The fifth Counter Pulse record delivers an incendiary double header. Following on from his excellent record on Token, Japan's Go Hiyama proves again that he's the master of advanced techno; "Spiral" consists of heavy beats, so dense and claustrophobic that they almost take the listener's breath away. Married to doubled up claps and cheesewire percussion, they make for one of the best peak-time tracks of 2012. "Screw" is based on a similar approach, but the groove is more rolling, providing a platform for evil bass licks and dark droning riffs. Stingrays contribute two screeching, metal-shredding tracks, but their aggression and broken beat menace somehow can't compare to Go Hiyama's brilliance.
At a time when so many of its early contemporaries are rarely seen releasing these days, Planet Mu's 20th anniversary is even more of a cause de celebre. The powerhouse of uncompromising leftfield electronic music has pulled no punches when it comes to commemorating the time, drawing on the staggering roster including Kuedo, Remarc, Traxman, Falty DL, Machinedrum, Milanese, Vex'd, Neil Landstrumm and so very many more besides, bringing together tracks from the vaults, from forgotten times, some of which have never previously seen the light of day. With 50 tracks to delve into, this is enough of an education to school even the most learned mind.