Review: While it may not seem as familiar as other artists, Sam Barker's relationship with the Berghain / Ostgut axis is long-established. Working together with Andy Baumecker, he has released a series of albums and Eps for the label, while his own imprint, Leisure System, has hosted nights at the hallowed Berlin club. Now flying solo with Debiasing, he reveals a more contemplative edge to his sound. "Cascade Effect" and "Look How Hard I've Tried" are led by atmospheric chords and gentle bass tones, while on "When Prophesy Fails", he offers up a similar, albeit slightly more frosty melodic sequence. Clearly there is a lot more going on to Barker than dance floor techno, and even the warbling rhythm of "Filter Bubbles" is complex, intricate - but always intriguing,
Review: On his debut solo LP for Ostgut Ton, Leisure System co-founder Sam Barker turns his focus toward the psychology behind the musical decision making process, with solutions for 'quantifying pleasure, abolishing suffering, and the ethical use of drugs and nanotechnology' - being just some of the themes over its nine tracks, with a strong aesthetic of dub techno throughout. From thought provoking IDM cuts like "Posmean" or the particularly cavernous "Gradients Of Bliss", right through to moments of emotive techno-soul as heard on the title track and the transcendental ambience of "Wireheading" - 'Utility' is a non-ironic musical approach to a whole spectrum of utilitarian and transhumanist ideas.
Review: In the 12 years since he unfurled acclaimed debut album Clarence Park, one-man electronica factory Chris Clark has produced a vast body of work. He's been particularly busy on the remix front, completing a huge array of reworks. It's this work that makes up the vast majority of Feast/Beast, a remix retrospective (which, curiously, also includes some notable reworks of his material) split into two distinct halves. The first disc, Feast, focuses on the more melodic, other-worldly end of his output, delivering wide-eyed remixes of Amon Tobin, Kuedo and, most beautiful of all, Silverman. Beast, the second disc, moves into darker, tougher territory, joining the dots between techno, bass music, vintage hardcore and wonk-hop thanks to notable versions of Massive Attack, Maximo Park and Depeche Mode.
Review: This is the first installment of Argentinean re-edit hero Fabiolous Barker's new Community Service series in which he is paired with a host of like-minded souls for one-on-one collaborations. Here he teams up with Javi Frias on the Real Thing-style disco-pop gem ""Turn Me On", Mr Aboslutt arrives to take things into a frantic guitar, bass and synth battle on "Let's Let Work It Out", Nicko Marineli contributes to the euphoric sing-and-clap-along "Push Push Push" and Pete Le Freq helps steer "You Used To Miss Me" from its Chicago roots into a more mellow piano-house lament.
Review: High-grade schmokin' disco is on the menu here on the latest Katakana Edits installment, courtesy of Fabiolous Barker and Amir Perry. The former flexes his re-edit muscle over three beguiling tracks: the frisky funk fizz of the housey "Sing", the sultry low-slung "NightGrooving" and the punchy Flash & The Pan 80s rework "Why D'Ya Run Away". Perry mans the decks for the final tunes - the diva-funk strutter "Watch The Dub" which comes in both standard and extended versions.
Review: There's a reason that Midnight Riot's eponymous compilations frequently charge to the top of the Juno Download charts. Put simply, they never disappoint. This ninth installment sticks to the now tried-and-tested formula - house-friendly re-edits and originals from across the disco, boogie, soul and funk spectrum - but predictably hits the spot throughout. As usual, there's a bonus mix - this time put together by globe-trotting scalpel jockey Rayko - and tracks come from both label regulars ('80s Child, Ziggy Phunk, Chewy Funk) and an impressive array of new or unheralded talents. It's in the latter category that you'll find some of the most impressive fare - see Phil Jaimes deliciously Balearic "Nowhere To Hide" and Cosmocomics' kaleidoscopic synth-funk jam "Mary Jane" - though the standard remains pleasingly high throughout.
Review: For a label that only launched this spring, four volumes of creatively executed party jams is beyond impressive. We reckon this could be Funk Fusion's best yet, too. From Rhythm Scholar's respectfully tripped out twist on "Lucy In The Sky" to Fabioulous Barker's slap-bass blazed take on Skeelow via the funkiest ever version of 2Pac's "California Love", it's an impressive collection that leans towards the more subtle art of editing rather than crass bootleg cut-and-shuts and will have a lot more timeless appeal as a result.
Review: Ostgut Ton ain't just house, techno and concrete, they're ambient, experimental, electro and musique concrete. This is the biggest compilation the label has released since they let Emika run wild in a closed Berghain and Panorama Bar to capture sounds of the humming club for 2010's Funf compilation. Barker & Baumecker and Fiedel saw releases on that compilation and now they contribute a track each to Ostgut Ton's abstract Various LP. B&B offer up some dubby frenetics in "Meiose" while Fiedel supplies some melodica and two step rhythms in "Grunewald2". Tobias' "Dark & Troubling Things" share a similar beatless murk to music from Canadian ambient artist Loscil, while Rolando's track "Neglected" is a stand out. DIN adds some minimally-charged Chicago house to the LP, while Virginia and new name Crushed Soul opt for something more electro. Dave Sumner then seals Various with a primitive "Golden Dawn" featuring Stefanie Parnow for something totally different to what Function fans are usually accustomed to.
Bersarin Quartett - "Mehr Als Alles Andere" - (5:47)
Pole - "Wipfel Dub" - (4:05)
Cassegrain - "Serpent" - (5:10)
Perc - "Kord" - (5:48)
Alex Smoke - "LiveOn" - (6:02)
Swarm Intelligence - "Shatter" - (5:10)
Tim Exile - "It's Dark In Here But I Still Love You" (live & improvised at Krake Festival 2012) - (4:39)
Lakker - "Darcdub" - (5:11)
Goner - "Enka" - (5:55)
Kid606 - "Juju Voodoo" - (1:51)
Ulrich Schnauss - "A Long Way To Fall" (live at Krake Festival 2012) - (4:25)
Dadub - "Syncronic Pattern" (live at Krake Festival 2012) - (6:12)
SHRUBBN!! - "Echos 3|4" - (2:18)
Barker - "Marston Vale" - (2:25)
Review: Killekill associated imprint Krake have got something pretty special for their debut release - a diverse and fulfilling compilation of some of the most interesting electronic artists of the moment, ranging from techno to IDM and beyond. This is one for you to check out piece by piece but we thought we'd pick out a few tasty ones to get your juices flowing: Pole makes a rare appearance with the beautiful, dubbed-out half-steps of "Wipfel Dub", Cassegrain's "Serpent" is a fast-winding, semi-techno banger complete with one of the nastiest basslines since Surgeon's "Krautrock"; meanwhile Perc comes in with his pulsating techno camaraderie and Lakker's "Darcdub" is just militantly insane. All in all, a fantastic, wide-ranging compilation of new material from some of the darkest minds out there - check the other, lesser known faces too. We're certainly looking forward to the next chapter of Krake...
Review: Here's something you can feel good about buying: a charity collection of re-edits and original productions that aims to raise fund for testicular cancer research. The Alpaca Edits crew has done a superb job in rounding up contributions from some of this generation's most popular scalpel fiends, including '80s Child, Dr Packer, Fingerman and Fabiolous Barker. Highlights come in all sorts of shapes and sizes, from the head-nodding, horn-heavy funk of Rafael Fernandez's "Uh-Oh", and Stephen Richards' house-friendly Kool & The Gang rework ("Fresh"), to the piano-totin', boogie brilliance of Bad Barbie Vs Evil Smarty's "Loose Juice", and Goldboy's standout nu-disco jam "Under Game".
Review: Not to be confused with the techno-minded Dutch label of the same name, this Deep Sense is based out of Mexico, they have a penchant for the funkier side of the dance and the cheekier side of edit culture. They proved it on their inaugural voyage in November 2014, and they're proving it once again right here... Kicking off with the sax-massaging jack-jam "The Road To Kalakuta" the whole album is an instant party full of sassy sonic surprises. Highlights include the dusty vinyl crackles and heaving harmonics of Rafael Fernandez's "Nothing's Changed", the epic synth-slapping cosmicity of Funk My Jesus "24K", the classic funk guitar squeezes of Chuggin Edits "We Got The Funk". And that's just a handful of party peals to be harvested from this 16-track heavy album. Bon voyage indeed!
Review: The first installment of the Masterworks' Bag Of Tricks series went down a treat upon its summer release. Now it's the autumn and they've rustled up some more edits, 15 in fact, again featuring some big names on the nu-disco scene. This new comp will one and all swinging from the rafters from fireworks parties to Christmas knees-ups. Highlights include the Cathy Dennis-sound-alike cowbell jam "You Know How" by RobJamWeb, the swaggering guitar strut of "The Walk" by Silver Rider and Rabo & Snob's quirky, perky hiNRG pumper "Harry Rama".
Review: You have to admire Ostgut Ton's ambition. While celebrating a decade in dance music with a compilation of exclusive, previously unheard music is now standard practice amongst leading underground labels, few would have the balls to release it with such a killer tracklisting as Zehn. Across the 30 tracks (count 'em!) you get a who's who of Berghain and Panorama Bar associates delivering a quite outstanding selection of left-of-centre techno and deep European house, with Marcel Dettmann, Boris, Virginia, Steffi, DVS1, Martyn, Tobias and Ben Klock all featuring. Highlights naturally come thick and fast, from the spacey electronics, heady textures and hypnotic rhythms of Function's "DX3 Analog Bass Seq", and the rush-inducing, string-laden house warmth of Matthew Styles' remix of Dinky's "Planes", to the picturesque intelligent techno of Doms & Deykers.