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Rutherford – Singularis

by on at 17:05pm

The latest release on Brokntoys is another indicator of electro’s never-ending appeal and also points to the form’s current good health. For its sixth outing, the UK label has managed to coax a release from Rutherford, aka Swedish producer Ronnie Johansson, who had a track on Guests of Reality, a split release issued by Brokntoys late last year.

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Hunee – Hunch Music

by on at 09:52am

There’s something rather refreshing about Hunee’s honesty. In a recent interview with Resident Advisor’s Aaron Coultate, he revealed that he stopped making music back in 2012 because he felt he had little more to give. He’d reached his peak, a conclusion arrived at following an aborted attempt to write the debut album many felt he’d be able to produce with ease. “I felt like I was just making some house tracks and everything was sounding the same,” he explained. “I was stuck”.

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Aurora Halal – Shapeshifter

by on at 14:58pm

Starting out a few years ago promoting parties in Brooklyn under the name Mutual Dreaming, Aurora Halal has put on some of the most exciting names in underground techno and house. Having Galcher Lustwerk, Florian Kupfer and Andres among the club night’s alumni, last year she then moved to collaborating with Zara Wladawsky on Sustain-Release, an upstate New York festival that boasted a similarly minded line up to her club nights. It wasn’t until then that Halal decided to start putting out her own tracks on vinyl as well, first collaborating with both Haron and Ital on 12”s before setting up a home for solo material.

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René Audiard – René Audiard

by on at 09:30am

When Soren Jahan’s debut LP as René Audiard dropped on Supply Records in 2012, it’s safe to say to it didn’t get the recognition it deserved. As an exercise in dub techno it pointed the way for more imagination to be fed into the genre, while equally displaying a creative flair within the realms of minimal aesthetics that had long been absent from so many ‘stripped-down’ producers’ works. Since then Jahan has risen a little in prominence, not least for his involvement with Blank Slate and a healthy spread of projects under different aliases, in different places. This self-titled album for Berlin label The Double R is in fact comprised of music that was finished many years ago, and has since been waiting in the wings for the right opportunity to be unleashed. As such it’s hard to evaluate it in terms of artistic evolution, but rather needs to be taken on face value as a stand-alone body of work.

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Jack J – Thirstin’

by on at 09:08am

Every summer, a handful of records are so ubiquitous that they quickly become part of our shared musical memories. It’s long been an established part of dance music, though the boom in sun-baked European festivals and clubbing focused holiday resorts has certainly exaggerated the trend. While some more commercially-minded record labels – Defected, as an example – actively seek out these kinds of tracks and promote them in the run-up to the Ibiza season, predicting which records will strike a chord with a wide range of DJs is notoriously hard to predict. Few would have marked out Storm Queen’s “Look Right Through” – however good it was – as an Ibiza anthem, but that’s what it became in the years following its’ initial 2010 release. That eventually topped the UK singles charts, of course, albeit in a radically remixed form.

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Tambien – Ondule

by on at 16:23pm

Tambien have struck themselves out as a fine purveyor of light and fruity house music over the last couple of years, with an allegiance to the kind of discoey, Balearic, tropical D.I.Y. world that has floated around and flourished through the work of International Feel, the Testpressing site and ESP Institute. Public Possession, steered by the two thirds of Tambien called Marvin and Valentino have become an increasingly prominent element of this world with their slightly beefier, housier selections.

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Danny Scrilla – True Sight EP

by on at 09:36am

It’s eerie right from the start. A gloomy synthesizer prepares for the percussion to come in and spread in echoes. A voice appears in the musical fog and enfolds mystically into infinity. The first seconds of “Jello”, a track from Danny Scrilla’s new True Sight EP unveils his musical ideas are deeply rooted in dub, reggae and soundsystem culture. When sound engineers like Lee “Scratch” Perry or King Tubby got their hands on mixing desks in the 1970s and started to use them as instruments, nobody might have suspected what would follow. Dub became a widely influential style of making music and lead to Hip-Hop, Jungle, Techno and a broad range of electronic music. It was in the 2000s when not only the methods but also the word “Dub” appeared again with full force.

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Ptaki – Przelot

by on at 12:20pm

There is little new about crafting re-edits, remixes and original productions out of a vast number of samples. However, Warsaw-based duo Ptaki have an obsession with solely mining Eastern European music – and principally Polish releases – for inspiration that has given their material a freshness that’s often lacking in similar cut-and-paste exercises. To date, their releases have been frustratingly sporadic, but rarely anything less than impressive. They famously made a splash with two high-grade edits on the first Very Polish Cut-Outs 12” – the lolloping jazz-funk goes disco-house chug of “Krystyna” and the lilting loop jam “Marek” – before emphasizing their Balearic credentials further with the sublime Jak Ptaki 7”, which doffed a cap to hip-hop, jazz and easy listening on one side, before moving towards deep house and reggae on the other. Last year’s Kalina 12” for L.A. label Young Adults was arguably Ptaki’s strongest to date, flitting between sun-kissed downtempo jams and lilting dancefloor shufflers.

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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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