Review: In what is fast developing into a state of the techno nation compilation, Illegal Alien delivers the second volume of Between Lands & Oceans. The Advent's "Tall Whites" is a lean, pacy techno track that takes the listener back to the act's mid to late 90s sound, while on "Aztek", Vinicius Honorio drops a similar, albeit more abrasive club track and Fixon's "Small Doses" is a rough take on Chicago ghetto techno. In contrast, N?rbak's "Rule Of Rescue" is a more nuanced, stepping track, while Abstract Division's "Encoder" and Merino's "Entering Colundi Galaxy" both focus on a subtle, tonal take on techno, inspired by Sahko and Sleeparchive.
Review: Moving from the mournful minimal house of Christian Loeffler's "Lost" into the high-priced brooding techno of Edit Select's "Inlands", it's fair to say that the latest compilation on Just This covers a lot of ground. However, there are commonalities; Abstract Division, best known for their tough, kicking techno, venture down a more brooding path with their contribution, "Aftermath". Meanwhile, Locked Groove of Hotflush fame opts for the same approach for the melancholic "The Come Up", while Eduardo De La Calle delivers the dubbed out "Mondo 8". As autumn draws in and the nights get longer, Broken Memories makes for the perfect soundtrack.
Review: Abstract Division aka Paul Boex and Dave Miller return to their own label with this alluringly moody EP. "Keyboard Warriors" is a menacing affair, led by an ominous bass that twists and turns its way through the low-slung groove. In contrast, "Fear of Loneliness" is more dance floor friendly but has a similar mood, as eerie soundscapes unfold over a hypnotic groove. The pair pick up the pace on "Lost Souls"; over a jacking, steely rhythm, filtered chords are layered and layered, while the title track marks another shift in style.
Retaining the same hypnotic flair as the previous tracks, it lacks any kick drums and floats away into an ambient dusk.
Review: Last year's fourth volume of the From the Vault series was largely an in-house affair, but for the fifth edition, Dynamic Reflection opts for a wider approach, bringing newcomers into the fold. It means that there are deep techno contributions from Cocoon producer Kevin De Vries' "Samarev" sitting beside spaced out dub tracks from Italy's Tozzy. Despite this proliferation of newer artists, Part V also plays host to familiar names. These include Stefan Vincent in reflective mode on "Torch" and label founders Abstract Division, whose "Metropolis" is turned into a solemn but beautiful slice of underground techno by former Sandwell District founder Function.
Isolated (Peter Van Hoesen remix) - (6:35) 130 BPM
Review: Just This has a long history of cultivating underground artists, and for its latest EP hthe label as tapped Abstract Division for some material. The title track is not what fans of the Dutch act might expect, with tranced out synths playing out over subtle back beats. "Isolated" is straighter and more dance floor-focused, but again the mood is understated, as the pair drop subtle drums and melancholic melodies that swirl through the ether. The label has tapped VRIL and Peter Van Hoesen for remixes and neither disappoints: the former's take on "Isolated" is subtle but effective, adding lithe drums to the mix, while the Van Hoesen take on the same track dives into a faster, tribal approach.
Review: For the fourth instalment of its From The Vault series, Paul Boex' label opts for a less banging than usual approach. Area Forty One's 'Sunday Morning cut' of Abstract Division's "Deformation" sets the tone for the release with its deep groove, while Deepbass & Ness come together to create the rolling groove and atmospheric tones of "Flight 103". Stefan Vincent's contribution, "Aro", is similarly deep, with some tropical samples embedded in its lithe rhythm, while remixers Milton Bradley and Delta Funktionen also use the opportunity to take Abstract Division on a more esoteric path. In the case of the former, it is articulated on the churning, dubby "Shifted Reality", while on the latter's re-work of "Floating Point", a jerky, angular rhythm prevails.
Review: Abstract Division is the brainchild of Paul Boex and Dave Miller. For this remix series Boex, who also runs Dynamic Reflection, has drafted in some high-profile remixers. Perc is more tempered than usual as he steers "Glide" in a deep, atmospheric direction. The same cannot be said about Matrixxman's 'Biohazard' take on "Future Existence" which features the kind of speaker-levelling frequencies one would expect to hear on a Mike Parker record. Matrixxman clearly has an interest in late 90s techno as he also delivers the rolling drums and steely Plastikman-inspired percussion on his reshape of "Immersion". The package also features a brooding acid-heavy remix of "The Hunt" by SHD & Obscure Shape, while Ben Buitendijk's take on "Future Existence" is in a similar vein to Matrixxman's remix.
Review: This is the first in a series of remixes from Paul Boex and Dave Miller's recent double pack under the Abstract Division alias - and bodes well for any subsequent remix releases. It starts with the Tensal version of "The Hunt" where a clanging Birmingham-inspired rhythm opens up to reveal a cascading spaced out filter. By contrast the Deepbass & Ness take on "Passenger" is a deep and dark tunneling dub techno groove its hissing ticking percussion and echoing drum patterns providing a soundtrack to accompany the listener to the depths. On Lewis Fautzi's remix of "Encounter" a similar mood prevails while the Stefan Vincent take on "Glide" nestles in soft-focus synths. That said Abstract Division don't spend too much time from the dance floor and the Haeken take on "The Hunt" is a mesmerizing minimal techno affair.
Review: Abstract Division is a collaboration between Dynamic Reflection owner Paul Boex and Dave Miller. Known to date for their tough, no-nonsense techno on the label, this debut allows them the platform to cover a wider musical range. "Glide " and "Fade Away", which book-end the release, are chilling ambient sound scapes, "Prime Radiant" sees the pair deliver acid-fried minimal house, while "Encounter" is a deep, filter-heavy groove. There is no shortage of tough club tracks on Spaces - check the brilliant, big-room drones of "Compulsive Disorder" - but this format does allow them to explore compelling alternatives, as the combination of solemn sirens, inspired by F.U.S.E's "Substance Abuse" and nocturnal filters of "Future Existence" so ably demonstrates.
Review: Dutch label Dynamic reflection continues to go from strength to strength with power duo Abstract Division comprised of label boss Paul Boex and Dave Miller. The original of Metropolis is a nice slice of soulful melodic techno that fans of Heiko laux or Vince Watson will be all over. The first thing you may think then listening to the Trolley Route mix is it sounds like Oscar Mulero; and it is! Things start getting hectic when they big guns Function and Marcel Fengler are called in for remix duties. Dave Sumner's pounding yet atmospheric version is all you'd expect. But he keeps the lush melody of the original intact and it works well. Fengler's rendition delivers exactly what he's renowned for in the form of energised, peak time minimal; just the way it should be!
Review: How do you make banging techno sound interesting? If you're Greek producer Emmanuel, then you take a leaf from late 90s house music to turn the drummy, clap-heavy techno of "Profile" into a filtered affair. Like DJ Sneak or Daft Punk beefed up on steroids, "Profile" is subjected to more panning than the average river in the Wild West during the gold rush. Abstract Division also takes an unexpected approach on "Inducement", lacing his percussive track with frequency-shifting bleeps. However, if you're in search of some good old-fashioned banging techno, don't fear because that's also available here courtesy of contributions from VSK and Re: Axis & Scalameriya.
Review: The latest collaboration between Paul Boex and Dave Miller opts for a more spaced out approach than previously. "Modal Realism" may be deep but it's also dance floor friendly, its trippy pulses and lithe percussive slivers prefacing a big drop into a dramatic chord sequence that is guided by reverberating claps. "Solitude" is even deeper and more refllective, with dreamy pads and a head-nodding tempo prevailing. But Abstract Division are also mindful of the need to appeal to the dance floor and Psyk's remix of "Realism" achieves this. The Spanish producer lays down a nagging groove, which provides the basis for insistent chords and chiming bells.
Review: Hard techno's Germanic beginnings may have given the genre it's unforgivingly industrial edge, but it soon spread across the globe faster than a HAARP electrical storm. Stepping up to the mantle with the likes of Presk and Blawan, Abstract Division have built a monolithic slab of near-impenetrable beats from their home in the Netherlands. It's as challenging as it is beguiling; the minimal sounds of "Collision" break through the colossal build and washed-out claps of "Comprehend", pulsing like the techno nights worth remembering. When the house revival begins to crumble, you know where we'll be.
Review: It's hard to imagine how any producer would countenance taking on "Deformation". Apart from the scraping metallic riffs at its centre, the original track is powered by a bass so oppressive and pummelling that it makes the drums sound tinny by comparison. Despite this, Dynamic Reflection has chosen the remixers well; Mike Parker shoehorns his trademark bleepy sound into a skipping rhythm, while Norman Nodge focuses on sparse, rolling drums and understated droning bass on his treatment. But it's Area Forty One who offers the most radical interpretation. As the dreamy chords provide a feather-soft backdrop, only the occasional burst of spiky percussion reminds the listener of the original's intensity.
Review: The second instalment of Form provides accurate snapshots from contemporary techno sounds and styles. In its original format, "Floating Point" is an austere, bleepy Sleeparchive-style groove, its sonic blips lent additional weight thanks to snappy, Klock-style percussion. Dutch producer Delta Funktionen brings a dubby approach on his rework, fusing it with a tunnelling, hypnotic riff, for a darker sound than is his wont, while "Magnetic Field" is a dark, industrial-tinged sound scape. There is also a look to the past as Ben Sims drops an acid-coated, loop techno take on "Shifted Reality" - but in the main this second volume is a forward-facing collection.
Review: It sounds like Abstract Division is interested in the darker side of electronic music. This becomes clear on "Shifted Reality", where noisy, jarring riffs are fused with wiry percussion to create a more intense take on droning techno. Milton Bradley's take on "Reality" favours the panning, pumping approach, but his remix is also full of eerie string sequences and stands out thanks to its muddy, murky riffs. Dasha Rush pushes "Reality" to the edge of dance floor techno with reverberated broken beats competing with stomping bass drums. But even this cannot compete with "Fluctuations", where what sounds like a witch scratching her nails to be heard over chilling chords make for a truly scary soundtrack.