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Hashman Deejay – Sandopolis

by on at 11:55am

Until very recently, all the public had to go on about the existence of a certain Hashman Deejay was some whispered message board conjecture and the “Tangerine” EP on Future Times. On the label of that record, two pencil-sketched piercing eyes stare out at you, poking out from the brush of the wilderness. “Tangerine” imparted soothing rainforest sounds and subtly progressing drum patterns aplenty; but whenever this writer threw it on his turntable, those eyes gave a feeling of uncertainty; one was being watched. While some savvy internet use will connect the dots between Hashman Deejay, Tanner Matt, Aquarian Foundation and Vancouver’s sure-to-be-topping-some-’best-of-2014′-lists Mood Hut collective, this writer thinks part of the enjoyment of a Hashman release is allowing yourself to be swept away in the intrigue, the uncertainty and unpredictability of what’s inside.

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Tambien & Tiago – EP 01

by on at 11:23am

It’s not clear who came up with the idea of Tambien and Tiago joining forces in the studio, but as a concept it makes a lot of sense. Musically, they have a lot in common, from a shared love of sweaty tropical rhythms, percussion-heavy re-edits and downbeat, ultra-deep techno, to the wonky, do-it-yourself ethos of their respective labels. Apparently, the trio behind Tambien – producer Bartellow and Public Possession shop/label owners Marvin and Guy – have long been friends with Tiago Miranda – a rapport that has seen the quartet share a DJ booth on numerous occasions.

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Grey Branches – Lower Bounds

by on at 09:35am

Belgian artist Yves De Mey is a hyperactive talent and Grey Branches is his latest project. While much of his output is experimental, he isn’t completely divorced from dance floor techno – check some of his Sendai work with Peter Van Hoesen – and this new venture seeks to unite those often incompatible worlds.

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Panoptique – Panoptique

by on at 09:25am

The Antinote train keeps on rolling as a one-stop shop for some of the most essential unearthed gems from the fertile underground of French techno and electro curiosities, and once again an unfamiliar name is presented to us in the shape of Panoptique. With but a couple of obscure compilation releases behind him, Bordeaux-based Panoptique makes a debut release here that more than steps up to the other shamanistic machine mantras that the label has dealt in thus far.

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Floating Points – Nuits Sonores

by on at 09:20am

Any new Floating Points release is cause for celebration! Fresh material from Sam Shepherd may have been relatively thin on the ground in recent years, but what he has put out has been predictably strong. His sole 2013 release, Wires, was a gently unfurling modern jazz masterpiece – with the obligatory deep house influences, of course – while June’s King Bromeliad 12” – a typically rolling, Rhodes-laden deep house-jazz jam, was arguably his strongest dancefloor moment since the days of People’s Potential. While he may not have totally abandoned his jazz ambitions, Shepherd does seem to be paying closer attention to the demands of club-friendly records.

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T.B. Arthur – 3

by on at 09:09am


There’s little information to be had on T.B. Arthur beyond the insinuation it’s the work of a forgotten US producer from the ‘90s whose plans fell foul to financial issues, and a Chicago area phone number printed on each of the three records. Dial it up and you’ll be met with an automated message informing inquisitive minds: “You have dialled a number that is no longer in use, but continues to receive many calls. Please check the number you want and dial again. You have not been charged for this call. Thank you”.

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Various Artists – Lovers Rock #6

by on at 09:22am

There’s an identity shaping out of Ital’s Lovers Rock imprint, and it’s making for one of the finest outposts for dreamy techno you could wish for. It’s not all mellow and wistful (although some of it definitely is), but even in its tougher moments a spirituality seems to emanate from the tracks that has resulted in every release thus far being utterly essential. After a string of more artist-focused releases, this sixth installment makes the wise move to invite a few more characters along and thus further establish the characteristics of the label.

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Powell – Club Music Remixes

by on at 16:46pm

The UK label Diagonal rounds out a stellar year with remixes from one of its founders, Powell’s Club Music release. Somehow the label has managed to persuade Ancient Methods and Cabaret Voltaire’s Richard H Kirk to rework tracks from the record with predictably impressive results. Now just a solo act, it sounds like Ancient Methods is channeling the spirit and sound of 80s industrial and EBM on his two remixes which seemingly contain source elements of all three tracks from Powell’s original record.

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Klara Lewis – Msuic EP

by on at 09:16am

Sometime early this year, a friend of mine started referring to that breed of greyscale electronics as ‘tinned techno’ which sums up the trappings rather well; dark, sombre, slumber techno preserved in fluid state until the sides start to congeal and packaged to await activation. A meal sure, but one in which the essence of its ingredients have been reduced. There’s a relative over-supply of the stuff by enamoured artists and a distinct repetition in terms of formula, perhaps even a kind of gradual inertia to the blunted moods of violence, dread, anxiety, and tension that tend to be conveyed. As a result, I’m becoming increasingly tempted to pass over a record as soon as I see some b/w cover or mention of an annex between knowing clusters of genres.

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In Aeternam Vale – Gnd Lift

by on at 09:41am

As Tony Poland pointed out in his feature on In Aeternam Vale in Juno Plus earlier this year, Laurent Prot was making proto-techno tracks like “La Piscine” back in the ’80s in complete isolation, which “makes them sound more impressive”. Can the French artist win the hearts and minds of modern audiences who have been weaned on a steady diet of technologically advanced electronic music? Certainly, Prot’s recent release for Jealous God showed that he was well capable of making hypnotic dance floor rhythms and Gnd Lift goes some way to continuing his resurgence.

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Acre – Icons

by on at 16:29pm

In a blitzkrieg of clattering drum breaks and mutant sirens, Acre’s latest release batters its way into earshot on the back of tempestuous manifestation “Ping”, and it demands attention in an instant. What is so refreshing about the approach here is that it doesn’t lean on the same tired hardcore breaks that have been utterly rinsed over the last year or two, instead reaching to other unknown sources for rough live beats and wielding them with the same kind of punk antagonism that embodied Untold’s Black Light Spiral album. After the moody textures and growls of his appearances on Cold, Acre’s efforts on this release for Pinch’s bigger label seem like the next logical step up to a distinctive and exciting sonic identity.

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Various Artists – Decapitated One-Liners

by on at 09:46am

As a natural cynic, this writer harbours an in-built suspicion of musical trends. As soon as a few similar releases appear or a bunch of labels start to put out records that inhabit the same artistic space, the alarm bells start ringing. Therefore, the whole reissue concept jars. Why are these labels all suddenly discovering obscure ’80s producers and why are they putting them out on cassette? Who even owns a cassette player any more? Sure, some labels do the past with style, recreating the original artwork with high-end finishes and re-mastering the music to give it added clarity. Others aren’t quite as diligent and there are represses knocking about that sounded like they were mastered in a crack den.

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Bintus – Lightnin

by on at 09:10am

There’s something stirring in the dark and troubled underbelly of techno, which can only mean that Power Vacuum is firing up its cauldrons and concocting another heathen’s broth of deviant dancefloor depravity. It doesn’t feel like an overstretch to talk about the music of Bintus and his label in such terms, for his is muscular machine music that revels in such gutter-dwelling sonics and makes a fine art out of it. Quite how one can be so disgusting and so gripping in the same bar is the great conundrum of one of Britain’s finest current techno exports. There’s nothing to shock or confuse about Lightnin if you’re already hip to the Bintus game, but equally there’s no sense of repetition or over-familiarity here. For starters the title track is a great intro that borrows its amelodic arpeggio twirls from the soundtrack to the original Terminator movie.

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Vincent Floyd – Moonlight Fantasy

by on at 09:26am

What does it say about the state of contemporary house music that tracks salvaged from an old DAT make so much of it sound bereft of ideas and soul? Listening to Moonlight Fantasy, the latest Rush Hour release from Chicago producer Floyd, it’s clear that none of the magical touches and flourishes he lays down are audible in the deep house form nowadays. That’s not to suggest that this writer wants to engage in reductive, simplistic ‘everything was better back in the day’-style arguments. It’s far too easy to be of the opinion that everything made in the late 80s / early 90s was better simply because of its age. It isn’t.

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Jamie Curnock – Transportation EP

by on at 09:15am

While he may seem to be a new name on a new label, Jamie Curnock has in fact been flying the flag for loud, tough, uncompromising techno in Bristol for the best part of a decade, long before the city was embracing such sounds more open-heartedly. The Onnset imprint is coming to life through a collective that includes in its ranks Joe Farr, who has recently been scoring releases on Power Vacuum and other such highly regarded labels, and this first release makes for a neat demonstration of where die-hard and vanguard don’t need to be mutually exclusive.

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Various Artists – Riviera Disco Volume 3

by on at 09:10am


The Bordello juggernaut keeps on rolling and while most of us have put away our swim shorts and shades for another year, Riviera Disco Volume 3 shows that the label is happy to keep reliving those happy summer memories. This installment doesn’t have the kind of fist-pumping anthems that Bordello has been dropping with alarming regularity this year, but it does show that the label is adept at capturing many different moods.

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Gavin Russom – Telemetry

by on at 08:56am

Speaking about his production techniques in this writer’s Separate Mind column for Juno Plus back in July, Gavin Russom said: “I like to let all the wild spirits come through. But also balance that with structure, composition and storytelling…. often a really good techno track stands out to me because of the sounds themselves and the background noises, And this is a very cool idea that sets techno apart from more conventional music.” Russom was true to his word and on that debut Entropy Trax release; “Enthroned” drew on dub and disco techniques, using a pulsing, hypnotic groove as a backdrop for a morphing spectrum of abstract sounds.

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Lutto Lento – FTD 001

by on at 08:53am

Though you’ve likely seen his mug plastered across Boiler Room feeds over the last half-decade, FTD label founder Charles Drakeford seems to prefer remaining out of the spotlight. During a whirlwind year which finds several Boiler Room contemporaries branching out into the label-running business (Bradley Zero’s Rhythm Section International imprint as well as Nic Tasker’s hotly-tipped Whities series), Drakeford’s label seems the most reclusive of the three – a carefully considered project that he admits he’s been ruminating over starting for several years when speaking to Juno Plus recently.

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Hodge & Facta – Spheres Of Costa Rica

by on at 09:17am

The Tempa Allstars Vol 7 release that dropped recently marked an interesting point in time for one of the labels instrumental in breaking dubstep to the wider world. With Alex Coulton, Wen and Batu amongst the artists tasked with shaping out where the iconic label is at right now, it made for a succinct demonstration of how 4/4 rhythms have truly infected bass-led music, even if not exclusively, while an industrial, monochromatic palette guides the kinds of sounds being employed. Out of those names picked as appropriate demonstrators of this phenomenon, Hodge and Facta were perhaps two of the names most conspicuous by their admission (along with Beneath). Now, with this single, it becomes clear why; the pair of Bristol producers clearly had a release already waiting in the wings, and fortunately so as we get to enjoy two tracks stretched out on their own sides of wax.

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Prequel – Polite Strangers

by on at 09:13am

The recent release of Oceans Apart, a compilation put together by Cut Copy, documented the current strength of a music scene in Melbourne that’s been building for some time. It featured a veritable who’s who of Victorian talent, from Fantastic Man, Nike Delta and Bell Towers, to Michael Ozone, Andras & Oscar and Tornado Wallace, and whilst the absence of boogie revivalists Inkswel, Benny Badge and the rest of the Hot Shot Sounds crew was notable, this omission was balanced out by a range of tracks from little-known or previously unheard artists. There’s a suspicion – confirmed by this 12” on Bradley Zero’s Rhythm Section International imprint – that there’s even more previously untapped talent in the city just waiting to be unleashed.

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