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Older articles

Svaag – Sade

by on at 12:59pm

Sweden: so techno right now. Take in Abdullah Rashim and his Northern Electronics crew, Peder Mannerfelt, SHXCXCHCXSH and all that encompasses Planet Skudge (yes, another sub-label is on the way); these Scandinavians are creating a similar stir to what Italians Donato Dozzy, Dino Sabatini and Lucy did back in 2010. But Andreas Tilliander, a techno authority, has always been in the thick of it, most prominently of late making acid-lines and Roland drum machine sequence in new ways as TM404, or trawling the nethermost depths of atmospheric dub techno as Mokira.

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R-Zone – Onefourone

by on at 16:56pm


Utter anonymity began as the calling card of the Global Darkness-spawned R-Zone series, and as fun as it is to try and play the perpetual guessing game of discovering which one of your favourite artists contributed the latest slab of wax on the Netherlands-based label, the series has long moved beyond needing any kind of gimmick. 2013 provided nine lightning-paced releases from a bevy of internationally renowned producers, and 2014 seems to be intent on matching that frantic productivity.

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Helena Hauff and Andreas Gehm – Helena Hauff meets Andreas Gehm

by on at 09:39am

This release doesn’t come as a surprise, but it does see some of the participants taking sideways steps. Solar One Music is The Exaltics’ label and is usually home to various iterations of electro. Similarly, Golden Pudel resident Helena Hauff collaborates with Andreas Gehm to provide a more direct approach to the dance floor than is her wont. While her recent Black Sites release on Panzerkreuz was laden down with acid spirals, the accompanying sound design and supporting rhythms were lo-fi and murky.  On this release, the tracks sound more direct and functional. It’s a stretch to say that she has cleaned up her act, but there is definitely a more purposeful approach in her two contributions to Helena Hauff meets Andreas Gehm.

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Tornado Wallace – Circadia

by on at 09:55am

When considering the careers of certain electronic producers, it’s possible to accurately pinpoint their “breakthrough moment”. In some cases, this may be a 12” single that crossed over into the mainstream, a surprise dancefloor anthem or revelatory remix. In other instances, it’s a track, EP or -very occasionally – an album in which they abandoned their trademark sound in favour of something more adventurous, densely layered or musically complex. Melbourne producer Lewis Day’s breakthrough came in 2013 with the release of Desperate Pleasures, his first – and so far only – outing on Tim Sweeney’s Beats in Space imprint.

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Dopplereffekt / Objekt – Hypnagogia

by on at 15:02pm

Any label that succeeds in coaxing the only original material from Dopplereffekt in six years deserves praise. To obtain a second release in as many years from Gerald Donald’s enigmatic electro project is damn impressive. Strictly speaking, Hypnagogia is not a new Dopplereffekt release per se as it features a contribution from Objekt on the flip.

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Pagan Sector – Hermopolis Magna

by on at 15:44pm


Lock up your virgin daughters and hide your household pets, the Pagan Sector duo is coming to steal your souls! This is a side project of one well-known European producer and a new artist whose star in the ascent. However, rather than daub themselves in woad and howl at the moon, these heathens prefer to reach altered states of consciousness by jamming on their machines until they have called up spectres of rave parties past.

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Richard Sen – Songs Of Pressure

by on at 16:06pm

Richard Sen has never been one to hide his influences. Right from the start of his career, way back in the late 1990s, his inspirations have been clear. First, during his spell as one half of the Bronx Dogs, it was B-boy breaks, Beatbox electro and space disco. Then, when he joined forces with Neil Beatnik as Padded Cell, it was punk-funk, horror soundtracks and dub disco. Latterly, he’s divided his time between curious disco re-edits and wonky original material that variously touches on Chicago house, EMB and Italo, as well as John Carpenter and Goblin.

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Zemi17 – Impressions

by on at 09:40am


If there’s one thing that marks the hazy peak of summer time Japan, it’s the deafening roar of thousands of tiny cicadas. Called “zemi” in Japanese,  these critters from the Hemiptera order soundtracked many of this reviewer’s summer mornings in Osaka at 5am; creating a wall of static chirping that made every sunrise feel like a centre-stage ticket to an experimental noise show. Despite the density of Japanese cities, which are usually concrete jungles of apartment complexes and bike paths, cicadas always seemed to infiltrate the most industrialized areas, always finding a bush or tree to nestle into and screech from – a testament to their noisey productivity.

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Jitterbug – Workers EP

by on at 09:36am


Appearances from Jitterbug come too far and few between, with just three previous releases on Uzuri reaching back to 2009, and more recently we have been treated to his collaborative work with Scott Ferguson under the JBSF moniker on Ferrispark. Now though, the first solo Jitterbug EP in two years drops on the (latterly) equally slow-burning Uzuri imprint, and it’s brimming with six red-blooded cuts that cram all manner of different ideas onto two sides of vinyl.

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In Aeternam Vale – Jealous God 05

by on at 16:10pm

The release schedule of French producer Lauren Prot reminds this reviewer of being reliant on the public bus transport system – you for wait for years for one to arrive and then they all come along at once. Since Veronica Vasicka’s Minimal Wave label put out its first In Aeternam Vale release back in 2009, the Lyon-based artist has been at his busiest since his mid-80s to mid-90s tape release activity. So is it time again for Aeternam Vale’s music or is Prot’s work music of this time? Certainly, with a renewed focus on anything with even a whiff of an industrial or wave undercurrent, it should feel like this latest record, Prot’s debut on the post-Sandwell District concern Jealous God, represents an alignment of the stars.

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Mind Fair – Take Me To The Bridge

by on at 09:16am

Despite the quality of the material they’ve released, Dean Meredith and Ben Shenton’s Mind Fair project has always been a little puzzling. While there are constant threads in their work – a love of live instrumentation, warm but sparse mix-downs and notable nods to dub disco, Baelarica and folksy psychedelia, for example – they have so far steadfastly refused to stick to one style. It’s almost as if they’ve yet to settle on one groove, or have far too many ideas than they know what to do with. Certainly, their shared inspirations are manifold, and to date they’ve dabbled in most of them.

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The Exaltics – Twelve

by on at 16:06pm


Working as The Exaltics, Robert Witschakowski may be just as prolific as some of his peers, but he doesn’t make the common mistake of releasing records that all sound the same. To highlight this point, the German producer’s latest release and debut for Shipwrec bears little relation to the brooding electro of his recent record for Clone West Coast Series. In fact, with the exception of some of the material that appears on Perc Trax or Power Vacuum, Twelve is unlike anything else being released at the moment. Inspired by the hard acid of Woody McBride and his Communique label and the sewer techno stomp of Bunker, Twelve is a nasty, distorted release that constantly threatens to spiral out of control.

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Kutmah – Our Mannequin

by on at 09:40am


Is it possible to truly be depressed in Los Angeles? Sure, there’s the agonizing traffic, omnipresent smog, and smoothies with baffling $14 price tags, but traditionally, it’s a city that gets portrayed as a slacker’s paradise – days spent surfing and getting stoned, nights spent hiccuping down the boulevards shaded by palm trees. This wasn’t true for Brighton-born, half Egyptian, half Scottish producer Kutmah, who had his door randomly kicked in several years ago by armed federal agents, and imprisoned him for two months on immigration-related charges.

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Jack J – Looking Forward To You

by on at 18:17pm

The concept of hype in electronic music seems particularly skewed right now, a burden that labels and artists have to carry that is generally generated, measured and dissected by others; be it general shifts in online editorial coverage, views on YouTube or hiked up prices on Discogs. In the case of Mood Hut, this seems especially true with claims of ‘hype’ out of sync with their low key approach; when was the last Q&A you read with Aquarian Foundation or the last monotonous list dripping with the bitter taste of content from the Hashman Deejay used as a means to promote an upcoming release?

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Talaboman – Sideral

by on at 09:01am


Deborah Eisenberg’s short story Twilight of the Superheroes gives us a glimpse into the life of Passivity Man, the world’s most passive aggressive superhero. He sleeps when he’s stressed, chain-smokes constantly, and sports the dismal catch phrase “but, like, what am I supposed to do about it?” as if it means something. Eisenberg is trying to show that it’s much harder to believe in superheroes in a world riddled by inequality, terrorism, Ebola and suffering, and her writing seems like an oddly apt descriptor of Talaboman, who sounds like a cape-sporting vigilante in name only. Instead of providing humanity with something to believe in, the duo of Axel Boman and John Talabot are much more concerned with lurking in the shadows of dingy dancefloors worldwide; mixing a prickly dystopian discomfort with unexpected adrenaline-inducing moments of energy. If the duo were a superhero, it’s much more likely that they’d be some scraggly, unshaven incarnation of Doctor Strange than a do-gooder like Spiderman.

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Anthony Naples – Zipacón

by on at 15:09pm


One of the chief joys of a TTT release is that the reputation and ‘avant’ status hovering as a marker above the label often infers that the producer involved – even highly-esteemed or established ones – will be presenting a slightly different aspect of themselves. Take Anthony Naples; often included within a set of contemporary producers marketed for their roughened and experimental edge, it wasn’t until El Portal for Will Bankhead’s label last year that the tendency first started to actually show.

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Poshgod – HOT003

by on at 16:31pm

If there’s one thing that London’s House of Trax parties have nailed since their inception, it’s the deceptively hard task of making a good flyer. Utilizing rough-edged aesthetics from late ’80s Brooklyn house label art and borrowing images from Robert Crumb and Keith Haring, their art thrums with a vibrant secrecy -  much in the same way that finding out the local Vietnamese dance studio in your city actually doubles as an after hour club gives a certain thrill. It’s a party whose imagery is familiar enough to be recognizable, while simultaneously promising you something that you haven’t experienced before -  It’s the same feeling one gets when flipping through a used crate of records to find a white label adorned only by weird marker scrawls or a fading handstamp.

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Inkke – Crystal Children

by on at 16:14pm

Glance at the cover of Glasgowian newcomer Inkke’s first EP on Local Action Records, and you may be struck by a bit of deja vu – after all, the image of a crumbling subway station taken over by nature moss and grass certainly owes a lot stylistically to London’s Night Slugs crew, who’ve often made the contrast between brutalist architecture and uncontrollable organic growth the focus of their aesthetic work (see the eerie trailer for L-Vis 1990′s Ballads EP featuring a city block submerged in water, or the sectioned-off wilderness of the “Melba’s Call” video).

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Imre Kiss – Raw Energy

by on at 09:13am


It’s always dangerous to assess the quality of a label on the basis of a handful of releases, but so Lobster Theremin hasn’t put a foot wrong since launching last year with Palm Trax’s brilliant Equation EP. Indeed, you could say Lobster Theremin has established itself as a must-check imprint not afraid to shake things up at every opportunity. In the last 18 months, the label has various delivered murky, acid-flecked techno from Snow Bone, the hazy, sub-aquatic deepness of Steve Murphy’s largely overlooked Relax EP, humid, new age-influenced goodness via Route 8 and wonky, bass-heavy, pitched-down Detroit techno from Crisis Urbana’s Rawaat.

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Beau Wanzer – Power Outage

by on at 09:42am


Beau Wanzer goes back to Traxx’s Nation imprint for his latest 10″ Power Outage. The Chicago native has stayed loyal to the Nation cause since his appearance on the 2008 Modern Electronic Element EP, gracing various follow up releases, as well as developing the Mutant Beat Dance project with Traxx. Power Outage is a release that offers the same kind of hefty analog rhythms and mechanical precision that might be expected from Wanzer, but this time with a more experimental edge than some of his (equally excellent) dance-ready cuts on L.I.E.S. and Russian Torrent Versions as well as his Streetwalker project.

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