HTH020 (The Haxan Cloakas Cloud Of Witness) - (10:46) 112 BPM
Typeface / Greyscale (Vatican Shadowas The World Is Complete) - (8:30) 127 BPM
Earlier this year Houndstooth regulars Akkord released the HTH020 EP, in which the duo took their bass-heavy sound to darker, more industrial places. It's something explored more explicitly on this remix package, which may well have two of the year's most radical tracks revisions. Tri Angle artist The Haxan Cloak delivers the epic 10-minute "Cloud of Witness" remix, taking elements from all four of the original Akkord EP's tracks, and turning them into an unclassifiable behemoth of bass, drone and strobing beats. Vatican Shadow's take on "Greyscale" and "Typeface" is a little more conventional, but nevertheless turns the two tracks into a powerful piece of techno that would demolish a dance floor in the right setting.
At what point did the wave of New York house producers become closer in sound to their European peers? The turning point was perhaps the launch of Anthony Parasole's The Corner label. Whether this is the case is unclear, but there is no doubt that the US producer's links to Berlin strengthen with the release of My Block on Berghain's in-house label, Ostgut Ton. Ironically though, the title track has more in common with UK techno, its rolling drums and loopy tones sounding like a sleek and dynamic update of late '90s techno tools. "Bizarre" has a more mysterious feeling as Parasole drags the listener down a tunneling groove that sounds influenced by Prologue and Dozzy, while "Typhoon" reverts to the dense, loopy sound, this time realized through a filtered prism.
WNCL Recordings is the creative hub for Bob Bhamra's West Norwood Cassette Library project - now almost five years old and always specialising in the more intricate and subtle ends of the house spectrum. Over the years, however, several guests have appeared on the label such as Kevin McPhee and Ekoplekz and this time it's up to newcomer-probably-under-alias, CEO, to make his way down to South London. The Major Edits EP, as the title suggests, is a mashup of high-tek, sound futurism mostly all based beyond the 130bpm mark. The opener, "Screeching", is a fast-paced jungle burner with stripped synths and bouncy kick going off left-right and centre. The rest of the EP follows in a similar vein, where tracks like "Loud" are a truly sublime blend of hardcore, techno and jungle. An ode to rave and a wonderful addition to Bhamra's catalogue.