Review: Hex celebrates its second anniversary with this exhaustive hard techno compendium. Rebekah sets the tone with the pummelling, ebm-themed "You Be The Leader" and Cleric ramps up the intensity on the deranged jack of "The Puppet Master", before AEIT brings this sound to its logical conclusion with a pounding, visceral banger laced with feedback on the ominously named "12 Gauge",
There are some less intense contributions, with Rommek's "Mezcal Worm" drawing on a niggling electronic groove and sawtooth bass. But in the main, this is a compilation full of high-octane thrills as the dark trance and grainy, concrete weight kicks of AnD's "Fearless" so effectively demonstrate.
Review: It's fair to say that this release has been a labour of love. Five years in the making, label owner Emmanuel has chosen a collection of tracks from his dream team of techno producers. This means that ASC's breathy ambience "Stasis" sits beside deep, at times acid -soaked pulsing rhythms from Boston 168, Unbalance and Forward Strategy Group as well as peak-time rollers from emerging artists like Cleric and industrial bangers courtesy of scene veterans like Dustin Zahn. While the inclusion of producers such as Subjected and the fast rising I Hate Models is sure to put increased focus on this compilation, its real, lasting value are the more cerebral contributions such as Emmanuel's own "Bridge of Quietness".
Review: After a string of acclaimed releases on Figure and his own Clergy label, Cleric aka Jorden Hodgetts makes his debut for Soma. The UK producer's sound is similar to that of SP-X and on "Nowhere Fast", this proves to be especially true, with rock-hard kicks underpinning cavernous filters. While "Moxie" is also built on tough kicks, these support mysterious chords and the overall result is understated. There are no such nuances on "Dualistic Soul"; led by a granite-weight drum pattern and metallic percussion, it's an intelligently executed, peak-time affair. The same can be said of "Arctic Circle", where Clergy cleverly uses phased percussion and his trademark drum sound to create an unusual big room track.
Review: Two British purveyors of powerful peak time techno collaborate on this fine collection of DJ friendly tools. Comprised of Dax J: the man behind the notorious Monnom Black and Clergy main man Cleric: who some of you would know from his appearances on Len Faki's Figure.They've joined up for this release in their new home, the techno capital that is Berlin. Sheer dancefloor fury; warehouse style, on offer here as heard on the relentless title track. The power of nightmares prevails on the bleak dystopian industrial of "Flight 19", and the steely and adrenalised grooves continue on "The Triangle" and "Sirius".
Review: According to Infrastructure NYC head Function, this compilation was compiled like an album and involves not only the core group of artists but also connects the dots between the label's past, his Berghain 07 mix CD for Ostgut Ton, the legendary Sandwell District days and the respective history of the artists. Infrastructure Facticity spans "a narrative ranging from lush, ambient electronics and post-club diversions, to contemporary club techno and back again." British artist Robert McNally provides the artwork and musically the highlights are not so much the dancefloor ready bangers, which are mainly quite good, rather the moments of restraint such as Vatican Shadow's brooding and almost Boards Of Canada sounding "Swords Over Paradise", the slow burning reduced acid of Cassegrain & Tin Man's "Open Sea" and Rrose's finest moment yet, "Cephalon", which can barely be described in words!
Review: Jorden Hodgetts is the producer behind the Cleric project, but there is nothing pious or precious on offer here. Indeed, the opposite is true and he ends up making an unholy racket. "2nd Limit" revolves around a pounding kick drum and an industrial/EBM-style vocal exhorting the listener to 'let the beat control your body'. "Formation" is even more intense thanks to razor-sharp percussion, stomping drums and bleeding acid lines, while "Side FX" adheres to a similar style thanks to its dark 303s and grungy bass. By the time the listener gets to the static interference and white noise of "Control", it feels like sweet relief.