Review: It's now traditional for long running Swedish techno imprint Tronic (established way back in 1998) to kick-start the year with a digital compilation of exclusive dancefloor workouts. This year, that compilation has been split into two parts. This second EP features six pulsating excursions, covering a variety of techno styles and moods. Contrast, for example, the spooky melodies, swirling atmosphere and prog trance influenced bottom end of Eric Sneo's "Beauty of the Sky", with the raw, distorted thump of Matt Sassari and Rainier Zonneveld's "Gas". There's plenty to enjoy elsewhere, too, including a brilliantly intense chunk of no-nonsense loop techno from Raffaele Rizzi.
Review: Vagale is India's best-known underground DJ and with releases on SCI+TEC, Tronic, Trapez and Bedrock, has done more than anyone else to showcase the sub-continent's growing interest in electronic music. The title track is a driving, heads-down affair, led by rickety, skittish drums and a resonating bassline, while the hiccupping vocal sample will endear it to a more mainstream audience. There are no such concessions on "Amor", where a tunnelling, droning groove suggests that Vagale has been quietly absorbing and then interpreting the hypnotic, bleep-laden techno of Berlin. Coupled with bursts of hissing white noise and cheese-wire percussion, it makes for a killer combination.
Review: Indian producer Arjun Vagale pops up on Trapez with this wholly inspiring three track EP. Regarded as one of the stars in the Indian electronic music scene, Vagale shows his penchant for crafting deep, sultry grooves on the Danger Mouse EP, with the title track opening proceedings with a heady yet subtle melange of twisted sonic touches primed for late night/early morning use. Rounding off an impressive package is "The Second Nutcase" (check the grandiose breakdown) and our pick of the bunch, "Indian Shot" which bumps and rattles with all manner of delicious percussive elements and an irresistible groove.
Review: The unstoppable Toolroom Longplayer series drops another shedload of Detroit-minded cuts for their latest compilation, featuring some of its casuals who are in no mood for docile house. Instead, you got heavy, teched-out floor dominators by the likes of Mihalis Safras - who is beautifully stripped back and pumped up by techno veteran Heiko Laux - Oscar L, DJ Boris, The YellowHeads and plenty more. As Omar S would say: "Mo' bang for yo' buck!"