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Older articles

Daywalker + CF ‎– Supersonic Transport

by on at 14:55pm

“The ruins of Berlin should be preserved as a modern Babylon – the city is completely deserted. You can drive miles through smoking ruins and see nothing that is habitable. This city can never be rebuilt.” So said Air Chief Marshal Sir Arthur Tedder, back in 1945 when rigorous bombing had left the majority of the city in rubble. Some of the only architecture that had survived was buildings like the Detlev-Rohwedder-Haus, which was purposefully left in so that bomber planes would have some kind of landmark to more efficiently bomb other buildings. But as the decades marched on, Berlin’s tendrils of industry wrapped themselves around the city and started to build a new territory – ideologically and geographically.

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Sawlin – Niedertracht

by on at 08:59am

In the wake of a healthy general interest in techno, there’s been less said about the value of the wonkier end of the spectrum. There’s plenty of slamming, industrial tinged brutalism, dubby hypnotism and fusion styles that draw on other musical phenomena, but for a faithful few there’s a lack of discussion about, or more importantly playing of, the kind of jerky, depraved sound that once got dancefloors unhinged and spoke to the most primal of noise junkies. It’s a sound that was spearheaded by Neil Landstrumm and Cristian Vogel, while giving rise to plenty of other artists with a similar taste for the freakier side of techno. After all, why couldn’t pounding club music be shaped to sound like total mental collapse? An acquired taste maybe, but one that surely lends itself to these malleable times as much as any other revived style.

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Various Artists – Fields Of Light

by on at 16:57pm

Like that other Dutch label with ‘field’ in its name, Photic Fields’ latest release features contributions from a group of artists rather than one producer. Another similarity with the Field Records split series is Fields of Light focus mainly on Dutch talent, with Aroy Dee, BNJMN and Metropolis all tapped for music. However, the release also includes artists from the UK and Ireland.

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Some Truths – Some Friends I Lost To Bedlam, Others I Abandoned There

by on at 09:04am

Up to this point, the Some Truths project from Ralph Cumbers has been confined to a limited run of self-released cassettes via his Magic + Dreams imprint, and some choice live performances that allow the artist largely known as Bass Clef to demonstrate his knack for impulsive control of modular synthesisers. As is evident in his other live sets, Cumbers is an artist adept at working hardware like a virtuoso player, moving beyond the rigidity of electronics to work whatever setup he’s on like a living, breathing instrument unique to that performance and most likely unplayable to anyone else. Such is the appeal when it comes to modular set ups as well, so geared they are towards live improvisation that it’s hard to picture them behaving as you wish in a more controlled studio environment.

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Killing Sound – Killing Sound

by on at 16:15pm

Although we’re certainly not short of releases from the various projects revolving around the axis of Bristol’s Young Echo collective, Vessel, El Kid and Jabu’s Killing Sound has remained the one collaboration frustratingly low on recorded material, with only one side of a cassette on the No Corner label to their name. Entitled “Real Love”, that early 18-minute foray into hardware exploration had much in common with fellow Bristolian Ekoplekz’ freestyle improvisations rooted in dub, hinting at a project that was prepared to go into much more nightmarish territory than much of the collective’s other work.

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Eric Holm – Andøya

by on at 09:04am

Ambient music doesn’t always have to be floating textures, light atmospheres and healing synths, it can be gnarly and visceral. That’s the route Eric Holm has trodden to create his snowy debut opus Andøya for Bristol’s Subtext label. As the story goes, Subtext Recordings released ‘two seminal 12″s’ by industrial grime pioneers Vex’d in 2004 and 2005 – the Pop Pop / Canyon and Lion / Ghost 12”s – and then disappeared. Since Paul Jebanasam reignited the label in 2011 it’s by and large become home to the music of Emptyset and Roly Porter, the latter one half of Vex’d.

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Paul Birken – Acid Youth Of Malibu Remixes

by on at 15:44pm

Finally, the lunatics have re-taken the asylum. The past few years have seen greater acceptance of hard techno and correspondingly, raised profiles for artists like Blawan, Perc and Truss. The repercussions of this development are significant, lending exposure to a label like Earwiggle that operates at techno’s fringes. Without suggesting that the aforementioned artists are bland or mainstream, it is nonetheless true that they present techno in a more digestible way than Sunil Sharpe’s label.

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Luke Vibert – Ridmik

by on at 10:12am

If you’d set out your electronic music predictions for 2014 last December, it’s fair to assume that Luke Vibert releasing a new album on Hypercolour wouldn’t have been one of them. On first glance, it certainly looks like an odd pairing. Vibert is, of course, a man renowned for taking eccentric turns – a producer just as likely to drop an album of drill and bass, revivalist jungle or eccentric rave-inspired hip hop cut-ups as a set of smooth, Metro Area-inspired electronic disco or intense 303 acid experiments. As for Hypercolour, their reputation has largely been built on pushing club-friendly blends of deep house, tech house and UK garage. There have been plenty of club hits since 2006, but few albums; in fact, this surprise full length from the Cornish producer is only the label’s second artist album. That said, Jamie Russell and Alex Jones’ imprint seems to progressively be widening its remit, and if whispers are believed we could be in for more surprises in coming months; either way, it would be fair to say that Hypercolour is finally coming of age.

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Various Artists – CO.LD (Computer Output Loop Dance)

by on at 09:08am

When Pinch announced his breakaway label Cold Recordings, it came with a purposeful statement of intent about embracing the darker side of dance music, tackling the glut of middle ground sounds that rose from the dubstep gene pool in search of something more stylistically weighted. While his original imprint Tectonic continues to broaden its remit as an electronic label in the bigger sense of the word, the move to Cold reflects the move Peverelist made in starting up Livity Sound. Their labels may have different characteristics, but in both cases the motivation is to have a platform on which to indulge in a more personal kind of artistic venture.

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Evian Christ – Waterfall

by on at 09:06am

Considering the hype around Joshua Leary has been at a fairly consistent level since uploaded a batch of anonymous tracks to YouTube at the tail end of 2011 under the name Evian Christ, it’s been frustratingly difficult to get a handle on what kind of an artist he actually is. Few would disagree that the level of praise afforded to him in the early stages of his career was probably somewhat out of proportion with the material itself, which, in hindsight, was little more than a slightly different take on the well-worn practice of chopping up acapellas and combining them with some 808 rhythms and soft synths. It’s probably for that reason that Tri Angle elected to release that material as the free Kings and Them mixtape, well aware that they were dealing with a promising yet inexperienced producer catapulted prematurely to the limelight rather than the finished article.

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Jorge Velez – Territories

by on at 15:06pm

Jorge Velez has seen his share of different terrains. Growing up around the blue-collar textile factories of New Jersey and the still-hopeful, pre-economic-crash American industrialism of the ’80s, Velez explained the importance of the smells, sights and sounds of those work floors to Juno Plus back in 2012. But despite the unique location of his upbringing, and a lifetime of travel (including a European tour with an experimental band he was part of in the pre-MySpace era), Velez’s music doesn’t seem restricted by real places. Instead, he seems most inspired when he’s conjuring spaces from the dark recesses of his mind. Take the Hassan LP on L.I.E.S, which found Velez weaving a wholly-imagined soundtrack to a film that doesn’t exist – a film about an order of Persian assassins in the 13th century. Velez admits that it wasn’t created with a physical landscape of any kind in mind, but instead as a tool to get the listener immersed deep inside whatever landscapes their brains served up.

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A.O.T. – The Echo

by on at 09:12am

It’s not hard to tell that there’s a Swedish connection to Vosnos Records when listening to the first release by A.O.T. Coming out of Malmö despite being a subsidiary of Barcelona’s Subwax imprint, The Echo comes caked in gnarly sonic muck, trading on that Scandinavian knack for channelling industrial techno into a wildly creative and imaginative end result that takes as much inspiration from layers of rust as it does the hitting of metal objects. For from the pristine monotony of more standard jackhammer wares to be found in other parts of the world, Skudge, Kontra Musik and more besides have demonstrated that the tougher end of the 4/4 spectrum needn’t mean a trade off when it comes to interesting sound design and playful track dynamics, and A.O.T. seems fully attuned to this mentality.

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Todd Terje – It’s Album Time

by on at 10:07am

Glance at the illustrated Terje on the cover looking despondent in his leisure suit with a plunging neckline, fancy cocktails strewn about his piano, and it’s obvious that we are in the realm of parody. Todd Terje has always been a bit self-deprecating, placing himself willingly in the nu-disco camp (a genre-tag that many think has the same inherently negative qualities as a word like “hipster”)  and agreeing wholeheartedly at Norwegian state-funded radio’s  assertion that “Inspector Norse” sounds like elevator music. According to a recent interview, album opener Opener “Intro (It’s Album Time)” was chosen with “It’s Money Time” losing out as a close second.

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Henry Saiz & Pional – Uroboros

by on at 09:30am

At first glance, this collaboration between Spanish producers Pional and Henry Saiz might seem a little unlikely. While the former has built his reputation on creating unusual takes on deep house for Hivern Discs and Permanent Vacation, the latter is best known for his releases on Bedrock and Renaissance, where he joined the dots between chunky tech-house, hypnotic minimal techno and post-progressive house. While Pional represents the Spanish new school – cool, unflustered, open-minded and dedicated to the joys of analogue gear – Saiz is an old head with strong links to the mid-2000s “Iberican” tribal and prog house scene. Put in these terms, they make a very odd couple indeed.

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Wolf Müller – Balztanz EP

by on at 09:02am

At this point in time it’s a little tricky to discern the precise context in which Wolf Müller operates. Certain links suggest he is also Jan Schulte, part of the Vulkandance crew operating in Berlin, although he and Müller have separate performer credits on this second release for Themes For Great Cities. In a way the long list of musicians feeding into this record give the impression of a wider collective, where maybe Wolf Müller is in fact a kind of smoke screen under which a spread of artists operate. With the ties the label has to the Dusseldorf-based art space Salons Des Amateurs it’s a theory that makes just as much sense as any other.

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Omar S – Romancing The Stone

by on at 14:59pm

When Omar-S isn’t getting a kick out of trolling the Juno Plus editorial team by email correspondence, one can get the sense that he’s hermetically sealed himself away in his Detroit workshop, sitting on a mountain of unreleased material. Back in 2009, Alex Omar Smith discussed how his attention span with his music had been reduced, talking about getting “ear-drunk” on his own productions to the point of paralysis. “None of that shit to me sounds good anymore, nothing, not even my own music”, he pessimistically said. But FXHE’s busy release schedule suggests otherwise. Since that interview, Smith has put out some of his most anthemic material to date, and his recent 10 Year Compilation mix showed just how muscular the label’s discography has become: From L’Renee-featuring bedroom jam “S.E.X” to euphoric long-player “Here’s Your Trance Now Dance” to the crunchy space-synth of OB Ignitt’s “Oh Jabba”, it’s a catalogue that shows no sign of creative exhaustion.

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Legowelt – Crystal Cult 2080

by on at 10:25am

Crystal Cult 2080 is Danny Wolfers’ fourth Legowelt album in as many years, and ninth overall, so a cynic could ask do we really need it? Does it do anything that not been done before by Wolfers? The question may become even more compelling when you think of all the albums released under his other names. Cynics can go to hell, because the listening public need Legowelt more than Danny Wolfers needs us. ‘Why is that?’ you might ask, jaded music cynic. Firstly, Wolfers’ sense of humour, array of second hand jumpers, love of obsolete and knackered technology will always seem refreshingly human in the face of the self-importance that has stricken so much of electronic music. Furthermore, the Dutchman has spent years happily indulging his creative nature outside of wider appreciation, filling CDrs of material for his own Strange Life label and the likes of Bunker and Crème without any real concern for the notion of a new Legowelt transmission being reported as “being prepped for release” by the content farm.

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Anomaly – Red Clouds

by on at 09:29am


As anyone who has seen Fred P DJ at peak time will attest, the man isn’t afraid to embrace his inner techno demon. It can come as something of a shock to those enchanted by his deeper-than-your-average deep house, but when the man wants to flex some tough rhythmic muscle he can do so with the same assured quality that permeates his production. It’s a pleasure then to catch wind of his self-proclaimed techno side project Anomaly scoring a full 12” release, following a brief appearance on 2011’s C.O.M.E compilation. That track, “Above Below”, features again here on the B2 in recognition of the fact it may have been overlooked before.

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Mo Kolours – Mo Kolours

by on at 09:22am

Artists that genuinely defy categorization are, in all honesty, a rarity, and it’s become somewhat clichéd to describe a producer’s output as “genre-straddling” or “impossible to pigeonhole”. More often than not this is journalistic code for “surprisingly eclectic”, or a sly indication that the writer is simply lost for words in the face of the kind of musical fusions that baffle and delight in equal measure. Mo Kolours, though, does genuinely defy easy categorization. His music is refreshingly different, thoroughly eccentric and, with the odd exception, utterly brilliant. Describing tracks becomes pointless; it’s easier to reel off a list of obvious influences than it is to accurately reflect the warmth, depth, honesty and soul of his sumptuously scratchy sonic world.

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The Exaltics – Some Other Place Volume 1

by on at 13:06pm

THE EXALTICS

Feel that chill in the air? No, it’s not the latest bank of stormy weather coming in from the Atlantic, but the gloomy feeling that the latest Clone West Coast Series release invokes. After Serge decided to divide the Clone Empire a few years back into separate fiefdoms, the West Coast Series operation yielded the most impressive releases. It was the outlet for Versalife’s great Nighttime Activities series and also put out Legowelt’s brilliant, if overlooked Bayville Cove release.

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