AVN #011 sees Shifted and Ventress' Avian label look to the USA for the first time, as it taps up New York producer Shaun O'Sullivan for a six-track EP under his new 400PPM alias. O'Sullivan already has a deep knowledge of techno developed over a broad range of musical projects as anyone who has heard his excellent releases for The Corner and L.I.E.S. will attest. Bookended by two stark explorations into noise, the EP is joined by four solid techno productions which all marry the hard-hitting industrial sounds of pioneers like Adam X together with the rolling percussion and impressive sound design of the Berghain school of Dettmann and Klock. The off-kilter syncopations and metallic clutter of "Monoculture" is a particular highlight in what is another essential EP from Avian.
There's something pleasingly old-fashioned about the work of mysterious producer A Sagittariun. To date, the enigmatic artist has delivered a string of strong 12" singles that sit somewhere between classic Detroit techno, mid-'90s electronica (think Pete Namlook with a dancefloor pulse, or stargazing ambient house) and early U.S deep house. Dream Ritual, his first full-length, continues in a similar vein, offering the kind of stargazing melodies, wide-eyed atmospherics and tactile, synth-heavy rhythms that bristle with cosmic intent. There are some startling diversions from the formula, too, not least the rubbery slap bass, paranoid vocal samples and vintage drum machine hits of "The Age of Sin".