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03 May 10
01 Oct 12
Review: Brendon Moeller resurrects his Echologist guise for this largely abstract release. In its original format, "Buzz Factory" is all splintered rhythms and squelchy bass, its heavy drums housing tonal bleeps. It sounds like Moeller has tried and largely succeeded in creating a more off the wall version of his dub techno sound, but what about the remixes? The Tempest dub version makes concessions to the dance floor with a heavy, wobbling bass and shuffling rhythm sounding like A Made Up Sound in slow motion. But this release is really about the abstract and Pole's dub version, with its slinky bass and stripped back beats, is in tune with the sound Moeller is striving for.
04 Jun 12
Review: Releasing Obsessed on a label other than Sandwell District must have felt strange to Function. However, like "Ember", the US producer's final outing for the now defunct imprint, "Obsessed" is an understated affair. Closer to early Speedy J and Warp's Intelligent Techno series than the austere rhythms of Sandwell, its dreamy synths unravel to reveal a cacophony of bleeps and a lithe rhythm that never quite makes it onto the dance floor. Substance's version starts in a similar vein, but the Berlin producer maintains a wiry, minimal rhythm throughout, which acts as the basis for a gradual shift into grinding metallic riffs. Scuba's SCB edit is the most dance floor friendly track, the snappy, hissing percussion and stacatto, clattering drums underpinning an effective, building filter.
03 Jun 13
Played by: Butch
Review: Hess unites Detroit and Berlin on this latest missive for Danish label Echocord. "Pashko (Version 1)" is based on heavy beats and a menacing bass that rumbles along to reveal thundering claps. However, it's the chords that prove compelling, welling up and covering the arrangement in a layer of gloom. On the second version, steely drums and bleepy tones provide the basis for a throbbing basslne and Hess' trademark chords. This time however, they have changed in tone from moody to dreamy, with the US producer moving closer to the legacy of his hometown of Detroit. Sometimes, it's impossible to escape where you're from.
23 Aug 10
20 Sep 10
19 Sep 11
Review: Mike Dehnert arrives on the Echochord Colour series in the midst of a purple patch, having sported various takes on the glowering techno world he occupies, as anyone who has checked recent drops on his own Fachwerk and Clone Basement will testify! The EP opens in fine style with the guttural vocal intonations of "RGS2" cascading in sync with the gloopy bass hits, dragging you down a k-hole of despair until the rasping hi-hat procession arrives and a sense of industrial chaos grows. Flipside, "Bar2" operates around minute rhythmic deviations from the thick set groove - just wait for the sprawling synth line to coax more metallic hi-hat brilliance into action. Fellow Fachwerker Roman Lindau remixes "RGS2" into a growling, scratchy, heads down techno bump.
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25 Mar 13
Review: Mike Dehnert is no stranger to Danish label Echocord, having released the thumping Breso EP on the label back in 2011, so this Roulement EP makes for a welcome and long overdue return offering further examples of his nuanced approach. "Limite" shows the prolific Dehnert at his most contrasting, pairing the subtleties of some delicate house stabs with teeth-gnashing textures and thumping four to the floor beat, while "Retransmission" is him at his most mind-bending, looping gritty, rumbling drums and a metronomic cowbell disturbingly treated vocal samples. Fellow Fachwerk producer Sascha Rydell's take on "Limite" offers yet more contrast, as every element is submerged in a heady dub cloud.
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12 Nov 12
Played by: Van Bonn
Review: The Ostgut manager Nick Hoppner flexes his production muscles on Seaweed. In its original form, the title track is a chugging affair, its throbbing groove driven by a forceful bassline. The overall sound is dark and foreboding and even the break down is brief, only providing temporary relief from the relentless, heads-down rhythm. Meanwhile, Scott Monteith aka Deadbeat shows why he's one of the finest artists working in the dub-techno sound. His remix of "Seaweed" plunges to even greater depths than the original, its masterful sub-bass underpinning heavy claps, eerie chords and subtle filters that peak and ebb gracefully through the arrangement.
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25 Mar 09
19 Mar 12
Review: Arne Weinberg goes undercover for this release on Danish label Echocord. The German producer has long been an exponent of deep Detroit techno and has released some stunning work on both his current label Diametric, and previous outlet AW. However, this moniker appears to be Weinberg's platform for making music inspired by developments closer to home. The title track is a rolling dub techno affair, its cavernous chords and strong rhythm, as well as Weinberg's subtle production, setting it apart from bog standard, echo chamber-loving releases. The introduction of a filter lends the track more momentum and means it doesn't have that plodding feeling that many contemporary dub techno tracks are blighted with. Berghain resident Norman Nodge provides the remix, which like many of his reshapes, is in stark contrast to the relentless techno that his sets are associated with. That said, a booming, oversized bass drum underpins the arrangement, but its slower tempo and the fact that it underscores enveloping chords means that it sounds ponderous rather than punishing. While Phosphor marks a diversion from his usual approach, "Innocence & Purity" suggests that he can't resist making melodic music: the reflective chords that emerge through the dusky, scuffled groove shows that Weinberg is a techno soul boy at heart.
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21 Oct 09
08 Aug 11
Review: It would have been difficult to imagine an act as talented as Skudge indefinitely following the approach of their first few EPs. Indeed, as the Swedish duo told Juno Plus in our exclusive interview with them a few months back, their influences and more importantly, their ambitions stretch further than Basic Channel dub techno. That said, "Surplus" doesn't mark a radical change in style, nor does it herald an artistic volte face from the pair. What it does achieve rather craftily however is to subtly push the Skudge sound towards a more wide-ranging place. "Void" is more closely aligned to modern day sounds as its insistent keys build to an acid-tinged, filtered climax. It's Skudge's most accessible track to date and it is likely to appeal to DJs who so far have not played their releases. However, it is unlikely that Skudge will become the preserve of big-room house, something that is reinforced by the remix of "Void". Ironically, Conforce's version is the track most in keeping with the duo's original approach. Based on robust, dubby beats and powered by driving hats, the sick, underlying acid line is a reminder that Skudge's roots are still firmly planted in the underground. Excellent release.