Review: Despite having released music for two decades, Donnell Knox is one of Detroit's unsung techno heroes. True to the form that has featured on his releases for Sect and Black Nation, Out There is an uncompromising affair. The title track sees Knox skillfully fuse deep tones with a stripped back minimal techno rhythm, while "Speak So They Listen" achieves a similar balancing act. Fusing spacey textures with acidic blips and a skipping rhythm, it succeeds in the rare feat of appealing to the head as well as the feet. The label has also chosen the remixer wisely and the ever-dependable Dan Curtin turns the title track into a metal-plated rhythm that is reminiscent of Stacey Pullen's "Psychotic Funk".
TechElectro - "Stars That Never Die" - (4:13) 127 BPM
D-Knox - "Summer Beach Time" - (8:06) 125 BPM
Terrence Parker - "So Beautiful" - (7:18) 124 BPM
Review: A second edition of the Various Artists Backpack EP, from French house label D3 Elements pulls together some key producers; Detroit soulful house star Terrence Parker is back once again, and joined by D-Knox, Dan Curtin and TechElectro. Curtin gets the ball rolling with "House Spirits," a summery, feel good house roller with trilling keys and organic chords all making for a jazzy vibe. Then comes a more synthetic and abstract cut, "Stars That Never Die", from TechElectro aka the fearsome American techno duo of Solid Gold Playaz, who also release as Dark Matrix. On the flip side, D-Knox aka Groove Man offers "Summer Beach Time," a cool as you like track with breezy chords, radiant pads and wooden sounding percussion flapping along next to the drums. Then it is down to Terrence Parker to close with the laid back, deep and soothing "So Beautiful," a sweet as you like house jam with magic chords and plenty of heart warming grooves.
Oliver Way - "Lucky Dip" (Scan X remix) - (6:14) 130 BPM
Esteban Adame - "Out To Get It" (Anthony Parasole & Phil Moffa Reconstruction) - (7:09) 129 BPM
Oliver Way - "Lucky Dip" (Ben Long & Oliver Way Late Night Mix) - (6:24) 130 BPM
Review: London label ePM brings together a who's who of global techno for this remix compilation. Weighing in at the harder end of the spectrum are Truncate, South London Ordnance and Scan X, who deliver blistering re-shapes of Mark Broom, House of Black Lanterns and label boss Oliver way respectively. However, the more interesting versions occur when the chosen remixers opt for less obvious approaches. Claro Intelecto delivers a lush, deep house take on The Third Man; Juan Atkins rewires Esteban Adame's "Descendants" with hyper active electronic funk, while best of all, the brilliant Chris McCormack drops a spellbindingly melodic take on Ben Long's "Open Doors".