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Discrete Circuit – Machine Code

by on at 11:43am

The references to machines go right back to the start of modern electronic music, so it’s hard not to give an initial jaded reaction to a release in 2015 called Machine Code. However, the reality is that this title does Discrete Circuit, a duo from Germany, and their music a disservice and this release on Delsin sub-label Inertia teems with an all-too rare mercurial energy. This sensibility was also in abundance on the pair’s “Incursion” track, released on DVS1’s Mistress label, but this three-track EP sees them use it in the most creative way.

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Civil Duty – Civil Duty

by on at 09:33am

With Shawn O’Sullivan based in Brooklyn and Beau Wanzer in Chicago the opportunities to work in the same room with the same gear just don’t present themselves all that often, so Civil Duty was born of jam sessions whilst meet-ups or tours were happening – the pair just utilising a ‘machines on and go’ improvisatory work technique where they sweat the equipment for fifteen to twenty minutes until they hit a sweet spot to start recording. An extremely limited tape caught the approach in its primal state from a live ‘showcase’ set in the LA music store Mount Analog last year, and a single track slotted between solo O’Sullivan tracks on The Corner in 2013 hinted at the pace and trajectory they’ve been exploring. For most however, this LP - recorded in just two major sessions split over the last couple of years – will be the first contact.

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Powder – Spray

by on at 09:15am

Born Free have no qualms about failing every now and then. Their label name references the doomed bikers in Dennis Hopper’s 1969 film Easy Rider, whilst they’ve also experienced distributors from their previous labels fleeing in the night and leaving them with a water-damaged catalogue as result of basement flooding. Sling & Samo have always been able to find something heroic in messing up. However, Born Free is no longer a baby label. Currently on their 16th release, it’s grown from an esoteric outlet for oddball house into a continually engaging concern, bucking and weaving through no wave experimentation, clanking machine techno, Henry Rollins quotes and yes, even a cover of Avicii’s “Sometimes”. While the label’s experimental ethic has remained constant for the last two years, they really haven’t taken a mis-step yet.

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Head Front Panel – 10.5

by on at 10:15am

Originally recorded during the same session that spawned the fifth Head Front Panel release, this four-tracker gives lie to the belief that all techno that is inspired by Jeff Mills sounds sub-standard. Unfortunately, it’s hard not to arrive at such a conclusion if one goes back to the dull, loopy drivel that prevailed during the period between late ‘90s and early ‘00s or the current obsession with purism that translates into carefully manufactured bleakness and perfectly streamlined linear rhythms.

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Rings Around Saturn – Erosion

by on at 16:16pm

There’s been much written about the current vibrancy of the Melbourne music scene, and particular the dancefloor credentials of the city’s producers. While the Australian city’s “sound” is pleasingly varied, for the most part its’ the warmth and soulfulness of its’ deep house, nu-disco and Balearic-tinged producers that has caught the ear most. Melbourne, it seems, is alive to dancing, as the work of the Cutters, Melbourne Deepcast, Animals Dancing and Hot Shot labels has neatly proved.

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Various Artists – Textures 3PM, 4AM & 7AM

by on at 09:44am

Paris clubbing institution Concrete has overseen a renaissance of the city’s electronic music scene in the last few years with their now legendary after parties. As their description on RA so succinctly states “Concrete is a boat. It hosts parties that go all day long.” Getting to play Concrete has become as much a highlight on any DJs calendar as Berghain or ARMA17 and we can only hope its success to be long standing, much like Batofar, the other notorious boat party that’s run for the better part of 15 years on the bank of the Seine in the 13th arrondisement. Now, with the night’s label entering its second year, we see one of its biggest releases yet. The second edition in its compilation series, Textures, pulls together 12 tracks across three 12”s that explores the multiple facets of the party’s programming.

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Various Artists – Test Pilot Volume 2

by on at 17:13pm

After some delays, one of the most anticipated records of 2015 finally drops. It has been well worth the wait. The hype around Test Pilot Volume 2 is in large part due to the inclusion of Tandy Ogmo’s “Everybody”, a track that I-f played during a set on Boiler Room. Revolving around a repetitive vocal sample and an infectious disco loop, the underlying groove is flawed and imperfect, with the percussion breaking down and sounding out of time, almost jarring at one point.

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Lutto Lento – Whips

by on at 09:11am

Something is stirring in Poland. While there has always been a small but thriving electronic music scene in Warsaw – best represented, perhaps, by long-running imprints such as Monotype and Bocian – it’s only in recent years that the country’s producers have begun to pick up wider international acclaim. For those not schooled in the DIY ethics of Warsaw’s cassette culture, focus has naturally fallen on the work of Zambon, and his two well-regarded imprints: the disco-minded cut-up outlet The Very Polish Cut-Outs, and the more recent deep house stable Transatlantyk.

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Beau Wanzer – Untitled

by on at 09:38am

The prospect of listening to yet another noise/wave/techno crossover record is about as appealing as being locked in a room with a group of bored school kids for a few hours as they run their nails down a blackboard. Thankfully, Untitled is different, mainly because Beau Wanzer is behind it. The US producer has just released his debut album with Shawn O’Sullivan as Civil Duty and has form in fusing wave and techno through the excellent Streetwalker project together with Elon Katz.

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Yoshinori Hayashi – The End of the Edge

by on at 09:10am

Seven vinyl releases and quite a few cassettes deep and I think I’ve got a handle on what Going Good are trying to do as a record label. Going Good’s Brian Not Brian is noted for handpicking interesting, often over-looked records from the past as a DJ, and the label has also shown an uncanny ability to direct trends as opposed to follow and exploit them. “A shining star in a swamp of banality” as one Discogs user called them. Indeed it’s no scandal to state quite a lot of modern house and techno is quite lacking when it comes to discernible character. How much of what fills the new release racks at record shops every week will be looked on by future generations of adventurously-minded collectors and DJs as classics and curios?

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Moritz Von Oswald Trio – Sounding Lines

by on at 16:47pm

Fluidity in line-up doesn’t exactly directly translate to a lively, liquid form of music, but when dealing with jazz – or a jazz-like or jazz-inspired infusion – and improvisatory work there’s a certain expectation for work that toys with and breaks down a grid through exploration, especially within a rotating assembly. Moritz Von Oswald Trio have understandably taken a particular care to explore how frames can break or morph in the last couple of years, the core team of Sasu Ripatti, Max Loderbauer & Moritz Von Oswald (plus more than a handful of supporting acts including Tobias Freund & Carl Craig) as thoroughbred a techno heritage as you can find, and their records has always married rhythm with spontaneity in fairly equal measure.

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Der Zyklus – Biometry

by on at 09:01am

Following on from the re-release of Drexciya’s back catalogue on the Deep Sea Dweller series, Clone now focuses on one of Gerald Donald’s solo projects, Der Zyklus. Originally released on Clone affiliate label DUB back in 2004, vinyl copies of Biometry go for up to 30 pounds online, so even on a financial level, this release is welcome. However, the main reason Clone deserves praise is for shining a spotlight on a project that doesn’t have the same kind of high profile as other Stinson/Donald aliases.

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Ruf Dug – Island

by on at 09:32am

Despite his penchant for cheerful genre hopping, there’s no denying that Ruf Dug has a sound that he can call his own. While it’s taken him some time to really flesh it out – it’s six years since his debut release on Popular People’s Front, fact fans – you can now spot one of his colourful, analogue-heavy jams a mile off. While he’s still a fan of stylistic shifts and audible nods to a multitude of genres – be it Latin freestyle, melancholic synth pop, Larry Heard style deep house, electronic dub or breezy Balearica – the Mancunian’s tracks ripple with melodious positivity, whilst retaining a raw dustiness that reflects his love of battered cassettes and cheap recording equipment.

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Juju & Jordash – Down to the Roach EP

by on at 14:56pm

Hot on the heels of last year’s Clean-Cut comes a new EP from Juju & Jordash. While the Amsterdam duo’s 2014 album veered from freeform, jazz-inspired grooves to mood music, Down to the Roach is more streamlined and direct, designed for clubs. Yet despite having more functional qualities than the sprawling Clean-Cut, this four-tracker is brought to life by more twists and turns than the plot line of an airport novel.

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General Magic & Pita – Fridge Trax Plus

by on at 09:33am

Considering the monolithic presence Editions Mego commands in the field of noise and experimental electronica, it’s sometimes hard to imagine how the Viennese label started out. As the operation reaches twenty years of service to unwavering excursions on the fringes of what can be called music, a spirit of stocktaking is naturally in the air. Having never personally ventured far back into the foundations of the label when it was simply called Mego (the label was disbanded and reformed as Editions Mego in 2006), Fridge Trax Plus brings a pleasant sense of context to a label that at times feels impenetrable.

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Peder Mannerfelt – The Swedish Congo Record

by on at 09:24am


Along with the infamous blonde wig, it seems Peder Mannerfelt wears many hats as an artist. Whether it’s his intense live solo act (wearing said hairpiece), the imaginary soundtracks with Malcolm Pardon as Roll The Dice, or his former time with Van Rivers as The Subliminal Kid (known for producing such acts as Fever Ray and Blonde Redhead), he certainly keeps busy. It comes as a fitting installment then that he unveils one of his most ambitious projects yet on Peter Van Hoesen and Yves de Mey’s experimental label, Archives Intérieures.

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Musumeci – Harry Batasuna/Untitled (An-i Edits)

by on at 13:37pm

Alessandro Adriani’s work in highlighting the work of Musumeci goes way beyond the remit of bog-standard reissues. The Italian act formed in the mid-‘80s and seem to have only done some sporadic recordings. As the brains behind the excellent Mannequin label, Adriani set about collecting some of this music, which formed the basis of the 2013 compilation Schwarz Morgen / Zusammen.

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2000Black – Make It Hard

by on at 09:21am

The 2000Black collective took their name from a Roy Ayers track which contained the phrase “Think about the future, think about change”, and its advice that UK producer Dego McFarlane has certainly followed through the trajectory of his career. It’s been a restless voyage across genres for McFarlane, beginning as part of early ‘90s hardcore originators 4Hero, and later branching off into a barrage of imaginative solo pseudonyms such as Crunchy Nut Cornflakes, Da True B-Boy Descendant, and Cousin Cockroach. This latter moniker was recently re-popularized through Berceuse Heroique’s re-issue of 2002′s pre-dubstep broken beat anthem “This Ain’t Tom N’ Jerry”.

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Barnett + Coloccia – Weld

by on at 09:28am

Even in the throes of the 21st Century’s so-called power ambient and it’s contemporary landscapes of really very interesting electronic despair, it’s quite rare to find an album that sounds inescapably present yet firmly engaged in a relationship with the past. Also rare is the album that comes shrouded in a crisp, glossy, HD electronica which still remembers sincerely the feeling of the epic. It’s uncommon to find a true sense of occasion these days, a certain formality, or people who know how to indulge things without self-indulging. After 2013’s Retrieval, a discreet, even shy glimpse into what were clearly going to be much bigger things, Barnett + Coloccia return to Blackest Ever Black for their second LP which delivers all of the above.

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Slackk – Backwards Light

by on at 09:13am

The growth of instrumental grime can be measured by the ongoing interest from genre-crossing labels. Late last year saw Mr. Mitch issue his debut album through Planet Mu and now is the time for one of his fellow Boxed residents Slackk, who debuts on R&S with new EP Backwards Light. The label had a huge impact on dance and especially rave music in the 1990s and developed an additional softer side after its revival in 2006. From that point on the label also had a heart for bass and breaks while keeping its fingers on the pulse of techno music.

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