2pole & Christian Smith - "Licht" - (7:15) 127 BPM
Aritmetica - (5:42) 128 BPM
Hey DJ - (6:52) 121 BPM
Trust - (6:45) 128 BPM
Youngstar - (6:44) 123 BPM
Black Moon - (6:41) 126 BPM
Horizon - (6:36) 116 BPM
1ne (continuous mix) - (1:26:42) 128 BPM
Review: 2pole, who released their first EP on Tronic back in 2016, return to the label to deliver their debut album. While Christian Smith's imprint is known for its pursuit of dance floor abandon, 1ne is effective in articulating a nuanced approach to techno. This is in part thanks to a series of collaborations, including the spine-tingling trance of "Evolution", co-produced with the legendary Jam El Mar, the tribal house of "Run", where Ursula Rucker adds her unique poetic texts and the hypnotic minimalism that prevails on "Licht", with Smith himself bringing his vast experience to bare. In other instances, 1ne also showcases 2pole's own unique take on techno such as "Lethargie" where a rolling, squelchy groove veers into rave-fuelled psychedelia.
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.
Review: Smith originally made his name during the late 90s with a particularly infectious crossover sound that was dubbed 'party techno'. It seems that in the intervening years, he has veered down a darker avenue, especially if this release is anything to go by. The title track still follows the basic premise of the party sound - the incessant, rolling groove, nagging percussion and crowd-pleasing filters - but the sound is more cavernous and darker, the kicks more resonant and tougher, the percussion ticking away in the background. "Release" combines this sound with a tough, Reese bass, but the most visceral track is "Bells of Odin". As its title suggests, it revolves around a cacophony of bells and concrete kicks that sound like they were summoned down from Valhalla.
Review: Following a recent sell-out London show to celebrate the milestone anniversary of Digweed's iconic and genre leading record label he drops volume 14, and to us it sounds like one of the biggest and best yet. Across the 21 tracks, label favorites get a good showing, with; Pig & Dan's 'Crazy', Guy J with 'Mish Mash', and 'Whispering Leaves' from Marco Bailey. Plus a plethora of new talent coming through such as Maxime Dangles on 'Unsteady Curve'. Check out the tasty Electric Rescue mix of Digweed & Muir collab 'Raise'.. This is an essential for prog heads.
Review: Drunken Kong follow their 2017 debut album The Signs Within with this fine follow up. It starts off in tranced out mode on "Certain Reason", which sees a pumping groove and pounding kicks underpin evocative synths and mysterious vocals. Meanwhile on "Live & Create", a drum-heavy track provides the basis for dramatic filter sweeps and "Toro", their collaboration with label owner Christian Smith, sees them deliver a pounding, linear club track. At the other end of the spectrum, "This Is" sees the Japanese pair put their focus on electro and synth pop, with catchy hooks supported by rumbling 808s, while "See You Again" is a dreamy ambient piece.
Review: House DJs MYNC offer an exhaustive overview of the tracks that rocked the long-running White Island venue this summer. In the soulful corner, there's the Maxi Soundsystem take on Boris Dlugosch's "Look Around You". Featuring Roisin Murphy on vocals, it does a lot to sweep away the rainy autumn blues. Ten Walls deliver the trancey goods in the shape of "Gotham", which revolves around a belching bassline, but the most notable aspect of Ibiza 2013 is the way minimal producers have come into the house fold. Loco Dice borrows a prog house bassline for 'Detox' and Luciano's "Rise Of The Angel" - remixed here by Andrea Oliva - is a piano-led, wide eyed deep anthem.