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Older articles

Liaisons Dangereuses – Liaisons Dangereuses

by on at 09:38am

In the long and winding corridors of the archive there are things which we should listen to because they’ve been forgotten and things we should listen to precisely because they haven’t. Liaisons Dangereuses is one of those projects which has stayed with us, their crazed, infanto-weird battlecry “Los Niños del Parque” paving the dancefloors of any kind of underground clubbing experience ever since its release in 1981. What is it about that track that keeps generating, generation upon generation? What’s so special about it?

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Various Artists – Music For Machines

by on at 14:04pm

Call it ambient, new age or whatever you want, but Music For Machines sees John Beltran compile a collection of beautiful tracks that allows the listener to tune out from everyday life. It marks a change of role for the US producer, who is better known for his gentle, evocative electronic releases for labels like Delsin, Peacefrog and R&S. Like his own music, the artists that Beltran has collected on Music For Machines make tracks that are of a similarly reflective and contemplative nature.

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Etienne Jaumet – La Visite

by on at 09:42am

Take a trawl through Etienne Jaumet’s slowly expanding back catalogue, and you’ll start to spot recurring themes. While he’s touched on many styles over the years – either through his admirable solo work or as one half of Zombie Zombie – Jaumet’s influences and distinct musical ticks remain constant. So, while his work encompasses everything from krautrock, creepy synth-pop and tech-jazz, to dub disco, punk funk and Detroit techno – his references rarely change.

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Theo Parrish – American Intelligence

by on at 09:17am

Any Other Styles, S.T.F.U, Dance of the Medusa, Footwork. In the last few years Theo Parrish has released a fascinating collection of looser, more experimental work on the margins of dance music and his own influential and distinguishable sound. It’s seemed a particularly fruitful period even in the long and distinguished release schedule of Parrish’s career – further lengthening the discourse between house music, jazz music, broken beat etc. that his music has always explored, and cementing a status as a restless, probing producer. The more investigational territory has proved increasingly divisive though, and records have sunk or swum depending on who you ask.

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OAKE – Auferstehung

by on at 09:21am

With so many dark, gritty records released in the past few years, does contemporary techno really need more earnest young men and women? Auferstehung is the work of OAKE, an unnamed German man and woman, and the accompanying black and white press shots would suggest that they aren’t exactly a barrel of laughs. The same can be said about the opening tracks on this, their debut album. “Vorwort Umiha Sien”, “Kapitel Eins: Edunien Edreue” and “Erstes Buch: Desterieh l’Remm” all sound like textbook industrial/drone/gloom workouts, with fog horns and middle eastern drones unfolding over jittery broken beats and gut-busting bass licks.

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Moon B – Lifeworld

by on at 09:18am

If 2014 has been the year of the tape, then 1080p has been one of the format’s most prominent and exciting labels. While there are now plenty of labels concentrating on the humble tape, the Vancouver imprint just seem to do it better than most. Their thirty releases to date contain some of the most intriguing committed to magnetic tape, happily issuing a weird, wonderful and downright odd array of out-there ambience, jacking acid house, psychedelic-tinged techno, drone and experimental electronica. For the most part, these have come from new, little known or thrillingly obscure producers – the likes of hometown hero Lnrdcroy, Via App, and the brilliantly named Perfume Advert. It’s DIY music culture at its most adventurous and rewarding.

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Void Vision – Sub Rosa

by on at 16:55pm


Void Vision’s debut album proper has been a long time coming. The tracks on Sub Rosa were recorded between 2010 and 2013, and the album sees singer and producer Shari Vari take centre stage (although it does feature some contributions from former member Hayden Payne). Hopefully it will see Shari Vari take her mysterious and infectious wave/synth sound to a wider audience.

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Various Artists – Ten Cities

by on at 12:27pm

Epic is the word that immediately springs to mind when trying to describe the laudable Ten Cities project. Effectively a stab at grasping the global fusion zeitgeist by fostering links between musicians, DJs and electronic producers across two continents, its’ aims run deeper. While this kind of cross-cultural collaboration is nothing new, it’s rarely been tried on this kind of grand scale. Of course, it’s the musical side of the project that will rightly grab the headlines, with this sprawling compilation on Soundway Records being the conclusion of a three-year process of cross-cultural studio collaborations and suitably celebratory parties and concerts throughout Europe and Africa. Ten Cities also encompasses research and academic publications focusing on the distinctive club scenes in each of the selected cities. A quick glance at the project website confirms the sheer number of people involved behind the scenes – not just 50 or so musicians, DJs and producers, but a similar number of researchers, curators and project coordinators.

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Varg & Hypnobirds – Linje 19

by on at 09:50am

Ah, Swedish techno. If there is one phenomenon of the past few years in electronic music that has yielded nothing but quality, it must surely be that of the dark and alluring sounds emanating from that particular part of Scandinavia. There has been much said already about Skudge and their affiliated artists and imprints, Kontra-Musik, Frak, Abdullah Rashim and countless more besides. At every turn there seems to be a new artist with a unique style that fits perfectly into the bigger picture, challenging and satisfying in equal measure.

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Das Ding – Why Is My Life So Boring?

by on at 09:54am

New label Electronic Emergencies opens its account with an impressive first release. Dutch artist Das Ding aka Danny Bosten self-released a series of cassettes in the 80s before promptly disappearing back into obscurity. Championed by Minimal Wave, who released a retrospective in 2009, the new-found interest in his work appears to have sparked a creative fire in Bosten; apart from manufacturing his own line of sequencers and resuscitating his Tear Apart Tapes label, Bosten has also recorded this album for the fledgling Rotterdam-based Electronic Emergencies.

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Robert Hood – M Print: 20 Years of M Plant

by on at 09:24am

Everywhere you turn, techno artists and labels are celebrating anniversaries. This is no surprise; this sound has been developing over the past three decades and has the kind of longevity and worldwide reach as other established forms. Despite electronic music being made by producers all over the world, it’s important to understand where the music came from. In many instances, this process leads back to Detroit and to artists like Robert Hood and his M-Plant label.

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Marco Shuttle – Visione

by on at 14:54pm

Though Marco Sartorelli has always stated that he perceives techno “as more of a musical expression rather than a tool to make people dance,” the majority of his output until now has killed two birds with one stone. When the drums on 2011′s “The Vox Attitude” double up on themselves, it makes even the smallest dancefloor feel like it’s plummeting down an abyss, and 2012′s “Don’t U Want” repackaged a First Choice vocal sample into a cavernously addictive record. And while recent work such as this year’s Fanfara EP saw him gravitating towards the dronier, abstract side of the techno spectrum, Visione continues that trajectory, moving him entirely away from four to the floor rhythms entirely.

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Various Artists – Vidal Benjamin Présente Disco Sympathie

by on at 09:21am

The explosion in archival disco and boogie releases in recent times poses a problem for those thinking on entering an already crowded compilation market. Where once you could get away with simply gathering together a mixture of classics, rarities and in-demand cuts, an increasingly informed public now demand more. In order to stand out, labels have to dig deeper, have a solid concept – something not seen before, ideally – and a track list that focuses on the sort of dusty, little heard tracks that will intrigue record collectors and casual selectors alike. If you can work with a renowned crate digger, that’s even better.

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Afrikan Sciences – Circuitous

by on at 17:06pm

Eric Douglas Porter has been on an increasingly prolific tip of late, gaining exposure for his craft while managing to be totally singular and independent of any particular movement or scene. He is of course affiliated to Aybee and the Deepblak stable, forming one of the central tenets of the Oakland label, but he moves in his own orbit much like the way Ras G holds his own space despite being an central figure in the Brainfeeder story. Even when he and Aybee collaborated for the sublime Sketches In Space LP earlier in 2014, Porter’s voice shone through true and tangible, arguably sending his collaborator’s reasonably loose sound out into the even braver frontiers in which Afrikan Sciences resides.

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Ike Release – Noir

by on at 10:15am


Ike Release is one half of the excellent Innerspace Halflife project – Hakim Murphy is the other member – but can his solo debut album scale the same dizzying heights as the two Innerspace long players? Unsurprisingly, Noir is based on the same classic electronic music influences as Release’s collaborative work and was realised predominately with hardware (although there were some iPad apps used, according to the accompanying press release) The key difference to the Innerspace Halflife material is that Noir is more streamlined and functional than this year’s Astral Travelling album.

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Juju & Jordash – Clean-Cut

by on at 14:46pm

With a title like Clean-Cut and a confident statement about “not hiding behind a hazy screen of FX”, you would be forgiven for wondering if Juju & Jordash were heading for some kind of smooth, Balearic yacht confection on their third album proper. Perhaps those countless smoky sessions summoning up deep techno incantations with Move D had finally tipped them over the edge and they made a dash for less woozy climes? Breathe a sigh of relief then as the title track kicks off the album with gusto and a chunky drum machine meets some snappy synth lines with all the rawness you would hope for from such well-schooled hardware heavyweights. Of course the duo’s reference to their approach on this album was more about a direct kind of composition and production style, not a complete change in tact, and after the flurry of ideas and experiments that melded into Techno Primitivism, it’s no bad thing to find the pair punching their ideas out into fewer but more fully realised tracks.

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Jovonn – Goldtones

by on at 09:30am

It’s been almost 25 years since Brooklyn’s Allen Jovonn Armstrong came out with his first hit, a Billboard top 10 surprise smash in the form of “Turn and Run Away”. Employing little more than a clashing drum machine and vocals layered on top of themselves, its success seemed to reach from two different camps of dance music- the mechanical jacking consistency of Dance Mania cuts like Steve Dexter’s “Work That Muthafucka” and cascading soulful shouts giving it the playful harmonization of a cut like Groove Theory’s “Tell Me”.

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Gala Drop – II

by on at 09:50am


Throughout their eight-year career thus far, Lisbon act Gala Drop have undergone numerous changes in both style and personnel which has been reflected in the shifting emphasis of their output. These releases – two EPs and a single album in six years – have featured a myriad of influences. Humid tropical rhythms, krautrock, experimental disco, Balearica, dub reggae, punk funk, drone and ‘60s West Coast psychedelia all play their part to varying degrees in the dense, loose and trippy sound Gala Drop have cultivated.

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The Actor – Exploded View

by on at 09:45am

In one word; classic. The Actor’s Exploded View is one of those reissues that you’re either going to have loved already or that you’re going to feel like you’ve already loved, if this time round is your first listen. A welcome addition to the ongoing restoration of the European electro-wave archive, this 1982 Dutch showpiece had and still has everything going for it: it’s a black car, rainy day, cinematic kind of record. It hits on all the clichés of early 1980s gloom but always very consciously and intelligently – and in fact it enjoyed its fame in the Dutch tape panorama, has had underground cult status for years and, while some tracks have reappeared more prominently than others (notably “Lights” and “Covergirl”), the record has deeper, surprising folds. It’s worth listening to it again and as a whole because there’s a thread that runs through it, there’s a logic, a story.

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Reagenz – The Periodic Table

by on at 09:00am

There’s something stoutly timeless about the Reagenz project. In so many ways it’s a venture that sounds forever in thrall to the heady early 90s pastures of deep techno that members Move D and Jonah Sharp arose from, thanks largely to the tools used and their warm and soulful deployment. At the same time it doesn’t have any of that contrived attempt to sound ‘old-school’ but rather gazes to the future with the devices of yesterday, like any great piece of vintage sci-fi. It’s also one of those tantalizing treats that manages to maintain the veil of mystery that accompanied leftfield electronic music in the pre-internet era, where sporadic appearances make each release significant for those already tuned in to the Reagenz frequency.

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