Review: Bittersharp is the work of a Belgian producer and sounds like it was influenced in part by that country's hardcore past. The title track is an intense, high-paced techno track, led by screeching rave riffs and reminiscent of some of Reload Records' more abrasive releases from the mid-90s. "Kobalt" is just as tough and sees Border One drop concrete block kicks and screwdriver riffs. For his final track, he takes inspiration from Germany rather than his home country. "Arachnid" is also high-paced and features hammering drums, but the cold, repetitive bleeps sound like they were lifted form Sleeparchive's studio.
Review: The latest release on Par Grindvik's long-running label is a diverse techno record. First up is
Tor Lowkrantz aka Mighty Thor with "All The Shadows", a pumping, bleep-heavy track that fuses the hypnotic Sandwell sound with a groovy undercurrent. DJ Redo's "Barrel of Fish" is a more abstract affair, with clattering percussion driving a dense, stop-start groove. The long-serving German producer Savas Pascalidis steers the release back to the dance floor with the building chords and rolling rhythm of "Synergy", but unpredictably, the release ends with the stripped back, understated minimal house of Border One's "Operate".
Linkan Ray - "Introspective Vision" - (8:03) 130 BPM
Mark Broom - "AR-4" - (4:51) 132 BPM
Review: Token has traditionally maintained a tightly-knit roster, but on this compilation it welcomes new producers to the fold. Nastia Riegel's "Pray" kick-starts Fuga with dreamy, dubbed-out techno, while Stefan Vincent's "Fever Dream" paints a hypnotic, minimal picture. On "Biomorph", Border One - who is best known for his releases on Wolfskuil - delivers a grimy, bass-heavy groove, while Dold's "My Homework Ate My Dog" and PTTRN's "Contempt/Suggest 6" are the kind of high-paced but intricate techno tracks that the Belgian label has helped to pioneer. Rounding off this fine compilation are the discordant tones of Ribe's "The Cause" and Linkan Ray's bleep-heavy "Introspective Vision".