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13 Aug 12
19 Mar 12
07 Nov 11
Played by: Redux Records, Sim, Sean Gormally (Sean And Dev), Alkalino, Juno Recommends Minimal/Tech House, Och
Review: Baby Ford's long running Trelik label enjoyed a more prolific year in 2011 than at any time in the past decade, and Whalesong is a fitting end to a glorious 12 months. If you've been following Och's releases, then you'll know what to expect here. The title track sees the mysterious producer drop dubbier, full blooded beats and billowing chords over a surging groove, while the use of shuffling drums and a stuttering vocal lend the track a memorable signature. "Blind Is The Wind" is an unusual ambient affair thanks to the inclusion of a confused vocal, but Och returns to his natural habitat on "Last Chance Saloon", which features more of the same pumping beats and dreamy chord sequences.
11 Feb 13
Played by: Paul Mac, Nowakowski, Diplo, Juno Recommends Techno, Aka Tell (A.g.trio), Rivet, Trevor Benz, Cosby (Car Crash Set)
Review: The first of two samplers heralding the forthcoming Nonplus label compilation Think and Change arrives bearing two heavy hitting tracks not to be found on the compilation proper. First up, Boddika & Joy Orbison's Sunklo hit "Mercy" gets the VIP treatment from Boddika; the result is a peak time tool which strips the original down to its barest components but still maintains the juggernaut-like quality of the original. It's joined by a fresh Kassem Mosse track in the form of "Broken Patterns", a typically tough production from the Bosse which combines and endlessly stomping 4/4 rhythm with cascading string plucks and rattling synth textures.
05 Feb 13
Played by: Shadow Dancer, Daniel Dexter, Agoria, DJ Hell, Carl Craig, Sister Bliss, Myles Serge, Kevin Saunderson
Review: It's always difficult to strike a balance when remixing a pioneer like Carl Craig. Change the original material to make it sound radically different and you get accused of messing with their genius; make only subtle alterations and you get criticised for taking the money in exchange for little effort. Thankfully, these versions of Craig's 69 project manage the difficult feat of making the original sound good without stealing its magic. Prolific Dutch artist Rod turns "Poi et Pas" into a pumping, hissing percussion stomper, its intense chords building and dropping continuously. There is also an 'unreleased' version, which trawls through broken beats and emotive electronic riffs to create an abstract yet emotive track.
14 Feb 11
01 Jan 00
09 May 11
Review: A few years ago when the focus shifted from mnml to the classic 90s-inspired sounds of Berghain, Berlin-based artist Roger Semsroth did the unthinkable - he took a hiatus from techno. It seemed Semsroth had diverted from the record-release-tour-earn money model that is pervasive in all forms of contemporary music. However, the man behind Sleeparchive had merely taken a brief break - and it is quite obvious that for Semsroth, someone who will be around when most of his peers are back doing day jobs, three years is indeed a shortish period. At a time when all around him tried to outdo one another in the sincere techno stakes, he focused his efforts on making the most wilfully noisy, experimental racket possible. Semsroth brings that sense of experimentation to Ronan Point, his comeback techno record. Great waves of noise underscore the rivers of viscous bass and titanium-plated drums that are at the heart of these arrangements. Fused with the kind of austere bleeps that made releases like "Hospital Tracks" such classics, this combination makes a potent dance floor fusion on "Point Two". "Point Three" is less detailed and its rhythm is inspired by Detroit minimalism rather than the Finnish variant, but bookending this excellent comeback are "One" and "Four", which present the listener with impenetrable walls of dense, frazzled abstraction. Welcome back you brilliantly awkward bugger.
04 Mar 13
02 Apr 13
13 May 13
04 Feb 13
18 Mar 13
Review: Irish producer Chymera has always excelled at fixing twinkling melodies to heavy, club friendly grooves, and this EP for Dirt Crew is no exception. Both "Disc" - with its proto-house synths and crystalline arpeggios - and "Isa" follow a similar path. It's the latter, though, that most impresses, working darting synths and beautifully crisp melodies around robotic drums and a bold bassline. While clearly inspired by techno and deep house, it should also appeal to those who enjoy the "scandolearic" sound of Oslo. Mark E remixes the latter, indulging his passion for vintage analogue house while retaining Chymera's tactile melodies.
01 Oct 12
Played by: Paul Mac, Brisa, Alexander Robotnick, Shadow Dancer, Wildlife!, Allmostt, Cosby (Car Crash Set)
Review: Not content with one release on Untold's Hemlock imprint this year, Randomer returns with another three tracks of what the label describes as "deranged acid breakbeat music". "We Laugh, We Scream" sees an overdriven 303 stretched to its limits and concrete drums go up against a Dance Mania inspired vocal, while "Nar" adopts a more linear approach, combining a weighty industrial feel with chopped up strings and creaking bass. Finally, "Freak Dub" is described by the label as sounding like Dillinja making house music - something that sounds quite accurate in light of the track's stomach churning bass and metallic clatter.
16 Apr 12
Played by: Josh Wink, Future Beat Alliance, Enclave, Submerge, Van Bonn, Jason Fernandes, DJ Srle (Perpetual), Resident Advisor
Review: Shifted's identity remains a mystery, but crucially, he does not come from the small coterie that has dominated UK techno over the past twenty years. Like the signature image he uses, a grey, shadowy creature creeping through a snowy forest, his infiltration of the sound has been stealthy and understated. In many ways, his lack of connection with techno, his automatic outsider status, has allowed him to effect an entrance into a hitherto new terrain. Like his releases on Mote Evolver and his own Avian imprint, Crossed Paths tingles and fizzes with an atmospheric sensibility that monochrome techno often lacks. All of this is made possible by his distinctive sound design; intricate and subtle, yet at the same time both functional and multi-faceted, where all of these divergent paths cross, you'll find Shifted.
17 Apr 08
Played by: Mary Ann Hobbs
17 Jul 06
04 Aug 08
14 Jan 13
Review: It is doubtful that Gorbachev has anything to do with his Russian political namesake, but he still does a neat line in paranoia on "Where Is Rony Douglas". Over shaking percussion and a rattling, live-sounding rhythm, a call and response narrative ensues about the disappearance of said character and the suggestion that he was knocked off by the CIA. Gorbachev also voices his concerns about "Sweet Regina", about whom he informs us "went to China" as a low-slung electronic groove plays in the background. Returning briefly to the approach he favoured on "Rony Douglas", Gorbachev also drops the awkward punk funk of "Last Days of the District".
01 Apr 13
22 Apr 13
Review: Always open to teaming up with like-minded souls for their releases on Osiris, the ever-prolific Kryptic Minds are on the prowl once more, this time with the equally active Killawatt in tow. Kicking off with the brooding and short-lived "Swung Operations", it's business as usual in the Osiris camp with plenty of industrial clangs and booms meeting with punchy digital percussion. The bleak tones continue apace into "Reaching Through", even as some discernable melody comes pulsing through from a dub techno chord, but the beat does more than enough on its own, working a rapid kick and sizzling hat to deadly effect without ever going overboard. "Cunning Juncture" finds equal worth in the minimal approach, bringing a measured amount of techno influence into the dubstep framework with sterling results.
24 Sep 12
Review: Ali Wells's label has become a byword for uncompromising techno, and Ganymede is one of its most intense releases so far. The title track lunges at the listener, its heavy drums and broken beats providing the backdrop for a nasty, building acid line and the recycling of some hardcore rave riffs. Skirt and Perc both contribute remixes, with the Regis affiliate's version full of smouldering, understated menace. By contrast, the Perc version pushes the tortured, noisy drums to their limits and his dub take sees hammering drums competing with razor sharp percussion for the listener's attention. Truss' own stomping industrial techno track "Hackney", completes the package.
17 Jun 11
09 Apr 12
Played by: Vegim, Tom Central, Shadow Dancer, Alkalino, Juno Recommends Techno, The Legendary 1979 Orchestra
Review: Soul:R boss and all round drum and bass legend Marcus Intalex's Trevino moniker has been used previously by Kaye on a split release with Instra:mental for Martyn's 3024 label, but the two tracks on this purple ten inch are much more in line with Al Bleek's material for [Naked Lunch], adopting a rhythmic poise and sound palette that leans heavily on the mid 90s bass heavy techno sound of LFO. "Buried" is the deeper of the two, building nicely from sparse percussive beginnings into a fully formed procession of warm, kaleidoscopic chords and bubbling analogue undercurrents. Those craving something darker will revel in the heady jacking brilliance of "Derelict" which betrays his D&B history via the deviant bassline twist.
12 Nov 12
Played by: Da Goblinn /Remuted
Review: On Danceteria, conventional house music gets brought down an alley and buggered senseless. The title track features the unusual combination of chiming bells and fragile, lithe percussion fused with dark keys and a brooding, junglist bassline. It makes for a tune that is both high on subtlety and force. "Run Interference" is somewhat more conventional thanks to its 'working the house' vocal sample and mid-tempo groove, but Primitive World slips back into experimental mode for "Cotopaxi". There, doubled-up claps provide the impetus but despite this, the rhythm is understated. It's just as well because the surging acid line that follows in its wake is powerful enough to annihilate a batallion of troops.
22 Apr 13
20 May 13
Played by: Andreas Florin
06 May 13
Review: Ike Release returns to Holland's MOS Deep under his own alias, and with it comes a gorgeous three-tracker filled with enough analogue grit to have you crunching away on those low-bit drum shots. "Cosmic Supreme" is so gritty in substance that it literally feels like house soundtrack to Blade Runner, bringing forth one monster of a bassline and some squelching, rave-fuelled synth jerks. "Spells" is similarly sublime, but this time uses acid as the main ingredient of the cocktail, while "Westview" takes care of the deepness, where its aqueous chords glide frantically across time and space only to leave one with a warm, longing feeling of more music from Ike. Recommended.
13 May 13
Review: With numerous vinyl, CD and cassette releases over the past 20 years, Orphx are true techno veterans; Boundary Conditions marks their third release for Adam X's Sonic Groove label, and sees them continue to blur the lines between techno, industrial and noise music with stellar results. "Outcast" begins with a tunnelling bass pulse, slowly giving way to savagely distorted synth blasts, gradually building to a frenzy of broken noise. "Vanishing Point" is similarly beautiful in its abrasiveness, coating its simple beat with distorted drum rolls and delicate tones, while "Periphery" takes a gentler approach letting its textures and rhythms unfold and breathe in more cavernous surroundings. Once again the duo prove why they are one of techno's most enduring outfits.
28 Jun 12
Played by: Paul Mac, Superbreak, Alkalino, Sinden & 5kinandbone5, Juno Recommends Techno, Joseph Terruel, Van Bonn, Philippe Petit (Knotweed/Dmt)
Review: Finally available digitally, Skudge Records offer up the Swedish analog fetishists' first single, which has more than stood the test of time. The dense, shuffling beats of "Convolution" sound similar to those on Martyn's last album, albeit a few degrees denser, while the evocative female vocal that lingers in the background could have been borrowed from a hardcore record which itself sampled an old house track. Just in case any listener thought that Skudge had a 'funky' side to their sound, they then weigh in with "Contamination". Still one of their hardest tracks, its tough, metallic beats provide the basis for insistent stabs and an acid line that embodies malicious intent. Infection has rarely sounded so alluring.
03 Feb 12
28 Feb 11
Played by: Shadow Dancer
Review: Although Chicago features in the release's title, it's fair to say that each producer delivers an individualistic take on US house music for London label Uzuri. At the deeper end of the spectrum sit Dublin's Slowburn and Chicago Skyway aka Sean Hernandez. The duo's "Meteor" is a raw house jam that ticks a lot of boxes: heavy beats that sail close to discordance? Check. Eerie synhs? Present and correct. Shaking, niggling percussion? "Meteor" has it in spades. Hernandez's "Resolution M" also confirms that he is a producer to watch, as shimmering, utopian synths and heavy claps is the most ethereal contribution to the EP. Indeed, "Resoultion M" provides some welcome respite: K Soul & Muteoscillator's "Take 1" features one of the toughest kick drums in house music underpinning an evil acid jam. However, the plaudit for intensity goes to Amsterdam-based duo Juju & Jordash. "Killing Raul With Acid" marks a departure for the duo, as its out of time percussion, noisy, dense drums and wildly distorted acid bleeps descend at times into a wall of noise. It sounds like the sonic interpretation of a nasty LSD trip, but this is a journey that you have to experience at least once.
28 Jan 13
Review: Featuring artwork that mocks the Hollywood logo, and presumably the superficial, air-kissing culture that goes with it, Crackboy is striving to create something out of the ordinary on Crackwood. "Apes" featuring Claude Violante starts off with a relatively standard, jacking house groove, but then he adds a filtered bassline and a sexy vocal that claims "I don't know what I'm doing". "User" sees the producer opt for a darker approach, with its hissing percussion, fuzzy bass and rolling drums underscoring a narrative about a man describing his experiences smoking 'purple haze'. High times indeed. Finally, "Kiddo" sees Crackboy return with a more standard house sound, its rolling kettle drums and evil bass providing the basis for a robotic vocal to intone the single word 'jack' throughout.
22 Feb 13
06 May 13
Review: Having signalled his return to pounding techno on a rowdy Echochord release recently, Mike Dehnert ensures that rattling sensation in our eardrums remains with Placide, a four fingered assault on your senses through home stable Fachwerk. Apparently inspired by some spam email entitled "Give It To Me Raw!" Dehnert elected to record opening track "Drehimpuls" live in Paris for extra rawness, with suitable results; the track literally barrels through a thick wall of corrugated sonics. The remaining three tracks sound slightly cleaner in comparison, though the sheer sound design at play ensures the unpredictable serrated synth of "Charger" or booming warehouse groove of "Eigenzeit" prove just as memorable. Final track "Isolant" is undeniably funky too, trapping some lost female vocal deep beneath the mangled kicks and smacked out whistles.
01 Apr 13
Review: Hard techno's Germanic beginnings may have given the genre it's unforgivingly industrial edge, but it soon spread across the globe faster than a HAARP electrical storm. Stepping up to the mantle with the likes of Presk and Blawan, Abstract Division have built a monolithic slab of near-impenetrable beats from their home in the Netherlands. It's as challenging as it is beguiling; the minimal sounds of "Collision" break through the colossal build and washed-out claps of "Comprehend", pulsing like the techno nights worth remembering. When the house revival begins to crumble, you know where we'll be.