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04 Aug 11
Review: The Monad series has aimed and largely succeeded in getting techno producers to explore their more esoteric side - and VIII is no exception. Indeed, any electronic music release that draws influence from a Nobel Prize-winning scientist - Ilya Prigogine, after whom "Ilya" is named - is unlikely to offer up run of the mill DJ fodder. The aforementioned "Ilya" sees Dadub set a tone that is both menacing and captivating as the solemnly intoned phrase "evolutionary feedback" prefaces a descent into walls of electronic noise and the dead paced thump of a ponderous bass drum. A similar mood prevails on "Hadean"; on this track vast swathes of feedback vie for the listener's attention, as Dadub's robust, dense broken beats sound like footsteps treading on crunchy, autumnal leaves. That doesn't mean that VII is entirely couched in furrowed-brow seriousness or that Dadub has somehow misread the brief. Like the preceding installments, this release works precisely because there is a plurality of approaches. The swirling, hazy ambience of "Biopoiesis" is an entirely different proposition, its creaky, spooky tones conjuring up memories of Tangerine Dream and Eno, while on "Amnion", Dadub finally lurches towards the dance floor. However, true to the series' form, straight techno beats only kick in after the producer has taken his audience through a forest of magical, swirling sound effects.
04 Feb 13
Played by: Exium, Juno Recommends Techno, Resident Advisor, Kryss Hypnowave, Mind Field Records, Woo York, Ctrls, Tom Dicicco
Review: In the lead up to Dadub's debut album You Are Eternity, Stroboscopic Artefacts have commissioned remixes from Lakker and Rrose - their first contributions to the label - as well as Kanding Ray and label boss Lucy. All were given the chance to remix their favourite track from the forthcoming album and Lucy chose "Death", a pleasant surprise in its functionality - not commonly associated with the Italian. Lakker's remix to "Path" delivers some spaciousness and industrialism to Dadub's often busy and syncopated arrangements, while Rrose's remix of "Life" could well be touted as one of the year's best reworks with a long and drawn out build and big room drop. Kanding Ray counterbalances Rrose's mix with subtle melodies and water drop percussion in his remix to "Existence".
18 Feb 13
Played by: Enclave
Review: Stroboscopic Artefacts has consistently attracted a series of high calibre artists to its various releases, but Eternity showcases the secret weapon in the label's arsenal: Dadub. The Italian partnership of Daniele Antezza and Giovanni Conti already play a crucial role in Luca Mortellaro's label operation, mastering every Stroboscopic release, but their impact is even greater when they step from the shadows to deliver this their debut album. Fans of Stroboscopic Artefacts will find much welcome familiarity here, with the stepping rhythm and splurging bass of "Arrival" providing in one track a synopsis of the label's Monad series, while the dense, sub-bass led techno of "Circle" and the muscular, robust rhythms and walls of delay on "Life" and "Path" neatly define the label's predilection for re-imagining 90s Berlin techno. However, it is in the grey, unexpected places where Dadub really shine on this album. "Unbroken Continuity" is a collection of tropical blips, bleeps and squeaks disguised as an ambient soundscape. At the other end of the spectrum, the King Cannibal featuring "Transfer" descends into a snake pit of splintered, sulphuric rhythms.
28 May 10
25 Jul 11
Played by: Matt K, Juno Recommends Techno, Heaven To Hell Records, Exile (Le Galassie Di Seyfert), Kereni, Alex Mayer, Delko
Review: With the exclusion of benchmark labels like Underground Resistance, techno music is largely devoid of concepts, so the latest instalment in the Monad series is always met with excitement at Juno. This time, it's the turn of Japanese producer Go Hiyama, who rigorously follows the series' diverse guidelines. "Wa" keeps its focus on the dancefloor, its jagged percussion underpinning a garbled bassline. "Kakeru" is based on lead weight broken beats, while "Waru" is like a meeting ground between these two points as insidious percussive slivers weave their way in and out of a swinging arrangement. Finally, "Hiku" ends the release in style with waves of abstract, dark ambience.
01 Oct 10
29 Apr 13
Review: Kangding Ray continues his gradual ascendance through the Stroboscopic Artefacts ranks with the Tempered Inmid EP, the Raster Noton regular's first full release for Lucy's label. The producer, real name David Letellier, first appeared in Stroboscopic colours last year with a contribution to the digital only Monad series and has since appeared on a split release, laid down two tracks for the Stellate series and remix Dadub. So the chance to see the Frenchman explore his sound palette in a more expansive release for SA is exciting, and the four tracks on Tempered Inmid represent a further definition of Ray's futuristic and classically informed style of techno-meets-electronica. If you can imagine the fuzzy edged electronica of Clark mixed with Surgeon's precision club tools and brushed with the childlike tones of Aphex Twin then Tempered Inmid will certainly appeal.
11 Feb 11
08 Sep 11
Review: Lucy's label has become as well known for its Monad digital series as its physical releases. Previous Monad releases have done a lot to further the industrial influence on techno and as he steps up to the plate, it's clear that the Italian producer has his work cut out. However, it also quickly becomes apparent that he is easily up for the task. "Pentad" cuts a menacing shape, its intense, doubled up beats providing the basis for wave upon wave of noisy, swirling textures ring fenced by barbed wire percussion. This veritable assault lasts just over ten minutes and during that time it feels like Lucy has taken an excavator to the listener's cranium. "Tetrad" and "Decad" are less direct and by default sound less intense, but neither could be mistaken for easy listening. The former tumbles along to rattling, broken beats as bursts of noise are unleashed, let off like steam screeching through a loosened pressure valve. The latter is more introspective as Lucy uses droning soundscapes and, nearer the outro, an eerie vocal to give vent to his reflective side. Neither however can prepare the listener for "Triad". Like "Pentad", it is based on stomping off beats, but it goes through a number of sonic transformations, from the menacing sound of an industrial saw edging closer to its target, through a dubby fugue before bringing this instalment in the series to an end with a raucous, blaring foghorn riff. On X, Lucy shows that Monad continues to mark the spot for wired industrial techno.
04 Mar 11
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06 Sep 12
Review: It was only a matter of time before Tommy Four Seven appeared on Stroboscopic Artefacts - and it's no surprise that his abstract take on techno has become part of the label's Monad series. "Enki" features indistinct but punishing break beats, its evil riffs housing a spooky female vocal just as the sledgehammer beats become more and more intense. "Arx" is the most conventional track on the release, but even its crushing tribal beats feature a Gothic vocal from a man who sounds like he has smoked way too many cigarettes. In keeping with the series' direction, Tommy also delivers two impressive abstract cuts - the evocative string-led "Monix" and more impressively, the eerie sound track that is "Vayu".
18 May 12
26 Jul 12
01 Nov 12
Review: Lucy's label continues to impress with the third instalment of Stellate. The bass-heavy dub techno grooves and splintered rhythms are absent as Xhin turns to his reflective side with "As It Unfolds", a production shot through with mournful piano lines and uneasy synths. The Singaporean makes some reference to the dance floor on "Them", but his glitchy beats are slowed, more funereal. Elsewhere, the focus remains on dreamy melodies; NSI serve up the chiming bells and piano-led "Undeserved", while ethereal hooks inhabit the slow paced groove of "Unexpected". Reformed Faction escape into a more disturbing world with the eerie, Middle Eastern-influenced tones of "Koaii Twin", but the serene mood on Stellate 3 is best summed up on Kangding Ray's expansive ambient tracks, "Antar" and "Telur".
17 Jan 13
Played by: Paul Mac
Review: Lucy's label rolls out the big guns for the latest instalment in this excellent series. Like previous volumes, the emphasis remains on providing techno producers with a platform to experiment with different sounds. Luke Slater rises to the occasion with two pieces as LB Dub Corp. The first, "Choctaw Dub" is an engaging piece of hissing tones and textures, but "Indulgent Dub" is more rewarding thanks to its rainy day drizzles of percussion and plink plonk jazz keys. Peter Van Hoesen and Yves de May remain in territory familiar to the Sendai project over two volumes of "Without the Written Word". The first is all atmospheric textures, stopping and starting, while number two is a more brooding affair, lent a sense of menace by murderous, disjointed kicks. However, it's James Ruskin who steals the show here; "Cabin Fever" is a gloriously moody arrangement, punctuated by sonar blips and best of all, "Cast Down" sees him deliver a symphonic, string-led orchestral masterpiece.
Stellar sounds indeed.