Reviewed this week
Nathan Fake's most recent album, Providence, was also one of his most critically acclaimed works. Now the UK producer hands over "Degreelessness" (featuring Prurient) from the album to remixers Huerco S and Overmono. The decision to pair up Fake with Huerco S was an inspired one, with the US artist turning "Degreelessness" into a dreamy, languid affair. By contrast, the Overmono version uses Fake's tripped out sense of melody to create a soaring but glitchy dance floor track, supported by steely, angular drums. This package proves to be an embarrassment of riches for fans of the singular UK producer, with a new track, "Bosky", navigating a path between his melancholic sound and swinging, assured electro beats.
British techno veteran Oliver Ho has released some fine material as Broken English Club since debuting the alias back in 2014. The English Beach, Ho's second BEC full-length and first for L.I.E.S, is the audio equivalent of a trip to a run-down North Sea coastal resort on a wet Wednesday in November. Full of end-of-days electronics, stripped-back industrial techno, moody minimal wave shufflers and bubbly EBM workouts, it's as authentic a tribute to early '80s electronic experimentalism as you're likely to hear all year. Highlights include the Nitzer Ebb style bounce of "Pylon", the foreboding, desolate electronica of "Rust Ballad", the angry electro moodiness of "Carrion" and the rolling, organ-laden autumnal bliss of "The English Beach".
Maricopa makes the smoothest summer tunes in the world, as heard on labels like Back To The Balearics and Berlin's La Luna: who released his debut album last year. On his Explorer EP, the second in their Cosmic Pint Keg series, Maricopa makes no exceptions. A journey through Mediterranean landscapes, across mountain tops in the midday heat to the refreshing sea breeze on a midnight beach. It's a thing of beauty; some are directed at the dance floor some almost chilled: horizontally. There's a bit of deep disco on the balearic tip like on "Cavernosa", the deeply soulful and emotive "Volcanic Glass" (having that almost Kompakt vibe about it) while the album's most chilled moment is also its most sublime: the dreamy and captivating "Yucca" (Islander Version).
Rampant and 'up for it' as usual, the Cititrax label is back with a new set of wayward technoid experiments for the more trained ears on the dancefloors. This time it's Romania's Borusiade and newcomer The Sixteen Steps to share newest EP, and of course, proceed to annihilate any idea of a quiet night in. The former sets off with the mechanical acid bumps of "Infatuation", guided by an eerie set of vocal blurs, and that's followed by the comparatively more beat-centric techno of the apocalyptic "Confutation". The Sixteen Steps first lands on "Signals From The South", a house banger with noxious levels of mutant bass at its core, followed by the single-minded industrialism and sheer techno brutality of "Promises On The Run". WOWZAH!
Presenting the new album from Dutch producer and visual artist David Douglas. Over the years, he has worked on several major television and film productions and he has directed music video's for artists like Blaudzun, John Coffey, Daniel Beddingfield and for his own track "California Poppy". Released via Amsterdam based Atomnation Records who have recently presented works by the likes of Tunnelvision, Gidge and Portable Sunsets. Following on from 2014's "Moon Observations", Douglas continues to perfect his cosmic sound, taking us on a journey through polyrhythmic and technicoloured. This is melodic, sun kissed disco and eclectic electronica. Said to be inspired by the astrological writings of his 18th century namesake, Douglas creates waves of celestial melodies that are merged with driving beats, arpeggiated synths and hypnotic vocals.
It's back to the future with Massacooramaan right here, with this new EP for Fade To Mind giving grim a whole new texture to play with. Much like the early gear that was promoted by DJs like Plasticman, Drum Fission is an endless reinvention what is possible with a simple set of percussion and bass stomps. The opening "Voltage Slip" is a perfect example of that, a tune which never uses the 'less-is-more' effect, ands the same can be said for the rhythmic bangs of "Exhume", another impressive drum experimentation built from only a few core elements. The likes of "Dautrada" bring in a more tribal rhythm to the picture, while "Hyper Garrote" finishes off with one final stab to the gut, in the form of some pretty devilish drum stabs. This be some Darth Vader bass!
Division Recordings is a Dutch label run by local dum and bass legends Noisia. It's over to Berlin based experimentalist Maere for their full length debut. Full of futute beat mutations by way of bass muic and R&B. The darkly charming lo-end pulsations of "Thorneater" get things off to a good start. "Neon Prey" is probably the albums most fierce moment where some pitchshifted urban croons get warped over a jagged and angular beat. Elsewhere "#Cursed" goes for a sultry and sexy swagger contrasted by some eerie elements, mainly in the haunting horror movie style strings. Inventive stuff right here: keep your eyes on this young gun!



When Britain's Clark and American Com Truise set out on their co-headlining tour, the two collaborated on a split 12" available for purchase at their live dates, which is now available in digital format. The former's contribution titled "Bobbie Caris" is a wonderful electro-funk number with P-funk influences that channels the vibe of Detroit greats such as Gerald Donald or James Stinson, but equally adding his own unique spin on things: as only this revered IDM maestro and Warp label staple only can! Fun fact: the track is actually named after his trusty sound engineer that he takes on tour.
Over 18-months, UK producer Matthew Bournce composed his new opus during a period of disillusionment. The pieces that make up Isotach LP were recorded inbetween his dayjob creating soundtrack scores and session work. These improvised live ti tape recordings became a cohesive and emotionally fulfilling body of work. Bpurne admits that he had'nt practised piano in years, described as a 'daily communion that was once automatic and subconscious' but less frequwntly practised until now. These collction of eight reflective and contemplative passages range from the sombre to elating, allowing Bourne's expressive perfromance to resonate with a beatiftiul sense of loneliness. This markes Bourn'es third release for the Leeds based Leaf Recordings, follwing up last year's tremdnous Moogmemory LP.
More epic than an all-night Sasha set, Modular Arms bridges the gap between big room house, trance melodies and break beat. "Celebrate", with its filtered synth builds, rolling drums and prowling bass is a pure adrenaline rush, bringing the listener back to a time when DJs played a range of music and didn't worry about sub-genres. "Modular" is more introspective and sees DGTL deliver morse code bleeps and windswept melodies over an understated groove. However, the most impressive track is "Amplify". Like an update of late 90s breaks act Hybrid, it sees DGTL effortlessly fuse dramatic strings and searing acid lines with dubbed out, cavernous break beats.
Selwa Abd has released a series of cassettes and 12 inches as Bergsonist, but this EP is probably her most diverse to date. "Exile" is underpinned by raw drums and provides a basis for the Moroccan artist to lay down atmospheric chord sequences. "Ressentiment" is darker and more droning, with noisy riffs unravelling over jittery kicks. The closest reference point to any other artist is Hieroglyphic Being's more visceral work. On "Mutation", Abd heads in a different direction again, this time towards emotive, breaky electro. The label has tapped Murray CY to rework "Ressentiment", resulting in the most upfront track, a heads-down, noisy analogue workout.



In Sam Mullany's music, things that initially sound like drones become, under closer inspection, become more delicate melodies spinning out into trails of delay and collaged with triangles of noise. Music made out of tiny elements, but impeccably arranged. This one will appeal to any fans of the label's 18th release: Chemiefaserwerk, Mats Gustafsson's Piano Mating or Benjamin Finger's Amorosa Sensitiva. Might we also recommend it to fans of Tim Hecker or Alessandro Cortini. At times moody and mysterious, uplifting, even life affirming at other intervals. The Washington, VA based producer has a truly captivating style and one to watch!
Exclusives
JAMES HOLDEN & THE ANIMAL SPIRITS - Pass Through The Fire (Border Community)
SAM MULLANY - Blue Twenty-four (Blue Tapes & X-Ray) - exclusive 18-08-2017
RED AXES - The Beach Goths (Garzen)