Stingrays - "A Strange Footprint Of The Unknown" - (7:25) 133 BPM
Stingrays - "The Black Planet" - (8:54)
Review: The fifth Counter Pulse record delivers an incendiary double header. Following on from his excellent record on Token, Japan's Go Hiyama proves again that he's the master of advanced techno; "Spiral" consists of heavy beats, so dense and claustrophobic that they almost take the listener's breath away. Married to doubled up claps and cheesewire percussion, they make for one of the best peak-time tracks of 2012. "Screw" is based on a similar approach, but the groove is more rolling, providing a platform for evil bass licks and dark droning riffs. Stingrays contribute two screeching, metal-shredding tracks, but their aggression and broken beat menace somehow can't compare to Go Hiyama's brilliance.
Review: Nasty, low down, tech steppin' drum and bass courtesy of DJ Trace's seminal London imprint DSCI4. Toronto's Gremlinz teams up with fellow homeboy Adrian Go on the dark sci-fi nightmare that is "Rice Bowl" which truly plunders the depths of hell; this one's intense and calls to mind the classic sound of Ed Rush & Optical and Trace himself. The UK's Quartz steps up to the plate also with "Tachyon" featuring Nanobyte. A satanic exploration in breakbeat science reminiscent of late 90s experiments by Boymerang.
Review: Token has sensibly made all of the tracks from Kr!z debut commercial mix available in an unmixed format. The Belgian label has put out a wide range of music, and its owner represents its diversity well on this selection. With the inclusion of Xhin's twisted, abstract rhythms, the plaintive ambience of Inigo Kennedy's 'Obsidian' and Surgeon's electro take on Grovskopa's "Sex & Violins", the compilation shows the label's reflective side. However, Token is first and foremost a dance floor label and Introspective includes the insane drones of Ctrl's "Sockets", Rodhad's spooky "Spomeniks", the glacial trance of Inigo Kennedy's "Cathedral" and the deranged tonal assault that is Makaton's "Endless Revolt".