Eagles From Space (Faceplant mix) - (7:42) 125 BPM
Eagles From Space (Organ mix) - (7:42) 125 BPM
Eagles From Space (Detroit Grand Pubahs remix) - (7:00) 130 BPM
Eagles From Space (Niedermeier & Whitehead remix) - (6:47) 124 BPM
Eagles From Space (Niedermeier & Whitehead remix - Non Vox edit - Free Track) - (6:16) 124 BPM
The ultra-productive Pig & Dan deliver a typically big room affair for Gareth Whitehead's label. The Alt mix features all of the duo's signature nuances - hissing, layers of percussion and brooding bass - but its rhythm is off-centre and its tonal bleeps come close to sharing Sleeparchive's malevolence. The Faceplant version is more stripped back and menacing, as splintered beats are dropped over a rolling rhythm. The Detroit Grand Pubahs bring a spooky techno sound to proceedings, as a spindly rhythm underscores a whooshing, tripped out filter, but an ominous air is never too far away and the Organ remix seethes with crazed keys and supernatural vocals.
AVN #011 sees Shifted and Ventress' Avian label look to the USA for the first time, as it taps up New York producer Shaun O'Sullivan for a six-track EP under his new 400PPM alias. O'Sullivan already has a deep knowledge of techno developed over a broad range of musical projects as anyone who has heard his excellent releases for The Corner and L.I.E.S. will attest. Bookended by two stark explorations into noise, the EP is joined by four solid techno productions which all marry the hard-hitting industrial sounds of pioneers like Adam X together with the rolling percussion and impressive sound design of the Berghain school of Dettmann and Klock. The off-kilter syncopations and metallic clutter of "Monoculture" is a particular highlight in what is another essential EP from Avian.
New transmissions from Dave Huismans - whether under the 2562 moniker or as A Made Up Sound - are seemingly all too rare, but are always guaranteed to cause the kind of excitement usually reserved for big budget summer blockbusters, albeit without the inevitable sense of disappointment. After Hours is a welcome return then and sees Huismans further muddy the waters of definition when it comes to A Made Up Sound; both tracks are characterised by a more steady approach than we're used to from Huismans, with the title track described as offering a "brooding alternative soundtrack to that most underrated of Scorsese movies" (complete with film dialogue samples), while "What Preset" provides an abstracted combination of confrontational bass stabs and broken kick drums that seem to explode like landmines. Like the recent output of the Livity Sound trio, it's a release that explores techno's slower possibilities without compromising on impact.
The mysterious A Sagittariun goes back to the '90s for Across The Celestial Sphere. "The DNA of Life" is in keeping with his previous releases, as robust breakbeats underpin sensuous bleeps and a powerful sub-bass. However, the release starts to get really interesting on "Clusters". The backing drums are similar to the track Stacey Pullen contributed to the True People compilation - seek it out if it's not in your collection - to which Sagittariun adds dreamy chords and a soaring acid line. Meanwhile, "Fire Sign" is a deep affair, powered by a throbbing bass; once again, the track is reminiscent of Detroit techno from the mid-90s.
There's something pleasingly old-fashioned about the work of mysterious producer A Sagittariun. To date, the enigmatic artist has delivered a string of strong 12" singles that sit somewhere between classic Detroit techno, mid-'90s electronica (think Pete Namlook with a dancefloor pulse, or stargazing ambient house) and early U.S deep house. Dream Ritual, his first full-length, continues in a similar vein, offering the kind of stargazing melodies, wide-eyed atmospherics and tactile, synth-heavy rhythms that bristle with cosmic intent. There are some startling diversions from the formula, too, not least the rubbery slap bass, paranoid vocal samples and vintage drum machine hits of "The Age of Sin".