Review: CJ Bolland is one of techno's true pioneers and produced benchmark records like Ravesignal III and Camargue during the 90s. Over the past year, he has started to put out techno records again, and The Fire follows recent releases on Drumcode. Sound-wise, this three-tracker is a mixed affair. The title track pays homage to his late 90s style, with slower beats and a teased out groove underpinning a rambling vocal narrative. In contrast, "Destitute" is a hard-as-nails metallic banger that wouldn't sound out of place in a purist 90s techno set, while on "Down All The Way", insistent chord stabs and gurgling acid lines combine for a tough workout.
Review: Camargue is one of the techno classics from the 90s - a track that appealed to hardcore fans and UK techno geeks alike. So what happens when it gets remixed a quarter-century later? Maceo Plex turns in a drum-heavy, rolling take on the original, while the Keith Carnal take is a high-paced, pulsating workout. On his version, Enrico Sangiuliano chooses to drop a siren-led banger, while label owner Adam Beyer's collaborative remix with Layton Giordani has echoes of the 90s trance sound. Best of all though is Camargue co-creator The Advent's take, where he drops the original's unmistakable hook over a bruising techno rhythm.
Review: Released by Belgian label La Musique Fait La Force, this extensive compilation designed to complement Jozef Deville's documentary The Sound Of Belgium includes nascent and trailblazing productions from the likes of Klaus Schulze, Front 242, Neon Judgement, Lords of Acid and CJ Bolland, while other notable classics include Joey Beltram's "Energy Flash", Outlander's "The Vamp" and Emmanuel Top's "Acid Phase". In total, it features 60 tracks of new beat, industrial and rave music from '80s Belgium, rendering it a defining compilation for the curious and interested to the more hardcore EBM enthusiast.
Review: Despite not being a name on everyone's lips, Belgium is, actually pretty freakin' awesome. They've given us lots of cool clothes, food and architecture, but in terms of music? Unbelievable. The previous two volumes of The Sounds Sound Of Belgium were mind-blowing excursions into uber stylish electronic music from disco to EBM to techno. Now we have Volume Three. We 56 examples of awesomeness here to get through but highlights include the punky creep-funk of "Poison" by The Weathermen, the staccato electro of "The Voice" by Telex and the techno on steroids mayhem of "Horsepower" by Ravesignal. This album is gold!
Review: With Ibiza's extended summer season almost upon us, Toolroom has served up a suitably epic collection of cuts that it expects to be big on the White Isle this summer. Label boss Mark Knight has provided a trio of DJ mixes ("Poolside", "Club" and "Afterclub") and the unmixed tracks included all fit into these loose categories. There's not enough room to list all of the highlights, but we've been enjoying the funk-fuelled disco-house rush of Illyus and Barrientos' "The One", the sleazy, bass-heavy bounce of Max Chapman's "Steppa", the acid-powered tech-house-jack of Del-30's "Gravity" and the weighty, mind-altering thump of "Low End Theory" by Eli Brown.