Review: We're only in August, but on the Orbit compilation, Tronic takes stock of the biggest tracks of the year so far. There's label owner Christian Smith's "The Future Is Ours", an infectious techno roller that unfolds to the sound of pulsating bass and a celebratory vocal sample, while on a deeper tip, Anna Reusch delivers the hypnotic tech-house of "Loose Your Mind". While the compilation features clubby contributions from label regulars like Drunken Kong, there are also some surprises where Tronic ventures into previously uncharted territories, such as Ian O'Donovan's symphonic "Rath Of The Synods" and Hannes Bieger's tripped out remix of Biz' "Psychotropic".
Review: Tronic has decided to celebrate its 400th release by issuing the second edition of its More Than Machine electro series. It gets off to an impressive start with label owner Christian Smith delivering an ominous slice of machine funk on "I Want It", before Carl Finlow drops a lithe rhythm and powerful low end in the shape of "Anomaly 3" and Detroit veteran DJ Godfather up the pace with the twitchy "Invasion of Detroit". But the presence of these veteran electro producers proves to be the exception rather than the rule, and the rest of Machine features techno artists exploring less well-known paths. Samuel Session impresses with the gritty, angular "Engine of War" and Alexander Kowalski deploys his bass-heavy approach to the nocturnal "Flickering Lights".
Review: It would make for some debate but this More Than Machine compilation by Tronic may well be the label's most impressive release to date. Bringing together an all star cast of legendary, respected and fresh talent indebted to the machinist sounds of electro, Tronic slips out a surreptitious release into 2021 real diggers will recognise. John Selway appears twice with "Highest Order" and the harder edged "Blink Of An Eye" with Christian Smith (who also delivers an italo inspired solo number in "Pressure Drop"). Vince Watson goes both aquatic and cosmic in "Cyclon" next to CJ Bolland's "The Demotic Script", Sterac Electronics' (aka Steve Rachmad) phase driven "Reinstated" and a far flung Zein Ferreira collaboration with The Advent! Fresher vibes still from the UK's Second Storey and new age techno soul vibes from Client_03's "Regression Container". Your secret stash.
Review: Tronic unleashes its annual compilation, which as always contains the label's favourite tracks. "Luv Can Turn Around", a deep techy track from the late, great Pascal FEOS is a reminder of the many loved ones lost in the past year, while label owner Christian Smith's rolling rhythm and surging chords on "Hallucinate" signals a time in the near future when we'll be able to return to the dance floor. At the other end of the sonic spectrum Harry Romero delivers a bruising, jacking version of DJ Rush & Eric Sneo's "Take Me Back", while Sinisa Tamamovic's "Lost Memories" is a more intense iteration of that style, a steely, bleep-heavy techno track.
Review: Clocking in at over 60 tracks, Orbit is a look back at some of the standout releases on Tronic over the past year. The compilation covers a massive range of styles and moves from Eric Sneo and DJ Rush's ghetto techno collaboration, "Take Me Back", and the pounding tribal rhythms of Gaston Zani and Filterheadz' "Perspective" into more tranced out territories thanks to the emotive builds of "Tesla" from veteran German producer Oliver Lieb. There are plenty of other twists and turns here: label owner Christian Smith's long-standing studio partner Jon Selway delivers an excellent, rumbling electro take on Nematic's "Pecular", while Drunken Kong drops a throbbing tech-house groove in the form of "The Line".
Air Castle (Laurent Garnier 2019 remix) - (9:19) 126 BPM
Review: Originally released on Christian Smith's 2014 artist album Input-Output, "Air Castle" now gets released in remixed form. The Tronic boss has tapped Laurent Garnier to provide the reshape and his version gives the track a brand new identity. Airy and melodic, it sees the veteran French producer conjure up evocative synth pads over a warbling, bubbling groove. While it does feature a build up, this is executed in a subtle manner, with brooding bass tones and complex layers of percussion guiding the way. It's somewhat different in tone to the majority of Tronic releases, but still as powerful - in its own musical way.