Review: Running Back's occasional One Swallow Doesn't Make a Summer EPs are always worth a listen, not least because there's no filler or fluff - just a string of tried-and-tested club workouts from a variety of artists. Volume three in the series begins in muscular, pumped-up fashion via some sweat-soaked Italo-disco-meets-Hi-NRG revivalism from Berlin twosome Cryk, before Snad takes over via the rubbery synth-bass, sparkling synths and jaunty breakbeat house grooves of 'The Most Euphoric Moment of My Life'. Voon's 'Brando' is a cheeky fusion of bubbly Euro-disco bass, unfussy machine beats and surging synthesizer melodies, while Lukas Lehman's 'Juno Cuts a Caper' expertly joins the dots between dreamy deep house and shimmering, life-affirming synthesizer soundscapes.
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: Joining pioneers like Carl Finlow and Freddy Fresh on Lone Romantic are CYRK. The duo, who have released on labels like Avoidant and Rawax, deliver four diverse electro cuts. The title track resounds to a rumbling bass and mysterious synth stabs, with these elements supported by robust bass drums. On "Holographic", the pair carve out a more mysterious sound, with eerie melodies underpinned by a gurgling, splurging bass, while "We Are Not" is a jarring track, as CYRK incorporate speak and spell tones and hushed vocals over a rough rhythm. Lastly, "Zeigarnik Effect" sees them delve into deep, sub-aquatic sound scapes and a rumbling bass.
Review: Glasgow-based label Avoidant deserves kudos for bringing together some of the most respected names in electro for this compilation. Annie Hall and Versalife represent deeper ends of the spectrum, with Hall's bubbling "Meido Estetico" in particular standing out. Carl Finlow drops a lean, industrial funk workout in the form of "Syncopated Automated", while on the compilation's title track, The Advent teams up with Zein Ferreira on a bleak trip through discordant synths and popping rhythms. Sharing space on the compilation are label regulars like CYRK, who drop the epic melodies and gurgling bass of "Block" and Kronos Device, a project from Bass Junkie / Dexorcist, which sees concrete weight bass drums connected to wild electronic stabs on "Crisis Point".