Review: The latest episode in Ambivalent's label sees the US producer bring together some of the best new names in techno. He cosies up to Matrixxman on "Junction"; led by pounding drums and ferocious percussive blasts it sets the tone for the rest of the release. Physical Therapy also drops a visceral techno track in the shape of "Rosemary" which morphs into a dreamy segue but without losing its abrasive edge. Avalon Emerson replicates the sound of an entire beehive being eliminated on the layered tonal builds of "Glider Gun" while Toms Due rounds off this dance floor-primed release with the acid-led jacking rhythm of "Module".
Review: The rise of San Francisco's Avalon Emerson continues with her new EP for Ghostly International diffusion label Spectral Sound. Following up some great release for the likes of Icee Hot and Shtum, Emerson is in fine form with these four attitude driven tech house cuts. Starting out in style with the funky and uplifting jack of "Natural Impasse", there's then the emotive analogue soul of "Dystopian Daddy" that's full of vintage vintage pads, gritty synth leads and rusty rhythm patterns. Finally the high octane thump and shuffle of "Groundwater" hammers the message home in gloriously.
Review: The past few years have seen an increase again in popularity of classic house, but a lot of the releases sound too clean and clinical, digitally enhanced but without the raw soul. Thankfully, Emerson's latest record has that quality in spades. "Pressure" is a slamming groove, led by distorted kicks and a grainy bass, while "Quoi" is even more edgy. There, chopped up vocal samples are thrown in over a stop-start jacking groove. Gerd Janson and Lauer's Tuff City Kids collaboration deliver two versions that further highlight this approach. The "Clean Shave" version resonates to heavy claps and dank acid lines, while the "Blade" version is a heavier, harder exploration of this theme.