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Older articles Newer articles

Luca Lozano – And It Was Good

by on at 09:39am

Before finding fame with Zombie Disco Squad (a project he’s no longer a part of), Luca Lozano was plain old Lucas Hunter, an excitable teenager from Sheffield obsessed with underground house and techno. He’d spend many happy hours in the Warp Records store on Division Street (long since consigned to history, following the influential label’s decision to sell up and move to London), flicking through racks of obscure early ‘90s house and techno records while influential local producers – the likes of Winston Hazel, DJ Parrot, Chris Duckenfield and Richard H Kirk – hung around the counter. At night, he’d tune into pirate station Fantasy FM, inspired by the blend of skuzzy rave music, Detroit techno, Chicago jack and good old Yorkshire “bleep and bass” drifting from the speakers.

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DJ Guy – AC004

by on at 09:15am

Even as the All Caps label presents its fourth release, it’s still tricky to work out what their remit is. There certainly seems to be an unhurried, instinctive quality to the signing of the three twelves the Glasgow imprint has yielded so far, and all from contemporary producers caught in the flux between the gritty techno renaissance and the production heft that still lingers on from dubstep. Given the approximate proximity of Alex Coulton, Helix and Kowton, it’s surprising to learn then that the fourth release comes not from another modern maverick, but rather a secret weapon of UK techno lain in suspended animation since the mid ’90s. Guy Evans may have reactivated his studio in the wake of the renewed interest in machine-driven electronics, but these tracks All Caps have chosen to release were recorded between 1994 and 1996.

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Szare – Lost Shapes

by on at 09:13am

Szare

They were part of a group of techno labels that favoured anonymity, but the Frozen Border/Horizontal Ground axis wasn’t content to just put out hand-stamped vinyl. Frozen Border put together the impressive Minutes in Ice compilation in 2012, and has now released its first artist album. Szare’s Lost Shapes marks a further development for the label; while the duo’s album is available in vinyl format, the accompanying CD, with the grandiose title Carved In Those Dancing Gravestones is the main focus. Szare explain via email that “the CD is, in many ways the album, while the vinyl is just six more tracks…. of course vinyl takes priority in shop listings and in the scene in general, but we wanted to put out a lot of our material which isn’t really suitable for vinyl, and a CD by itself would not have been commercially viable so we threw it in with a double pack to make the whole thing more appealing”.

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Various Artists – Uncanny Valley 20

by on at 09:28am

Collaboration, particularly within local scenes, has always been one of the more positive aspects of electronic music. Since the evolution of house and techno in Chicago and Detroit respectively, producers, musicians, label owners and party promoters have always joined forces to work together, put on events and showcase their sounds to the world. Chicago may not be the best example given the infamously cut-throat nature of the early house scene (feuds sparked in the early 1980s still rumble on to this day, in some instances), but there are others; the Yorkshire-centric feel of Warp during its earliest days, the Madchester evolution of Factory Records in the ‘80s and early ‘90s, and the friends-helping-friends vibe of contemporary North American labels like Future Times, L.I.E.S and Mood Hut springs to mind.

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Voices From The Lake – Velo Di Maya

by on at 16:59pm


With a live set that inspires feverish responses from any lucky enough to witness them, Donato Dozzy and Neel’s collaborative project is a celebration of everything the techno experience should be. Best heard on a loud soundsystem, constantly searching and surging forwards and avoiding staid rhythms, there’s an undeniable spiritual quality at work on anything the pair have turned their hands to, with their recorded offerings making a neat precursor to the chance to have them rain down upon you over a PA.

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Millie & Andrea – Drop The Vowels

by on at 09:10am

Although there are plenty of people who will tell you that jungle never really went anywhere, nobody could deny that the amount of critical attention paid to producers like Special Request, Tessela, Mumdance and Mark Pritchard last year for the way in which they seemed to take inspiration from the genre to create new musical forms. However, its did seem somewhat revisionist that most of the discourse around this hybrid sound seemed to forget that the likes of T++, Dave Huismans and Modern Love duo Andy Stott & Miles Whittaker’s Millie & Andrea project had been doing something similar several years before.

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Tobias. – A Series of Shocks

by on at 16:10pm

Given Tobias Freund’s post-production work on Function’s debut album last year, it is natural that listeners might draw comparisons between that release and the German artist’s own new album. Such perspectives are not lazily arrived at, and at its outset A Series of Shocks practically invites such comparisons. The album starts with the dreamy, textured ambience of “Entire” and the gentle hisses and ticks of the unobtrusive groove of “Heartbeat”, both of which suggest that there is some overlap in the 90s ambient techno sources that shape both releases.

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Various Artists – Vectors

by on at 09:01am

Those beloved miscreants at Power Vacuum are never ones to take the soft approach, leaving them carving out a roughshod space as frontrunners in the field of amped, distorted and unhinged techno abandon. Considering the competition in these times, that’s no mean feat. After a series of stellar artist EPs and the double pack from Bintus, it’s time for the label to widen the net and invite some other guests in to play. After all, the style of the label screams tear-out fun to anyone listening, let alone an artist looking to let off some studio steam.

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Vangelis Katsoulis – The Sleeping Beauties: A Collection Of Early And Unreleased Works

by on at 15:59pm


Last year’s Into The Light compilation, the first release on Ilias Pitsios and Tako Reyenga’s label of the same name, did a terrific job in highlighting the little-known world of early Greek electronic music. Featuring artists whose careers invariably stalled before they got started, or at least made little impact outside of Greece, the compilation featured all manner of oddball electronic treats, with prog rock, ambient, new age, disco and synth-pop being twisted into intriguing new shapes. One of the more notable artists to feature on that collection was Vangelis Katsoulis, a composer/producer whose 1980s work – a melodic blend of new age melodies and ambient soundscapes with distinct jazz and soundtrack influences – is held in high regard by crate-diggers.

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Efdemin – Decay

by on at 10:33am

Is autumn the most beautiful season? Phillip Sollmann seems to think so, and his third album Decay focuses on the slide from summer into the later half of the year. It’s no lazy conceptual ploy; Sollmann started work on the project during an artistic residency in Japan and finished the tracks back in Berlin as the leaves turned brown on the trees.

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A Sagittariun – The Jupiter Chronicles EP

by on at 12:42pm

For listeners of a certain age, there’s nothing particularly new about the stargazing, psychedelic techno antics of West Country man-of-mystery A Sagittariun (a pseudonym for a 40-something house producer whose identity is an open secret in his home city of Bristol). His style – all thickset techno rhythms, tight breakbeats, dreamy chords and intergalactic electronics – offers a thrilling blast from the past for anyone who lived through the “intelligent techno” boom of the early ‘90s. Think Megadog parties, chill out rooms, Day-Glo drapes, tie-dye t-shirts, astrological wall charts and car loads of frazzled crusties heading to illicit raves in Somerset fields.

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DMX Krew – Standing Stones

by on at 09:12am

In some ways it’s easy to overlook just how much Ed Upton has contributed to the furthering of electro in his time as a producer. Since emerging in 1996 when the likes of Drexciya were still positively active, the man has been on an unstoppable quest to keep machine funk alive in the hearts and souls of b-boys and girls everywhere. His label Breakin’ Records has been a reliable outpost for true-school continuations of the sound, while aliases such as Ed DMX and Computor Rockers have delivered varying shades of club-ready cuts rich in full-fat synths and pristine drum machine breaks.

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Panoram – Everyone is a Door

by on at 09:11am

Panoram is the epitome of a curiosity. Since first making waves with his 2012 debut 12”, the beguiling Accents on Scenario, he’s very much kept himself to himself. There have been occasional interviews and a sporadic trickle of new material on his Soundcloud profile, but little else. He cherishes his anonymity, refuses to release pictures of himself, and generally makes music that’s bafflingly hard to pigeonhole. We know this much: he’s Italian, based inRome, and once attended the Red Bull Music Academy. That’s pretty much it. He’s a man who delights in flying under the radar, occasionally releasing music that impresses with its simple beauty and impressive inventiveness.

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Lumigraph/D.K. – Skull Bone

by on at 15:48pm

Using the tagline “nautically inclined” for your SoundCloud profile may dredge up all-too-recent memories of sea punk, but fortunately Lumigraph’s music doesn’t rely on twittering dolphin sounds or sea foam blue hair dye to leave an impression. Instead, the term might apply more accurately to his geographical preferences: Scroll through his tumblr and you’ll see vistas and wide-open spaces overlooking bodies of water: Shots of tourist-filled Montauk Point, photos taken out the window of airplanes, the glimmer of sunlight reflecting off the surface of swimming pools. That same nautical influence was very traceable in recent EP for Mister Saturday Night, which walked the line between breezy house on “Yacht Cruiser” and the claustrophobic improvisational crunch of “Playing My Numbers”.

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Ekoplekz – Unfidelity

by on at 09:09am

Artist trajectories can be a curious thing to observe, often sorting the wheat from the chaff between those with a sonic identity in constant development and those suffering knee jerk reactions to trends and hype. Nick Edwards certainly exists in the former camp, and his latest album as Ekoplekz is a fine case in point. The signs were already there with the likes of his Plekzationz LP on Editions Mego, which saw his grimy nightmare-dub calling card peppered with occasional blasts of light (read: melodic tones). Still though, the focus was on atonal pulses, echoes and reverbs of a distinctly obtuse nature, as has been his artistic raison d’etre since the word go.

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Streetwalker – Ooze

by on at 09:06am


As the wall of cassette tapes grows on my desk, teetering in ever more haphazard fashion, the feeling that some of the music contained within them would benefit from a wider release swells too. Repeat listens to Lily’s Modern Malaise tape for No Corner or Luke Wyatt’s new automotive project Infiniti on 1080p lead the mind to wander how great it would be to brandish this music on wax. It’s not been made clear why Diagonal boss men Oscar Powell and Jaime Williams have decided to reissue a Streetwalker track from a 2011 Catholic Tapes cassette, but it’s tempting to visualise the mental dots aligning as the spools on their copy of Ooze wore themselves ever closer to all out degradation.

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Wen – Signals

by on at 09:05am

If the press release which accompanies Owen Darby’s debut album for Keysound is to be believed, then Signals gets its name from the producer’s use of vocal samples in the album, each of which is a “signal” in its own right, a “node in a spacious neural network; bursting into the moment only to swiftly retreat.” “Power, locale, identity, intent, inequality, sexuality, gender, diversity, energy” are all supposedly encoded into these transmissions, which, in being sampled from London slang and live pirate radio see the album fitting quite neatly into contemporary bass music’s current fascination for all things nostalgic.

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Weekend – The ’81 Demos

by on at 09:23am

First known for her role in the pioneering post-punk band Young Marble Giants, Alison Statton continued making music after the group dismantled, operating under the name Weekend. Teaming up with Spike Williams of Z Block Records and Reptile Ranch, as well as Simon Booth (later of Working Week) they signed to Rough Trade in 1981 and released one studio album, called La Variete, along with three EPs. Later discovered in the mid-90s, a collection of demos revisiting Weekend’s early days appeared on The ’81 Demos, a 1995 CD release by the Vinyl Japan label, while also emerging as bonus material in the 1992 Cherry Red reissue album of La VarieteThe ’81 Demos now form the latest focus in Blackest Ever Black’s occasional dalliance with archival matters and offer Weekend listeners the first vinyl edition of these early recorded works. Read the rest of this entry »

Blacknecks – Blacknecks 005

by on at 09:20am

One of the most entertaining aspects of the Blacknecks project was the fact that its perpetrators convinced some people that they had worked as garage producers back in the day. It’s exactly the kind of narrative that would wash with sections of the music media – former doyens of glitzy clubs rehabilitated as an industrial techno act – so kudos to Truss and Bleaching Agent for keeping the backstory alive for as long as possible.

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Not Waving – Human Capabilities

by on at 09:02am


Italian-in-London Alessio Natalizia has already proven himself to be something of a master when it comes to creating evocative, off-kilter music that joins the dots between fuzzy analogue electronica, krautrock, dreamy ambience and droning, industrial-influenced abstract sonics. He’s perhaps best known for making up half of Kompakt regulars Walls, whose dreamy, shoegaze-influenced voyages into sound benefit greatly from his ear for layered guitar textures, pastoral sounds and hypnotic, pulsating rhythms.

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