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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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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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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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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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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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John Heckle – Blues for a Red Giant

by on at 09:56am

It’s hard to believe that Blues for a Red Giant is John Heckle’s debut release for Lunar Disko. The Liverpool producer and the Dublin label share a lot of common ground and Heckle himself has spent a good deal of time in the Irish capital in recent years. And yet this five-tracker isn’t typical Heckle or Lunar Disko. Sure, it is rooted in the Chicago-influenced style that he has made his name with, but it also includes many surprises along the way.

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HVL – Away From Everything We Know

by on at 15:29pm

Organic Analogue bravely founded itself under the banner of retro-futurism in 2013, but amongst the dense web of nostalgic dance-throwbacks of that year its first release, Jeremiah R’s The New Wave, felt a glossier solution to pushing and pulling between old and new. His classic and innocent electro sound seems engineered from particularly high quality parts and tonally remains a wide-eyed and remarkably easy to swallow selection of music. OA promised a quick follow-up, but for one reason or another went dark for a year instead.

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MB – The Miracle Sign

by on at 09:37am

Marco Bernardi is one contemporary electronic music’s unsung heroes. Although he has been releasing for over a decade, he maintains a low profile, despite releasing on labels like Clone, Crème Organization and the electro imprint par excellence, Frustrated Funk. Despite having a work ethic that would put a presbyterian widow to shame – he released six EPs last years and this record is his fourth to date in 2015 – part of the reason why Bernardi isn’t better known is because he has a rare ability to turn his hand to a range of sounds.

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Stellar OM Source – Nite Glo

by on at 09:04am

Sometime around 2011, Christelle Gualdi discovered the delights of the dancefloor. Up until that point, her career under the Stellar OM Source alias had been a tale of self-released oddness, experimental electronic jazz, fluorescent ambience and analogue-heavy drone. What pushed her towards the pounding, distorted rhythms of techno and ragged electronics of acid house is unclear, but she embraced it in a big way. After releasing the throbbing Image Over Image 12” via Rush Hour No ‘Label’, she duly signed to New York’s admirable RVNG Intl. and delivered her most accessible set to date, the acid and intelligent techno powered Joy One Mile. Typically raw – you’d expect nothing else from someone who has long been an advocate of outboard hardware – the album flitted between moments of intoxicating intensity, scattergun dancefloor dynamics and joyously colourful fusions of bright synthesizer melodies and snappy machine percussion.

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The Hieroglyphic Being Experience – Methods Of Transfer Book I

by on at 08:31am

Tabernacle has had a relatively quiet 2015, but that’s set to change with the release of a number of releases in the coming months, the first of which is Methods of Transfer Book 1. Comprising music that was improvised during a performance in New York, this release also sees Jamal Moss’ original productions re-interpreted by like-mind John Heckle.

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Japa Habilidoso – Funk Do Sindicalismo

by on at 09:28am

Funk Do Sindicalismo is a record which boasts some notable firsts. Not only was this the first Future Times release of 2015, but it’s also the first time these two tracks – initially released as a CD-R by a small Brazilian label nearly two years ago – have been available on vinyl. Issued as a 12”, they’re accompanied by artwork from Lale Westvind so killer that it’s been made into a t-shirt. That’s not bad for a name which will be unfamiliar to so many. Blame it on the increasingly unwieldy internet or perhaps even blame it on geography, but unless you happened to have stumbled upon a particular Bandcamp page or are particularly clued in to the scene in Rio de Janiero, Gabriel Guerra and his various projects may well occupy an unexplored corner of contemporary music.

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Mix Mup – Beach Hotel De Haan

by on at 09:36am

For someone with a discography that reaches back to 2002, there hasn’t exactly been a deluge of material from Lorenz Lindner under his Mix Mup alias. I think many would agree that we have fellow Leipzig-dweller Kassem Mosse to thank for a more recent flurry of activity following the much vaunted MM/KM 12” the pair worked on in 2012, but considering the open-floodgate approach many artists seem to take these days Lindner appears to have exercised a considerable amount of caution in how much of his music gets disseminated.

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