Review: M_REC keep their foot firmly planted on their 2012 pedal by releasing Spanish producer Aiken's Balance EP, his first release for the label which includes a special remix from UK techno luminary Regis. Aiken's "First Balance" is as trippy and melodic as it is well travelled. A continuous synth loop journeys through a smattering of white noise and hissing percussion, but remains devoid of cheesiness. "Second Balance" is more gracious than the first, although slightly disturbing - think Italian horror film composer Claudio Simonetti meets Jeff Mills Something In The Sky series. Regis' remix hunches the original from its sleek invention, creating a grubby translation of insect chatter and workshop percussion. "Third Balance" is the most visceral of the three as a hectic loop creates a sharp and deranged mantra - proceed with caution.
Review: Aiken aka Alfonso L?pez has released a series of acclaimed EPs in recent years on labels like Semantica and Psyk's Non Series. Now the Spanish producer steps into the spotlight thanks to these remixes of his 2017 release, Genetics. The label deserves plaudits for assembling an impressive line-up; Blawan delivers a flailing, relentless take on the title track that isn't a million miles from Steve Bicknell's work for Lost/Cosmic, while on his interpretation of "Dominance", Blueprint boss James Ruskin opts for a coruscating, pounding workout, led by relentless kicks and a mesmerising filter. However, the most impressive re-work comes from Volt-Face, whose take on "Hybrid" is a hypnotic, minimal affair.
Review: Supported already by Klock, Dettmann and Sims, the latest release from Spanish producer Aiken delivers a stunning interpretation of techno purism for Non Series. It starts with the dense, spacey stabs of "Hybrid", which sounds like a more refined take on early Steve Bicknell material. The title track is a tougher, faster, big room affair that integrates dark Mills-ian riffs into its booming groove. "Somatic" sees Aiken go deeper again, with a niggling percussive arrangement playing out over a hypnotic loop, while on "Dominance", he manages to effortlessly straddle the house/techno divide, aided by gritty percussion and an insistent, pulsing rhythm.
Review: The Amsterdam On And On party promoters celebrate six years with a compilation that varies from the full on to the stripped back and spaced out. Residing in the functional, DJ-friendly corner is Moerbeck, whose "Weapon's In Your Head" is a tough, banging workout led by slamming beats and a receptive tonal riff. Yan Cook's "Freefall" is more subtle but just as effective as its filtered and reverberated claps unfold over a dense groove, and Jeff Rushin "Tusk" is a classic slice of freaked out minimalism, its pointillist hook pushed over a pummeling, tribal drum track. At the other end of the spectrum Aiken's "Reductive" marries spaced out synths with a stepping arrangement, while Terence Fixmer's "Moments" is spacey Detroit techno at its very finest.