Reality", where noisy, jarring riffs are fused with wiry percussion to create a more intense take on droning techno. Milton Bradley's take on "Reality" favours the panning, pumping approach, but his remix is also full of eerie string sequences and stands out thanks to its muddy, murky riffs. Dasha Rush pushes "Reality" to the edge of dance floor techno with reverberated broken beats competing with stomping bass drums. But even this cannot compete with "Fluctuations", where what sounds like a witch scratching her nails to be heard over chilling chords make for a truly scary soundtrack.
12 Dec 11
Played by: Matt K, Paul Mac, Juno Recommends Techno, Mirko S., Systemic, Kereni, F.akissi, Jason Fernandes, A.trebor
Review: The second instalment of Form provides accurate snapshots from contemporary techno sounds and styles. In its original format, "Floating Point" is an austere, bleepy Sleeparchive-style groove, its sonic blips lent additional weight thanks to snappy, Klock-style percussion. Dutch producer Delta Funktionen brings a dubby approach on his rework, fusing it with a tunnelling, hypnotic riff, for a darker sound than is his wont, while "Magnetic Field" is a dark, industrial-tinged sound scape. There is also a look to the past as Ben Sims drops an acid-coated, loop techno take on "Shifted Reality" - but in the main this second volume is a forward-facing collection.
05 Mar 12
Played by: Brendon Moeller, Juno Recommends Techno, Mattias Fridell, Enclave, Victor Martinez, Submerge, Advanced Human
Review: It's hard to imagine how any producer would countenance taking on "Deformation". Apart from the scraping metallic riffs at its centre, the original track is powered by a bass so oppressive and pummelling that it makes the drums sound tinny by comparison. Despite this, Dynamic Reflection has chosen the remixers well; Mike Parker shoehorns his trademark bleepy sound into a skipping rhythm, while Norman Nodge focuses on sparse, rolling drums and understated droning bass on his treatment. But it's Area Forty One who offers the most radical interpretation. As the dreamy chords provide a feather-soft backdrop, only the occasional burst of spiky percussion reminds the listener of the original's intensity.
01 Apr 13
Review: Hard techno's Germanic beginnings may have given the genre it's unforgivingly industrial edge, but it soon spread across the globe faster than a HAARP electrical storm. Stepping up to the mantle with the likes of Presk and Blawan, Abstract Division have built a monolithic slab of near-impenetrable beats from their home in the Netherlands. It's as challenging as it is beguiling; the minimal sounds of "Collision" break through the colossal build and washed-out claps of "Comprehend", pulsing like the techno nights worth remembering. When the house revival begins to crumble, you know where we'll be.
04 Jun 12
Played by: Mirko S.
Review: Conrad Van Orton delivers an eerie take on broken beat techno on the title track; ghostly synth lines are conjured up over the fuzzy, fractured rhythms as the producer evokes the spirit - if not the intensity - of Inigo Kennedy. Unbalance's version further advances this approach, with eerie riffs wrapped around harder, more robust breaks. Dynamo's remix meanwhile opts for a more direct dance floor approach, with an evil, nagging acid line insinuating itself through a wiry 4/4 rhythm. It's not all darkness however, and Van Orton's "Staphylo" is a deep, dubby techno groove, its warm, loose groove supporting ethereal vocals.
07 May 12
Review: This upcoming producer has made a name for his innovative approach and the Abuse of Distortion EP is no exception. The title track starts with shuffling, lead-weight drums and gradually builds, through the use of abrasive filters and heavy beats into a distorted monster of a climax. The Go Hiyama version is based on a fractured rhythm, with some of original track's distortion and a haunting vocal thrown in. However, this release is really all about Carbone's ability to test the techno framework and on "Abnormal Distortion" he reaches the form's outer limits, with waves of droning white noise and a stepping, malevolent rhythm.
01 Oct 12
Played by: Concrete Djz
Review: The pan-European techno duo delve into a paranoid alternative universe with their latest release. "Flight 101" is a dark, rolling groove, its spacey chords and eerie synths building to a heady climax, while "Chemtrails" advances a more menacing approach. Based on a rumbling bassline, its slamming rhythms and hammering, steely drums make for a foreboding sound. But the duo sound most impressive on "Haarp". Forsaking the tunelling, hypnotic approach of the preceding tracks, its broken, splintered rhythms and spacey pads make it sound like a contemporary abstract/industrial take on Detroit electro at its most esoteric - always an interesting combination.
26 Mar 12
Review: "Proximity" provides the prequel for an EP punctuated by dense, dubby sounds and clattering industrial rhythms. More linear than the title track, it nonetheless canters effectively thanks to its droning textures and always filtering groove. The title track is heavier and denser, with a murderous bass at the centre of an arrangement littered with dank acid and dark chords. The remixers do a fine job of heightening the menacing mood. Van Orton's version is built on a juddering broken beat arrangement, made all the more loose and unpredictable by a bubbling bass and hissing hats, Ascion lends a more linear techno sound and Zooloft's Obtane delivers a stepping take that's soaked in acrid 303 tones.
23 May 11
Review: Dutch label Dynamic Reflection has secured the services of heavyweight remixers, but that shouldn't overshadow the original material from Marco Rane & Paul Boex. "Better Days" is an irresistible old school melodic techno track, its melancholic, floaty keys capturing that time when trance and techno seamlessly dovetailed. Fittingly, "Berlin" is darker and more hypnotic, its repetitive chords and chain mail percussion heavily indebted to the Chain Reaction/Basic Channel sound. Peter Van Hoesen strips "Berlin" back and focuses on a ballsy, bass-heavy groove, while Samuli Kemppi shows why his stock keeps rising: deeper and more haunting than Van Hoesen's version, it retains its drive thanks to some rasping percussion.
05 Oct 09
30 Sep 08
09 Mar 09
27 Aug 12
Review: With releases to his credit on his own NX and Svreca's Semantica label, it's fair to say that Spanish producer Joan Sureda's star is in the ascent. DR EP won't do his reputation any harm either, especially as the doubled up tribal beats and whooshing filter on the title track sound refreshing and effective when compared to the droning, Gothic indulgences many producers have fallen foul of. The label has put together an impressive set of remixes: Victor Martinez doesn't stray far from the original version but toughens up the beats, while label boss Paul Boex delivers a version marked by tonal bleeps and repetitive industrial riffs. The best remix though is Aiken's, whose surging chords and infectious cowbells make for a curious but compatible combination
05 Apr 10
Review: The Dynamic Reflection team deliver another storming release of pounding techno with "Hate is Love." This time it comes from none other than label boss, Paul Boex and his biggest influence, the ever active Oscar Mulero.
Recent releases for his own Warm Up Recordings label have seen Mulero kill dancefloors the world over.
Now, he comes to Paul Boex's imprint to open this release with a remix of the Dutchman's "Hate is Love." His version flies straight off the mark with a pounding beat and frantic, high pitched synth stabs. It effortlessly builds tension and drama as it progresses before a breakdown lures all the sound beneath a still driving 4/4 beat. Inevitably though, Mulero reinstates the noise, turning "Hate is Love" into a true, peak time smasher. I suppose we can expect nothing less from this man by now. Following the Spaniard?s remix is Paul Boex?s original. Still a thumping techno track, the original effort feels more reserved than the remix due to in no small part, a beautiful soundscape that lingers in the background throughout the entire tune. It gives the track an epic feel, taking you on a wonderful, dream-like journey of moods and atmospheres. Returning to some highly energised techno, Boex delivers the jacking "Cybersluts" next on the schedule. Synth jabs, FX, jaunting basslines and the customary driving beat make this a full body shaking, sub-human alien. "Iron Curtain" is even more alien, spacing wailing synths far out into the depths as high end percussion snaps in the foreground. A truly futuristic sound palette emerges on this techno wig out, proving that Boex can go blow for blow with his inspiration, Oscar Mulero.
04 May 09
18 May 09
28 Jan 13
Review: Kwazniak's not a household name, but Sisters shows that he is as accomplished as many techno veterans. The dominant sound here is relentless and pounding, as the title track unfolds with leaden beats, dark, metallic riffing and insistent filtering. Stefan Vincent's reshape takes things down a few notches, focusing on hissing hats and spaced out bleeps, but soon enough the release returns to harder territories. The "London Mix" is powered by a slamming, insistent rhythm, with some of Vincent's tones integrated into the arrangement. Kwazniak also tries his hand at acid on "Halo", but in his own inimitable style, with tripped out squelches fused with a relentless groove.
08 Aug 11
Review: Forward Strategy Group have been responsible for some of the most visceral techno in recent years. On this occasion, they decide to work separately, but the results are just as devastating. Al 'Smear' Mathews's "Inert" is a jacking track coated with razor blade percussion, its juddering rhythm threatening to decapitate anyone who gets too close. The Retail & Leisure version is just as intense, its droning textures and yelping acid supporting a vocal sample that claims 'we are psychos'. Meanwhile, the other FSG member Patrick Walker adds to the prevailing mood by dropping the stomping beats and mysterious effects of "Phase Linear", while the only esoteric moment occurs on Boex & Miller's spaced out take on "Phase Linear".
17 Jul 12
Review: Although the EP and track titles may hint at some tongue-in-cheek techno offerings, the material on display from Tim Wolff on this latest release from Dynamic Reflection is deadly serious. "Backstage Fridge" revolves around heavy piston-like percussion with a keen sense of sound design, while Jeroen Search's remix adds a touch of hypnotic melody with its pulsating synth line. "Stage Manager" meanwhile combines razor-sharp hi-hats and rattling bass in one thundering package, with a remix from Stefan Vincent which inverts the industrial tendencies of the original into something much more prickly, as ping pong melodies add some percussive bounce to proceedings.
06 Jun 11
Review: Paul Boex's label deserves kudos for showcasing work by upcoming techno producers. At one end of the spectrum is Dynamo's "Retaliation", a spaced out affair, its resonating pulses throwing ghostly shapes over the bleep techno landscape. Chemie favours a clubber approach to this sound, as evidenced by the insistent subsonic blips, firing hats and repetitive tones of "Sub Atomic Collisions". On the other end, in the corner marked 'intense techno' is Never Existed Boy's "Mechanical 57", where thick acid provides the basis for claustrophobic hats. Best of all though is Fillip Xavi's "Planet Distance". Fusing the atmospheric textures and warm bleeps of Dynamo's track with stomping but somewhat loose beats, it sounds like techno for the next generation.
27 Jun 11
23 May 11
08 Nov 10