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10 Jun 13
Review: Edinburgh producer Hostage has no intention of losing the heat garnered from a host of important releases on labels like Herve's Deep Thrills and Black Butter. The newfound interest in the deeper side of things is kept up on "How We Go Down" which features buzzing low bass and tough house beats. "Keep Dark" is sultry speed garage, the sparse "Conscious" veers into 4 x 4 territory and ""Show Ya" wraps things up with a warped rave organ riff and some very late night UKF grooves.
10 Jun 13
Played by: John Digweed
Review: French producer Antoine Husson's album as Electric Rescue seems like an unusual choice for John Digweed's Bedrock label. That said, Sonic Architecture does have some connection to the British DJ's dance floor selections, both past and present. "Unaggressive Complexity" could be an update on the break beat of Hybrid that Digweed championed - albeit with an evil Hoover riff at its centre - while the trippy vocal samples and insane tonal blips of the minimal house groover "Deode" is more in keeping with the Bedrock chief's current playlists. Sonic Architecture is more than dance floor tracks however, and the angelic melodies and glitchy sounds of "Dope" and the jingly guitar riffs and careering electronic bassline of "Airy Field" show that Husson has become a serious album artist.
10 May 13
Played by: Paul Mac, Shadow Dancer, Juno Recommends Deep House, Juno Recommends Techno, Fredeverything, Enclave, Joseph Terruel, Forest Echo One, Joefarr
Review: The ever-correct Prime Numbers series is still going strong, this time bringing together a thoroughly eclectic range of producers to lay down some solid club fodder. Adesse adopts the tenderest approach, bringing a soft African lilt to a subtle arrangement of light drums and poignant chords. Truss is certainly in no mood to chill on "Redbrook", going for a big room techno flavour that favours rigid beats, acid parps and epic swathes of organ. Massimo Di Lena is on a far more twitchy tip, with a snagging assortment of percussion and some woozy synths that leave one feeling wonderfully dizzy.
17 Jun 13
11 Mar 13
Played by: Paul Mac, Spec., Henderick Aka Thelonious Funk, Shadow Dancer, Alkalino, Juno Recommends Techno, Slam, Pablo Contraband (Disco Deviant), Simonlebon, Deetron, Menorah, Resident Advisor, Cosby (Car Crash Set), Larssen, Jt86, Eats Everything, Ibiza Sonica, Dapayk Solo
Review: The Boddika-helmed Nonplus unveil Think & Change, the label's first compilation and what a way to mark such an event. Calling on a cast of the great and the good of contemporary techno and bass music, Think & Change arrives sporting some thirteen tracks, a statement of how far Nonplus has come since its emergence in 2009 as an outlet for the Autonomic family of artists, gradually mutating into a more wide ranging approach, with material from Actress, Kassem Mosse and Basic Soul Unit ensuring a reputation as one of the most respected labels in the bass music diaspora. The highlights on this compilation are many, but you should be checking Four Tet's contribution "For These Times" (easily his best, least fussy club track to date) "Bad Chicago" from Martyn, and Kassem Mosse's excellent "Broken Patterns".
27 May 13
Review: Pedestrian's work is sporadic and unpredictable to say the least and with only two releases having come out in the last two years, we really never know what to expect from this mysterious producer. He is, however, back on James Zabiela's Born Electric label and joined majestically by a healthy team of remixers who take care of his "Hoyle Road" track! We get the original, of course, a sweet and sultry deep house groover but Benjamin Damage and Doc Daneeka rapidly transform it into a hefty techno workout reminiscent of the Ostgut Ton sound. FaltyDL dusts the bass off and produces a heavier, dubbier house cut of the original, backed by some rather splendid synth work, whilst SpectraSoul take care of the d&b sway, giving us the track's vocals over some hyper-speed breakbeats and hard-hitting low-ends. Nice lil' package!
10 Jun 13
20 May 13
Played by: Paul Mac, Joachim Spieth (Affin), Shadow Dancer, Juno Recommends Techno, Slam, Mark Knight, Resident Advisor, Forest Echo One, Green Velvet
Review: Following Psyk's excellent label debut for Mote Evolver in the shape of Distane, the producer returns for another EP of robust, yet minimalistic techno. The title track is as tripped back as they come, utilising simply a stomping kick drum and metallic bell tones to create a devastating techno tool; "Surface" is similarly sparse, but trades earth shaking qualities for an idiosyncratic combination of irregular claps which are thrown into the mix alongside slender synth stabs. "Intern" meanwhile takes things on a funkier tip, where distant snare rolls and marimba-like tones combine to create a deceptively simple techno tool; it's a stark contrast to "Somewhere" which is significantly brighter in its approach, accenting Psyk's fierce rhythms and dub chords with a colourful cluster of house-inspired stabs.
10 Jun 13
Review: Antonio De Angelis and Arnaud Le Texier's collaboration yields a killer pure techno release. The title track features that well-worn but effective combination of surging chords and driving hi hats, but the production is so effortless that it stands apart. The same can be said about "Freak Lip". Tougher and more percussive than the title track, the duo use dubby basslines and insistent Morse Code bleeps to create a heads-down Millsian affair. "Leading" is cut from a similar cloth, but is more grainy and frenetic, while the remixes come from Antigone and ROD. The former is a pacy affair, while on the latter, the Dutch producer drops a drum-heavy, percussive workout.
03 Jun 13
Played by: Shadow Dancer
Review: Canadian techy house maestro HRDVSION (pronounced 'Hardvision', obviously) has always been interested in the experimental side of dance music. Not content with simply learning the tricks of the trade, he admits often that he prefers to constantly try for more difficult, more intriguing ways to approach his sound. This four tracker opens up the listener to his way of thinking in much more detail than a single track could. Sure he aims for the dancefloor, but can't electronic music be a bit deeper, more artistic than that? The acid-trip synths on "Apocalypse6" and the hard techy influences on "Feel You're Fading" make this a buy on sight.
03 Jun 13
Review: Exium continue to strengthen their working relationship with Pole Recordings, gracing Oscar Mulero's label with A Sensible Alternative To Emotion, their second studio album. Having spent over a decade refining their own vision of hard edged techno, Exium use this platform of a second album to expand on their established sound, at times easing down the tempos and intensity for a more balanced listen across the 10 tracks. Productions such as the granite heavy "Massless Particle" or tunnelling abstraction of "Absolute Magnitude" demonstrate this is no drastic departure from the Exium sound but there's an equal consideration for melodic arrangements and more subdued moments.
16 Jun 13
27 May 13
Review: Ostgut Ton keep their fires of 2013 well stoked with a new EP from Detroit luminary Edinburgh's most illustrious techno import Rolando who first appeared on the famed German imprint and nightclub with the rare white label 12? 5 To 8 released in late 2010. The D & N's EP marks another release in what's becoming an increasingly impressive year for Ostgut Ton, with a Function LP, Panorama Bar mix from Steffi and numerous 12"s already released. Rolando brings the heat across three tracks that are primed with the sinister funk Detroit-inspired drum sequences tailored made for the residential DJ sets of Herr Dettmann and Fengler
03 May 13
Played by: Vision Collective, Jimpster, Adam B (Homegrown Music/Palooza), Alkalino, Juno Recommends Deep House, Marcus Marr, Djuma Soundsystem, Resident Advisor
Review: Next month sees Freerange boss Jimpster return to the album game with Porchlight and Rocking Chairs, this release acts as a neat teaser for what to expect. Lead track "Rollergirl" pumps in arpeggio like a night drive scene from a '80s music video clip, while breathy male vocals whisper in the tracks background. It's a melodic piece fuelled by muted tension and soft aggression. Accompanying it is "Hold My Hand", a track featuring all the Jimpster trimmings; deep piano chords, spoken word vocals, chromatic synth loops and soft, yet thumpy drums.
11 Mar 13
Played by: Alexander Robotnick, Pete Tong, Joseph Capriati, Juno Recommends Minimal/Tech House, Florian Meindl, John Digweed, Carl Cox, Pan-Pot, Brisboys, Jay Lumen, Karotte, Tom Wax, Sharam , Umek, Green Velvet, Moby
Review: Paganini drops a heavy, functional EP for Sven Vath's label. The title track sets the tone for the release, a dark, slamming affair characterised by heavy, concrete beats and hissing percussion. A similar approach applies on "Fire In My Arms", but here the central riff drones like a strike craft moving in to drop its deadly payload.
"Polyester" is more straightforward, as a rolling groove drops and builds again, powered by metallic drums. "Hot" sees Paganini revisit the approach on the title track with insistent vocal samples littered in the arrangement, while "Parallel" features a vocal snippet intoning "I'm stretched" over a belching acid line.
06 May 13
Review: Tom Rowlands is the spectacle-wearing-half of the Chemical Brothers and he debuts his solo work on Erol Alkan's Phantasy Sound. Rowlands merges new school styles of throbbing and jacked-up house - replete with marching snares, curdling cow bells and cut vocals - with powerful stylings of EBM. Pitch that against a synthesiser that sounds like its being hung, drawn and quartered and you have Rowlands' title track "Through Me". Meanwhile, the chainsaw synth of "Nothing But Pleasure" dominates the track, which builds into a druggy drop made for party-harder dancers moshing like they were at a Rage Against The Machine or Justice concert - harking back to the days when French electro labels Institubes and Ed Banger ruled.
26 May 13
Review: In what might have seemed like an unlikely pairing at first, Kowton and Julio Bashmore join forces for a Bristolian crossover that yields the perfect kind of hybrid madness for these times. "Mirror Song" comes on with the gritty percussive dread that embodies Kowton's more recent output, while the more insistent house groove and catchy sample hooks show the poppier sensibilities Bashmore has brought to the table. "And What?" is less easy going, fraying and splintering into that broken snare snarl that could only come from Kowton, dodging any kind of melody in favour of industrial textures and morose bass stabs. For those needing a more linear kind of beat to work with, the "techno remix" of "Mirror Song" should fit the bill very nicely indeed.
10 Jun 13
Review: Is Boris Bunnik capable of releasing a sub-standard record? Hot on the heels of his excellent Versalife album comes Dawning, recorded as Vernon Felicity. Like a halfway house between his Conforce sound and the more reflective end of Versalife, Dawning inhabits a dreamy, synth-laden netherworld, where low-slung, jacking rhythms and ghostly synths prevail. This combination is audible on the title track, but Bunnik impresses most on "Wrong Notion", with its wiry acidic framework and angelic chords and "3". Forsaking the jacking rhythm that makes "Dawning" and "Breaking Silence" such groovy propositions, "3" is bathed in a glow of introspective synths.
26 Apr 13
Played by: Smutlee, S-File, Aka Tell (A.g.trio), Posthuman, Coco Cole, Allmostt, Rumah, Modern Math Recordings
Review: Although it has only one release to its name - Happa's Beat Of The Drum - London club night turned record label Church is looking to be an imprint to keep close tabs on, especially on the strength of this second EP, from young London producer Rumah. Although his debut from last year demonstrated an atmospheric, syncopated style of bass music, "Stutter" shows a marked progression into swung techno styles, with a weighty track full of concrete rhythms and glassy synths; "Murmur" is similarly powerful, throwing acid flecks and sunken vocals into the mix. Meanwhile, Apes & Seb Wildblood offer their own take on "Stutter", tempering some of the original's more ferocious attributes with some subtle dub techno elements, while James Fox refixes "Murmur" into a slinky, mid-tempo house groover, whose swelling synths offer something considerably deeper.
14 Jun 13
17 May 13
13 Aug 12
24 Sep 12
Played by: Paul Mac, Joachim Spieth (Affin), Slam, Jay Wong, Bas Mooy, Pan-Pot, Resident Advisor, Electric Rescue, Bruno Sacco (Gravite Records), Zombie Nation, Forest Echo One, Michael L Penman, Kevin Saunderson, Sven Vath
Review: The legendary Mote Evolver is back with another ferocious slab of UK techno. Label favourite Psyk gives us a blow to the head as soon as the needle touches down on title track, "Distane". Repetitive keys swing back and forth with mighty force; followed by "Isolate", another triumphant techno bomb filled with muffled static and a feverishly hissed percussion. For the (digital) B Side, Psyk takes us further down the bouncing rabbit hole on "Rdmn", and completes his rave injection with "Main", an almighty, stripped number worthy only of a gigantic dark room filled with bass bins.
15 Mar 13
Played by: K-Freak
03 Jun 13
Played by: Shadow Dancer
Review: Femme En Fourrure's tagline, which reads: "Music made for DJs and catwalks; also: for nightly promenades and oceanside sexin'", truly captures the image of the music for its grungy, lopsided UK house flair. Marking the first outside artist on Jon Convex's Convex Industries, Femme En Fourrure have appeared on a few EPs, but this twelve track showdown really gets the ball rolling, starting from the beachy, synth-ridden hymns of "Sunburst" to the meandering and militant two-step roller that is "Golden Sssh", the semi-house-semi-Metalheadz stomp of the inimitable "Bound" and even the straighter but edgier house roller called "2003", these guys clearly know what they're doing. Pure, straight-up electronic diversions for the smaller hours.
13 Jun 13
10 Dec 12
17 Jun 13
03 Jun 13
Review: Tiga's mission to reposition Turbo as a techno label continues with Clock. The title track is stomping and full-on, its concrete beats pushed to the point of distortion, its bassline sounding like a sped-up version of an 80s EBM bass. Joefarr continues with his journey into the noisy side of techno on "Big Jeff", with grainy drums supporting a cut-up vocal sample and agresisive, filtered builds. Meanwhile, "What Goes Around" is more stripped back and jacking, while "Uncle B" is decidedly groovy, its rough percussion and throbbing rhythm playing host to a pitched down vocal and insistent riffs. Fans of early Neil Landstrumm and Relief should check out Clock.
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.
24 Apr 13
Played by: Juno Recommends Minimal/Tech House, Sean Danke, Resident Advisor, Timo Maas, Troy Pierce, Christian Smith, Ibiza Sonica, Art Department, DJ Hell, 2000 And One
Review: Richie Hawtin's label has long been associated with the minimal sound, but this release frees itself from that sound. The title track is stripped back, but it serves up a new take on classic electro thanks to its shuffling 808s and woozy, reflective synths. Tale of Us return to a more conventional approach on "Discochord" but they still avoid hiccupping mnml sounds and the squelchy acid line is accompanied by atmospheric synths. Finally, "Lost City" is more grimy and nocturnal, but again the menacing 808s and reflective synths make it sound a million miles away from the label's trademark sound.
25 Feb 13
10 Jun 13
Played by: Paul Langley
Review: Add reverb to the tracks on Rebekah's Cycles EP and you're close to what Speedy J's more booming productions sound like. Techno doesn't really get much more functional, mechanical and club friendly than this, showcased by the marching down beats of "Self Destruct", fuelled further by double claps, and the throbbing science fiction pulsations of "Suicide Mind" that warp in overdrive. "Equilibrium" adds welcome wetness to the EP, but is used sparingly, just on the synths, while the arrangement of "Asymmetric" is a dark warehouse dream for any big room DJ.
24 Nov 09
10 Jun 13
Review: Two well-known techno names come together, but will Speedy J's age and experience prevail over Lucy's hunger for experimentation? Happily, Zeitgeber avoids this situation and both producers complement one another, either taking turns to assume responsibility or working so closely that their talents dovetail seamlessly. The found sounds and glitchy percussion of "These Rhythms" and "None of their Defects" are by-products of Lucy's approach, while "Skin" sees Speedy J revisit early 90s trance techno with a robot vocal rambling away in the background. But when their creative footprints are indistinguishable the best results occur: in particular, the stepping rhythms and gamelan drums of "From Here", which also features half-heard sounds and drones, unite Paap and Lucy in one gloriously abstract arrangement.
17 Jun 13
Played by: Submerge
10 Jun 13
Review: When he's not making deep house or system-shattering dub techno, Brendon Moeller can be found following a more experimental approach as Echologist. Mechanics follows in a similar vein to previous releases under this guise, albeit with a slightly more dance floor-based approach. "Head On" is a dark, stepping rhythm, its heavy basslines uncoiling to the sound of sonic bleeps and squeaks. The title track is straighter and unravels to the sound of building filters and tweaked acid lines, with a solemn robotic vocal hidden in the mix. "Crossing Over" features dubby drums and pin prick bleeps, while "More Instinct" sees Moeller put a focus on buzzing bass licks and acidic warbles.
30 May 13
13 Aug 12
Played by: Juno Recommends Minimal/Tech House, Sean Danke, Tura, Enzo Canale, Paolo Madzone Zampetti, Kryss Hypnowave, Yellow Bus Project, Nick Warren
Review: Hamburg-based duo Nico and Christian aka Kollektiv Turmstrasse make the most of what's left of Summer by releasing this EP featuring shimmering remixes of two tracks: "Lapache" and "Ordinary". Alex Q, Lake People, YouANDMe & Cosmic Cowboys rework the former in poolside electro-house forms respectively. Meanwhile "Ordinary" features three of the EPs stand-out remixes: an eccentric sleazy house-turns-hippy-trip-out from Alex Q, a harder jackin' mix by Mick Rubins and a haunting melancholic tech-house version by Lake People. Here comes the sun.
10 Jun 13
Played by: Dom 877
Review: With early releases by the likes of My Nu Leng, Dom 877's eponymous label is going from strength to strength and now they add label newbies Klic and Riskotheque to their potent bass cocktail. "Compton" is an electric ghetto houser that dares to introduce squelchy 303s into bass music. Donga & Blake's remix is monumental tribal electro while Richta joins the duo for another, frankly bonkers, deep techno monster.
23 Mar 13
Played by: Carl Cox
25 Jun 12