Always one to charge into more interesting corners of the techno world, Adam X is in fine fettle as he drops his latest album for Sonic Groove, the first on his own label since 1998's Audiobiography. The tone is very much stout and stern, from the industrial-tinged drum hits to the cold and eerie synth content, but of course it's in the rhythmic department where Adam X really shines. At every turn there are intriguing grooves to latch onto, from the drunken lope of the title track with its anthemic hip hop vocal rip, to the opening broken techno drama of "Interchanges". There are more stripped down moments such as the restrained cycles of "Catenary", and some piston pumping bangers like "On The Verge Of Decimation", making this an engaging listen as well as a great collection of techno tracks.
Milanese techno outpost M_Rec continue to flex hard in 2014, with its seventh release so far this year introducing the talents of US newcomer Allen. Some four tracks deep, the Gravity Assist EP suggests Chris Allen is keenly attuned to the future glancing sounds that characterised much of techno's first wave and how to translate that approach in a manner appealing to the modern techno selectors and collectors. In the case of the opening title track, it's the laser-like bassline that pulses with kinetic energy, with Allen wisely keeping the rhythmic elements to a minimum. The subsequent "EM26" is reminiscent of Something In The Sky era Mills, whilst "MH370" pairs morse code style bleeps with trimmed drum textures. Final track "Kepler" sees Allen unleash something approaching a brooding techno monster to round out a confident debut from this newcomer.