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Edward – Birds

by on at 06:00am

Edward’s output always takes a while to process, his tracks never quite fully revealing themselves on first listen. Unpacking the different layers reveals hypnotic minimal house and techno jams that float along peacefully, the build up being ever so gradual. There’s both a light and an odd quality to his sound, presenting unexpected instruments and rhythms in a way that works really well. It’s music that’s made to dance to languidly in the blistering burn of the sun rather than processed in the dark confines of the club.

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Dimitris Petsetakis – Endless

by on at 06:00am

When Echovolt boss Ilias Pitsios and renowned crate digger Tako Reyenga joined forces to launch Into The Light Records back in 2012, few others saw the potential for a label dedicated to unearthing overlooked Greek ambient music. Yet from their first release, the brilliant Into The Light compilation which gathered together a wealth of obscure new age, neo-classical and ambient material, it was obvious that the label had legs. The music they unearthed was rarely less than magical, and of keen interest to anyone with a passion for the mood-enhancing qualities of dreamy, evocative, electronic music.

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Laurel Halo – In Situ

by on at 06:00am

Having listened to this surprise new Honest Jon’s release from Laurel Halo several times over, there was a point somewhere in closing track “Focus 1” where some short sampled breathes first made themselves known. In amidst the supple piano tones, unpredictable beat down drum programming, and whatever other instruments used and deployed to wondrous effect, the appearance of this human element jutted me out of my becalmed state. This is just one example of the little details there are to uncover and explore within the eight tracks on In Situ.

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Wada – A Castle Of Sand Pt 1&2

by on at 06:00am

If there’s a constellation of music worth discovering right now it’s the micro-verse labels like Acido, SUED and Sex Tags have slowly constructed over the past five or six years. Inside you’ll find the General Electro and Atelier Records dimension, responsible for both Busen and Adopo releases, and should you want to plunge further back in time and discover where much of this sound stems, there’s the now defunct Elektro Music Department. But conversely to that you have relative newcomers orbiting the periphery, like Club No-No, a Swedish artist making ‘rainforest techno’ with SVN, to PLO Man’s Acting Press, and Max Phifty’s Kimochi Sound label that’s commissioned remixes from SVN and fellow SUED co-founder SW. on those great UD records. But what about Wada? Why is no one talking about Wada?

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Simoncino – Amazon Atlantis

by on at 09:29am

Italian producer Simoncino records music every day and on his latest album, Amazon Atlantis, it is clear that his diligence has paid off. While previous releases showed that the Italian producer had become adept at recreating classic house music by channeling Trent, Damier and Heard, on Amazon Atlantis, he has truly mastered his art. The same resonating bass tones, crisp drums and thunder claps are prevalent throughout, but it is also clear that he has grown in confidence and is more adventurous.

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TMO – Insomniac

by on at 09:00am

It used to be relatively common practice in electronic music circles for hardware-embracing producers to record tracks in one go, jamming their boxes, usually samplers, drum machines and synthesizer straight onto DAT or quarter-inch tape. While this methodology was originally a product of the pre-software age, it has since been embraced by a wide variety of producers. Jonah Sharp’s first two albums as Spacetime Continuum, including 1994’s ambient classic Sea Biscuit, were both produced in this way, as were his collaborations with Move D under the Raegenz alias. Famously, Paul Woolford’s triumph of 303 abuse, “Erotic Discourse” also had its roots in a lengthy jam session, with the Leeds producer simply editing down the results afterwards.

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Cute Heels – Nepotism

by on at 09:44am


Colombia isn’t the most obvious place for a new electro producer to emerge from, but it’s where Cute Heels aka Victor Lenis used to call home. Now based in Berlin (where else?) Lenis follows last year’s Spiritual album on Dark Entries with Nepotism, the second release on new Glasgow imprint Schrödinger’s Box. The Colombian artist is in good company on the label, with Andreas Gehm responsible for the label’s first record.

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Various Artists – Musik For Autobahns 2

by on at 06:00am

In the sleeve notes for the first Musik For Autobahns collection, released back in 2012, compiler Gerd Janson cited long drives on the Bundesautobahn 5 between Heidelberg and Frankfurt as inspiration. Like Kraftwerk back in 1974, Janson was keen to explore the very particular experience of motorway driving through musical form. What Kraftwerk identified and celebrated, in their own unique way, was the undeniable link between the restless, never-ending hypnotism of the motorway driving experience, and similarly inclined electronic music.

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Regis – Manbait

by on at 17:37pm


Aside from Karl O’Connor, it’s hard to think of another techno artist who has remained relevant for the past twenty years. As Mainbait so clearly demonstrates, the key to the Downwards and more recently Blackest Ever Black artist’s longevity has been his ability to apply the same sense of sonic adventure that prevailed in his club techno releases to more experimental tropes.

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Leibniz & Credit 00 – Basement Toolz Volume 2

by on at 11:10am


Even if you tried really hard, it would be difficult to find two records that sound more unlike one another than the fourth and fifth Rat Life releases. While Swedish band The Pagan Rites’ Every Mauser & Browning had a dance edge at times, it was more focused on new wave guitars and lo-fi punk production. By contrast, the follow up release is all about the peak time.

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Max McFerren – Sipps

by on at 13:22pm


It’s turning out to be a pretty good year for Max McFerren. In the last nine months he’s delivered a murky chunk of dark, acid-flecked techno on Don’t Be Afraid, a pair of quirky, rave-and-UK garage influenced workouts for Allergy Season’s free Side Effects May Include compilation, and a typically kaleidoscopic, nostalgia-soaked cassette – under the arguably more familiar MCFERRDOGG alias – for 1080p. All bar the Don’t Be Afraid outing are colourful, cute and energetic, fusing his love of vibrant, vintage synthesizer sounds with breaks, samples and beats inspired by early British hardcore, sweaty rave-era house, and all manner of long-dead electronic genres. That all have sounded like nobody else is testament to his growing strength as a producer.

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L.A.S.’s Crime – Mésmerique

by on at 10:35am


This L.A.S.’s Crime / Domestica collaboration comes with a strapline courtesy of 16th century Parisian scientist Jean Sylvain Bailly: ‘magnetism without imagination doesn’t produce anything, imagination without magnetism produces crises’. Frankly, we could end this review here, however, to take a bite out of Mésmerique, this collection of restored demos deserves a few more words from this humble 21st century writer and lover of goth-tinged synth sonority.

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Various Artists – Rhythms of the Pacific Volume 2

by on at 13:55pm

Various Artists - Rhythms of the Pacific Volume 2

While the attention heaped on Vancouver’s blossoming electronic music scene has left some of its tight-lipped practitioners a little perplexed – Pender Street Steppers, in particular, have admitted in private that they’re finding the attention a little baffling – there’s little doubt there’s something inspirational happening on the “Canadian Riviera”. Of course, we all now know about the collective of DJs and musicians behind the Mood Hut label, and the cassette enthusiasts that run the much discussed 1080p imprint. Less is known, though, about the crew behind Pacific Rhythm, an online vinyl mail order service turned record label, and now record store.

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Jonathan Fitoussi & Clemens Hourriere – Five Steps

by on at 11:36am


Gilb’r’s Versatile label has always sported a penchant for the strange and unusual within its more clearly defined house and techno remit, but this album from sound scientists Jonathan Fitoussi and Clemens Hourriarre promises to go down as one of the most experimental in the label’s history. The backdrop to the making of the record was something of a synth nerd’s dream; Fitoussi and Hourriarre were invited by EMS Stockholm to visit the manufacturer’s studio for a week-long residency, using very little besides one of the iconic Buchla 200 synthesisers as a sound source.

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DJ Overdose – Hero’s Gone Mental

by on at 12:19pm

DJ Overdose Header-590

The latest debut on Ron Morelli’s label seems like an unusual musical choice, but there is no doubt DJ Overdose and L.I.E.S. are ideologically and historically connected. He belongs to that wave of Dutch artists who provided inspiration to Morelli and William Burnett at the turn of the ’00s (Overdose has already released on Burnett’s WT label as Model Man) – and he shares a similar DIY approach to production with other artists on the L.I.E.S. roster. However, while Overdose’s music is raw, it is never under-produced, and this four-tracker sees him bring a range of influences to his rough electro sound.

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Inoue Shirabe – Down Into The Black Church / Camping In Your Soul

by on at 17:16pm


He may only be 10 months into his recording career, but already Inoue Shirabe has made a positive impression. In the space of two releases – a debut 12” for Antinote in January, and an ultra-limited cassette for birdFriend [sic] – he’s proved to be a dab hand at delivering the kind of vibrant, kaleidoscopic deep house and melodious machine music that recalls the work of some of Japan’s most expressive electronic musicians.

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Different Fountains – The Snake

by on at 12:10pm

With their Shrimp That Sleeps album for Meakusma last year, Michael Langeder and Bernado Risquez reached a wider audience for their Different Fountains project. The fluid style adopted by the pair across the LP certainly stood out as a unique proposition, moving from dusky deep house ruminations to outright abstraction by way of tribal incantations across eleven tracks, all played out with an instinct that cared less for the dancefloor than for creating a spiritual feeling regardless of context. Meanwhile their Different Foundations Editions label has served as an outlet for some of the album tracks with a louder 12” cut and some additional remixes, most notably drawing on stand-out tunes – “Muybridge” and “Deep Home” – and handing them to Karen Gwyer and Madteo respectively for some killer reworkings.

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Frak – Primitive Drums

by on at 16:20pm


Frak make their debut on Lux with Primitive Drums. The Swiss label’s back catalogue is full of releases from emerging artists and producers like Echo 106, Joe Drive and CCO, but this Swedish trio is different. Frak have been recording and performing since the late ’80s and have put out countless albums. While it’s true that they have only started to enjoy a higher profile in the past few years after a long period spent toiling in obscurity, Primitive Drums doesn’t mark a radical shift.

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F ingers – Hide Before Dinner

by on at 12:41pm

And now, suburban Melbourne bedroom malaise. Blackest Ever Black’s identity gets more complex everyday, like something organic, like a human being. It has the capacity to contaminate the artists it works with, to embrace them into its own parallel life and conversations: just like a human being. This little gem, Hide Before Dinner, comes from the Carla Dal Forno & Tarquin Manek duo who brought us that intense Mince Glace 12’’ as Tarcar last year on BEB (given the topical pain of these days, listening to those odd horror-exotica-soaked two minutes of “Refugees” now is something like a civic duty). They’re joined by Sam Karmel, who has collaborated with the two on what we imagine was this project’s pre-incarnation, Fingers Pty Ltd, which put a tape out on Night People in 2013. Hushed post-punk, melancholic and eccentric, but very discreet. It’s as if their new home and set up as F ingers has given them some courage to step out.

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Offshore – Offshore

by on at 11:59am

Posthumous albums are sometimes odd projects; releases that weren’t intended by artists with questionable quality control. Think of the seemingly never ending flow of “new” J Dilla material that has surfaced after his passing. The continuous stream of newly “discovered” music, “lost tapes” and “rare” material is triggering collectors’ willingness to buy. It seems to be more of a conservative act than a progressive sign of discovering new – at least when it comes to the music of other influential and popular musicians like  Kurt Cobain or Aaliyah.

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