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07 Sep 09
03 Dec 12
Review: Belgian label Token has been one of the finest techno labels of 2012, and Kr!z imprint rounds out the year in style on Unity. The work of Danish producer Ctrls, the sound appears to be almost simplistic at times, but in reality it's a highly complex set of arrangements. "Analogue Lies" sees dense drums struggling to be heard over the din created by static interference and crackling percussion, while "Evident Mechanics" is based on mechanical rhythms, whip-crack electronic riffs and an insistent robot vocal. Best of all though is "Limited Competition", where a squeaky metallic stab is combined with lo-fi drums.
23 Apr 12
Review: Token never does things the conventional way and this release by Ctrls is testament to the Belgian label's championing of unorthodox techno. While "Socket" is a peak time affair, powered by a rhythm that is lean and functional, cavernous soundscapes threaten to submerge it. On "Social Vector", a pacey funk bassline is in the foreground, but whirring and clicking away in the left field are shards of glitchy percussion and unexpected stops and starts. "Encrypted Sex" completes the package and here too Ctrls don't forsake experimentation, with a sawing bass supporting subtle percussive elements and a series of drops.
20 Aug 12
Review: After several years releasing for the likes of Perc Trax, Gynoid Audio and Dynamic Reflection it looks like Go Hiyama may be coming into his element with what may be his finest EP to date for excellent Belgian imprint Token. "Farnsworth House" displays the kind of angular breakbeat approach that Perc and Lucy have been perfecting for the past few years, but with a distinctly sparing Japanese approach, as a minimal electrically charged bassline pulses forward, while "Dymaxion Map" concentrates on a spring-loaded bassline and metallic percussive tics. Finally, "Fallingwater" is the most abrasive track of the lot, as scuzzed out signal noise and bass drones are held together with grainy rhythmic elements.
05 Jul 10
Review: The Survival EP sees Go Hiyama in typically uncompromising form for Belgian Imprint Token. The Japanese producer has been at the forefront of his country's industrial techno scene of late and these four pounders cement his position. The title track takes no prisoners with jackhammer drums pummelling the abrasive synth lines, stopping only momentarily for the lean rubber bassline to get stretched out before twanging back into action. Schizophrenic percussion dominates on "Tokyo View" with discordant scratches the so called melody upon which paranoid sirens sound out on what is the standout track. "First Hind Leg" throws frenetic synth shapes over galloping hi-hats whilst "Second Real" challenges the recent Mike Dehnert release in the distorted abrasions stakes.
28 Jan 13
Review: Inigo Kennedy's last record for Token was a definite record of two halves, with one track providing severe, Berghain ready techno, and the other providing ghostly melodies with echoes of Aphex Twin. It's a similarly engaging story on Cathedral, with the title track providing a fierce breakbeat together with a cavernous harpsichord melody, and though it may not seem like the most obvious of combinations, its pulsing bass undercurrent ensures Kennedy's usual power is not diminished. "Chamber" plays things slightly straighter, providing a more forceful dancefloor cut imbued with gentle hints of dub techno that bristle with the producer's usual freshness, while "Accordion" completes things with another subtly melodic cut filled with unpredictability, as stuttering drums are surrounded by synths that seem to fade in and out of view. Kennedy has gone from strength to strength with each release and this record is no different.
31 Oct 11
Played by: Paul Mac, Pagalve, Mirko S., Systemic, Kereni, Giovanni Pasquariello, Jesse Somfay, Carl Taylor
Review: Inigo Kennedy discards with the deepness shown on recent EPs for some thoroughly dirty techno on his latest EP for Token. Heavily road tested on his worldwide DJ travels, "Revenge" and "Scatter" operate on different levels, with the former building layers of dubby rhythms over the foundation worrying drums. It's peak time business which contrasts with "Revenge", a dystopian trawl through skittering percussion, IDM soundscapes and bass that sounds fit to burst. Remix duties are undertaken by perma busy Blawan, commissioned to tweak "Revenge" after Kennedy realized the two had a mutual appreciation. As with the recent productions from the SoYo hero, this is brutal techno dominated by those unique drum sounds.
17 Sep 12
Played by: Systemic
Review: Inigo Kennedy is one of Token's key artists and has played a central role in shaping the Belgian label's sound. On the evidence of this release however, both the prolific UK producer and Kr!z imprint appear to be turning a corner. The first signs are audible on "Wonderhorse". Following in the wake of the inspired, advanced rhythms of Go Hiyama's release for Token, it sounds relatively understated, its squelchy bassline and crackling percussion grooving in that off-beat, unpredictable manner that marks each release on the label. However, its segue later on in the track reveals Kennedy's intent, with ghostly, evocative melodies introduced. It sets the scene for "Spectre", which despite departing radically from the Token script, makes for one of the label's finest moments. On this occasion, the bass is warm and fuzzy, but it is still powerful and its weight provides the basis for a liquid, glassy rhythm, not dissimilar to the kind of arrangement that Alex Cortex might serve up. Like "Wonderhorse", it's all about the second half of the track, and Kennedy delivers a ghostly melody that has echoes of early Aphex Twin, especially "Xtal", as an eerie vocal lingers in the background. It's a far cry from Token's advanced club techno, but the lingering melodic spectre proves most satisfying.
17 May 10
Review: Having played an integral part in the early UK techno scene, Inigo Kennedy returns to Belgium's Token imprint to deliver an old school sounding piece of experimental techno. Twisted melodies, wonky rhythms, subtle FX and a light industrial atmosphere give the track an early Warp feel but it maintains a modern day sentiment through some slick production. Marcel Dettmann gets hold of the remix, readying "The Shard" to take on a long, dark and smokey night at Berlin's Berghain.
16 Nov 09
29 Apr 13
Played by: Joachim Spieth (Affin)
Review: Belgian label Token dip their toes in the reissue game with this reissue of a Mark Broom cut from 2002. Originally released through the Coda offshoot of James Ruskin's Blue Print, "Two" apparently highest amongst Token boss Kr!z's personal favourite Mark Broom productions and the track still sounds immense some eleven years on. A classic example of Broom at his most relentlessly thumping, "Two" is given some contemporary context with a Syntax remix whose spacious textures and brushed syncopation offer a more serene accompaniment.
22 Oct 12
Review: Belgian label Token is one of the most consistent techno imprints because it gives short shrift to fads and fashions. Phase, one of the label's core artists, showcases its uncompromising style here. The title track is a tough, pumping affair, its heavy drums housing phased synths that suggest a world of unknown horrors. But it's on "The Chasedown" that Phase excels; the beats are heavy and concrete-like and a hint of acid lends it a menacing undercurrent. Nothing could prepare the listener for the wave of droning bee sounds that emerges in the middle of the arrangement, amplified to the nth degree until it feels like a million insects are buzzing from within your cranium.
23 Jan 12
Played by: Vegim, Carl Taylor, Concrete Djz, Mark Eg, Juno Recommends Techno, Mirko S., Jay Wong, Systemic, Leghau
Review: John Malkovich and Daniel Day-Lewis have garnered the reputation of being actor's actors. Ashley Burchett aka Phase is proving to be a producer's producer, certified by commissioned mixes from the likes of Robert Hood, Dave Clarke and Ben Sims, as well spots in Resident Advisor podcasts by Surgeon and Carl Craig. Since 2007 Phase has been channelling his burrowed beats and jarring analogue riffs through Belgian and techno genuine imprint Token. A mastering engineer by trade, Burchett achieves perfect equilibrium in his mix downs where no sound or artefact dominates the other. Shifting crackles and resonating textures cosy up to looped rhythms of "Binary Opposition (Process 1)" which Phase substitutes for more melodic yet insidious soundscapes in "Binary Opposition (Process 2)" - handing the likes of Dettmann and Nodge some early afternoon Berghain fodder with two tracks harbouring the longevity needed to fuel their legendary Sunday sessions.
25 Jun 12
Played by: Millhouse, Paul Mac, S-Tek (Gynoid, Audiolabor, Berlin), Juno Recommends Techno, Bas Mooy, Systemic, Hannah Wild, Submerge, DJ Srle (Perpetual), Dave Elyzium, Resident Advisor
Review: Phase's recent Binary Opposition finds itself remixed by a host of techno's most vital names on this massive collection from Token. Planetary Assault Systems puts his abrasive stamp on the source material, with juddering synthwork poking out of the cracks, while CTRLS takes a dustier approach, taking the original's four to the floor approach and putting a bit of broken beat swagger into it - but one that's refreshingly off the grid. Our Circula Sound boss Sigha meanwhile favours a stripped back, greyed out, minimalistic approach, while Peter Van Hoesen and Ben Klock provide the most club focused tracks on the collection - with the former's heavy kicks and tunnelling bassline and Klock's thick slabs of dub satisfying the urges of those who like their techno a little more simple. Finally, Inigo Kennedy provides a dystopian take whose sci-fi synths and electro influenced beats are filled with Drexciyan undertones.
22 Jun 09
16 Feb 09
04 Oct 10
06 Jun 11
04 Mar 13
Review: Strobo stalwart Xhin made an impressive debut on the Token operation last year with the dense, bristling sounds of The Realm so it makes complete sense for the Belgian label to offer the producer a further chance to excel. The Dark Tiled Landscape EP presents a refinement in Xhin's noted savage take on dark techno across four thrilling cuts. Lead track "Projection" sees primordial, gurgling textures gradually fill the channels over a dusted broken techno rhythm graced by faint dubby chords. It's overwhelmed by the sheer expansive sound design of the subsequent title track which feels like it's ready to explode in a manner similar to Kaneda at the end of Akira, yet the tunnelling percussive groove ensures the elements remain reined in. Face down "Hunters" presents Xhin at his earth shaking best whilst "A Different Angle" sees a nightmarish swirling mass of dense atmospherics try and escape the grid set by the thick kicks.
12 Mar 12
Review: After a barn-storming 2011, the dense, bristling techno of Xhin returns to toy with your senses. This four track EP for Token delivers just what fans of his recent LP will be looking for; dark- primal rhythm tracks with enough vitality to keep from getting dull. The unforgiving broken stomp of "The Realm" is enough on its own, let alone when it has great rips of tone and melody pulsing over the top. There's deeper moments offered too, in the spacious sound bath that is "Elliptic", but really it's the smack down of the other three tracks that will deliver the goods for existing fans.