For Andrew Ferguson's first release away from Tempa his Nomine alias surfaces on AMAR, and to add that extra statistic, it's the first release from another artist to appear on AMIT's label. Opening track "Voodoo Native" is all about tribal drums that are made to fit a linear techno mould, while 9er's rhymes in the bass, clap and breakdown heavy "99 Aachen" will appeal to all you Phi-Life Cypher fans out there. Drums are stripped, atmospheres are tense and pianos are blurry in the title-track, while "Closed Door" is UK bass music made for a sewer rave.
Dust is Jeanson Antonin's debut release on Token and arguably it's his most impressive release to date. Kr!z label has given him a double pack format to work with and it allows him the platform to express himself. At either end of the release there are two beautiful soundscapes; "Anna Livia" bathes in sensuous textures, while "Blue Note" features slow-motion beats underpinning shimmering melodies. In stark contrast, "Neter", "Astragal" and "Artefact" are tough, metallic bangers that recall the distorted stomp of Joey Beltram and Jeff Mills. However, it isn't just a release of extremes and "Prime Mover" sees Antigone bring a house groove to his tough metallic production.
After previous, if infrequent, transmissions for Electric Minds and Non Plus, Commix producer George Levings returns with some new Endian material for the always impressive Secretsundaze Music. The more attentive out there may well have heard at least one of these tracks in the club or in a mix of late, with Joy Orbison ending his Essential Mix last year on the opening track "Finish Me". Well done to Secretsundaze for facilitating a wider release for them then with "Finish Me" the sort of fiery, low end heavy club track you feel will be heard on dancefloors for some time to come. Don't ignore the B side tracks though as they are equally potent tools for the dancefloor.
London bass house specialist Mickey Pearce returns to Loefah's Swamp 81 with a new collection of floor pulverisers; the sort of tunes that make trends and break necks. "Warm Barzz" itself is on the docile side, but "Loop W" rapidly enters the abyss in what is surely one of the oddest drum loops we've heard from the man. "Sticky Fingerprints" is a lo-fi kinda number with eerie background sonics but still a prime cut for the dancefloor, while "Loop X" is completely broken, a mass of percussion held together by the darkness below it. Large.
The main reason why German producer Robag Wruhme is one of the few minimal producers who retains credibility is because he doesn't sound like anyone else. Cybekks is so soft and fragile that at times it feels like it's made of silk. Even the dance floor tracks, "Volta Cobby" and the title track are imbued with an eerie, dreamy sensibility, characterised by mournful melodies unfolding over ponderous basslines. However, Wruhme really shines on "Anton I" and "Anton II". The former is a beautifully reflective piano composition, while the second instalment is led by tinkering bells, sleepy, bucolic hooks and a vocal that warbles and flutters like a supernatural woodland being.
The latest release from Swedish jazz-techno producer Andreas Saag sounds like he has opened up a connection to the past. That's meant in the most positive manner possible. The title track is redolent of the best bits of late 90s/early 00s San Fran house. Over a loose and lazy dub groove a wide-eyed Rastafarian invokes the spirit of Haile Selassi, while the dub version puts the focus on the rolling rhythm and massive reverb. That's not to suggest that Saag is copying a formula, and "Call of Yacuma" features more distorted dub beats but also some I:Cube-styled jazzy licks. If the past is another country, it sounds like Saag is a proud resident.
It seems Function is a fan of Cassegrain & Tin man material as he's just signed them up for his next release on Infrastructure New York. For this second Berghain 07 sampler, Function's appetite for boomy, acid techno is whetted by the collaboration's "Oxide". Meanwhile, former flatmate Ed Davenport, aka Inland, delivers "Sca Fell", a subaqueous workout that would get the Mike Parker seal of approval. DVS1 throws down some trademark warehouse beats with some caustic stabs to boot, while Steve Bicknell delves even deeper into the abyss than he did on the first sampler, with a track that's as menacing and frenetic as what Drexciya can be.
It's always a good day for techno when new Steve 'master of the loop' Bicknell material arises, just like it's done here on the first sampler for Function's Berghain 07 mix. "Odyssey #1" is a distorted gyration through fizzy atmospheres and chocked bleeps, while Post Scriptum's rolling "Human Timescales" is a cross between the Hauntologists sound and the beats heard on Tobias' Leaning Over Backwards album, also released on Ostgut Ton. There's some transatlantic vibes on LB Dub Corp's "So Much", while the emerging Blue Hour sees his zapping drum track keep the sustain on his synth locked for the entirety of the track.
This is the second release on Nina Kraviz' label and it shows that the Russian DJ is putting her money where her mouth is. There aren't any crowd-pleasing names on this double pack, but there are plenty of purist techno tracks. On the tough, percussive side there's Bjarki's rattling "Revolution", both Deniro and Kraviz, working with Exos, drop heavy, bleepy minimal workouts, with the former's "Dumans" recalling Joey Beltram's eternal "Believer". On the subject of 90s techno, Kraviz also deserves praise for signing a Steve Stoll track; as its title suggests, "Dumbo" dispenses with subtle niceties in favour of a rough, pulsing acid workout that recalls the glory days of Proper.
With just the one release, 2011's Deephouz Y'all for Creme Organization, the Seaside Houz Boys alias from Danny 'Legowelt' Wolfers looked to be one of those amusing one-off projects cast aside as he went on to focus on his next deranged endeavour. A round of applause to DJ Haus for coaxing some further Seaside Houz Boys material out of Wolfers for this latest Hot Haus 12". Living up to it's title, this 12" arrives with some wonderfully ludicrous artwork depicting Wolfers and what looks like Creme boss DJ TLR surfing ice cream on oversize Oreos. The music itself is prime Wolfers, ranging from the furious yet deep jack attack of "Nude Beach" to the grotty Dancemania style tumble of "I Luv My Life" and low slung acid burn of the title track.
Spanish producer Eduardo de la Calle gets criticism for sampling other artists' work, but on this release for Nonplus, he proves himself to be a master at crafting deep, hypnotic techno. "The King Pariksit" sets the tone with its spooky synths and otherworldly drones calling out like a spirit from another dimension. The impossible to pronounce "Sudha Nityananda Parivara Vaisnava" and the slightly less complex titled "The Sudama Song" see de la Calle return to the dance floor. The former is a tripped out dub techno track, while the latter sees him veer into a deeper, bleepy direction. Rounding out the release is "Sri Sri Ragendra DAS", where de la Calle delivers churning chords and spellbinding chimes that is every bit as forceful as it is subtle.
For a producer who has released on a label like Drumcode and who is synonymous with big-room, white noise-saturated techno, Falling Down comes as a surprise. It shows a far deeper side to the amiable Fitzpatrick's canon, and it also suggests that he's just as adept as making melodic dance floor grooves. The title track starts off with stuttering, rattling percussion before trailing off into an evocative, melodic build-up. "Vanishing" is even more impressive; over sweet strings and chords, Fitzpatrick drops the kind of dreamy vocal snatch that you might expect to hear in one of Legowelt's more mellow tracks. Auden's remix of the same track is slower and heavier, but doesn't sacrifice Fitzpatrick's melodies.
It sounds like Lithuanian producer Grad U has found his natural home on Echocord. The Danish imprint has been one of the most distinctive platforms in dub techno and Space Explorations fits right in to its brief. "Debris Disk" starts the release with an ominous, mid-tempo groove and splintered hats, reminiscent of Dimension 5. "Hydrogen Reactor" is more functional, with cheese wire percussion mixed with tough but resonant kicks. However, it sounds like Grad U's comfort zone is a more esoteric place and the spacey chords and billowing textures of "Quantum Corrections" is a beautifully measured, reflective affair.
The Portuguese takeover of Creme Organization continues apace here as the inimitable IVVVO makes his full debut on the iconic label from Den Haag with the wonderfully titled Mark Leckey Made Me Hardcore. Paying clear homage to the London based installation artist, this three-track release arrives hot on the heels of IVVVO's split release for Creme with fellow Portugeezer Lake Haze and has some truly wonderful sleeve art from Godspill. In terms of music, IVVVO seems to be exploring the spectral rave that has served him so well in the past on lead track "Raised" though "0000" is the kind of cut you'd hear wedged deep into an Actress record circa 2011. Inbetween "Our Journey" veers down an abstract techno hole with some quite brilliant vocal loop manipulation. And the odd dog bark.
The latest release on Psyk's label is a heads-down affair from Italian producer Chevel. In its most extreme form, this takes the form of "2020", where high-pitched squeals and shrieks are set to a tough, pacey rhythm. However, the more rewarding tracks see Chevel explore a more subtle approach. "Noflit" is based on contrasts with a combination of a rubbery bass and tough, distorted drums. "Summer" just as understated with a mysterious synth line cloaking the arrangement's percussive slivers. However, Chevel also understands the demands of the dance floor and "Detrimental", with its blip, bleeps and tough beats is sure to cause mayhem whenever it's dropped.