Review: Headman's Relish label have been turning out the angular, leftfield disco-not-disco grooves for nearly 20 years now. So it's no surprise that such are in abundance on this 10-track compilation; what's more surprising is that two decades in, far from the label's quality standards slipping they actually seem, if anything, to be getting better at it! Fans of the likes of ESG, A Certain Ratio, Liquid Liquid, Fischerspooner or Cabaret Voltaire will find much to enjoy here, with Moscoman's dub-inflected 'Wet Shoes Everywhere', Bozzwell's Talking Heads-ish 'I'm Emotive' and Retriever's hypnotic, gothic-tinged 'Murder (NUN Remix)' among the highlights.
Review: This is not the first compilation to drop whose sole aim is to raise funds for NHS Chartities Together - R&S Records and Bass Agenda both delivered similarly epic sets - but "Care4Life" may well be the strongest and most diverse. As you'd expect, each one of the 45 tracks is previously unreleased, and the cast list reads like a who's who of dance music culture. Notable highlights include an ultra-deep, saucer-eyed number from Daniel Avery, an unheard rework of the Chemical Brothers' "Catch Me I'm Falling", a superb revision of Harvey's Locussolus project by Kiwi, Matthew Herbert in jazzy broken beat mode, a rare solo outing from Optimo's JD Twitch, a rip-roaring rave workout from Jas Shaw, and thumping peak-time bangers from Dusky, Eats Everything and Patrick Topping.
Review: Daniel Avery and Roman Flugel are Noun! Initially recorded some years ago at Flugel's former Frankfurt studio, the pair's collaboration descends deep into dubby, minimal and warehouse techno territory. Taking the best of Flugel's musical prowess with Avery's drum machine signatures, "Team Silent" embraces elements of '90s blueprint dub techno while "Meeting Of The Minds" leans more towards a sound you could expect to hear in Berghain; deep, cosmic, booming and sci-fi. An exciting new project on the books Live At Robert Johnson!
Review: Synth-tastic nu-disco that draws on Italo, Belgian new beat and EBM for inspiration is the general order of the day on this various artists comp from Headman's Relish label. Daniel Avery is the best known name on a talent roster comprised mostly of more up-and-coming artists but the quality standard is high throughout, with tracks ranging from Avery's dark, technoid 'Input/Machine' to Hannelulauri's almost Sparks-ish 'Europa (Dub)', and from Andrea Esu's EBM percussion workout 'E.S.U. Track' to Chmmr's '16 Tonns', which comes on like Sylvester wandering the streets of early 80s LA in a red leather blouson with gigantic shoulderpads.
Special Request - "Codename Turbo Nutter" - (5:41) 85 BPM
Source Direct - "Vigilante" - (7:25) 113 BPM
J Majik - "The Lost Tribe" - (5:16) 162 BPM
Shackleton - "Drawn And Quartered" - (8:11) 136 BPM
Pinch & Trim - "That Wasn't It" - (2:45) 128 BPM
Daniel Avery - "Whilst We've Got Metal In Our Blood" - (4:02) 145 BPM
Mantra - "Embers" - (5:24) 127 BPM
B.Traits - "Mameya" - (6:08) 126 BPM
Groove Armada - "Wesley Nightshade" - (6:11) 118 BPM
Unkle - "Catch Me When I Fall" (Fabric Club mix) - (10:49) 115 BPM
Review: This second 20 Years Of Fabric compilation presents a new arranged selection of the defining network of artists that have come to call fabric home. Taking in deep and atmospheric loops from Groove Armada to the light and sprinkled chords of Call Super, the sound of the Farringdon trips through the live and acoustic percussions of Margaret Dygas, the devastating hardcore cuts of Special Request and pure strads of drum and bass by Source Direct and J Magick. More recent tracks include the epic classicalisms of B.Traits acid-flecked "Mameya" to the industrial and dubbed out techno from Marcel Dettmann and Imogen. And not to be overlooked of course are bonafide classics from Unkle, Shackleton, Cassy and Sascha with "Comet Chaser".
Review: For 'BORIV' read 'Best Of Relish 4', as Headman's label serve up another best-of collection, this time drawing mostly on the years 2009-2011. Featured artists include Daniel Avery, David Gilmour Girls and JR Seaton, as well as label boss Robi Insinna in both his Headman and Manhead guises, and the album comes packed with exactly the kind of angular, new wave-y nu-disco and electro you'd expect, complete with some new mixes to tempt long-term fans. What's most interesting, though, is that these tracks don't sound half as experimental or out-there as they did 10 years ago, which speaks to just how influential a label time has proven Relish to be.
Review: The romping stomping Daniel Avery, is back on Phantasy Sound with a new two-track 12" which doubles up as the label's 50th, and continues the English producer and DJ's path down a streamlined, hard-edge techno path. Unsurprisingly, "Sensation" is a total juggernaut, a heady techno track that slithers its percussion sway amid huge mounds of delays and atmospherics. Over on the flip, "Clear" sticks to a techno formula insofar as its mid-to-fast tempo, but the melodies and chimes emanating from its underbelly are something wilder and altogether more ethereal. Conniving DJ tools!
Review: New material from UK producer Daniel Avery has been scarce of late - is he living in the shadow of Drone Logic? On the strength of Sensation / Clear, this would appear not to be the case. The former is a mid-tempo, teased out groove, wrapped in trance synths and underpinned by plodding drums. It shows that Avery is master of crafting slow-building grooves, but it only plays a supporting role compared to "Clear". Faster and more tranced out, its warbling bass and whooshing melodies sound inspired by classic Juan Atkins and Derrick May, but fashioned in the blurry metropolis that is London.
Review: On New Energy, an impressive cast of artists remix UK producer Daniel Avery's original material. Representing German house music is Roman Fluegel, whose dubby, expansive version of "All I Need" fuses jittery keys with blissed out vocal samples. Surprisingly, Volte Face from the BleeD club delivers a similar deep house take on "Platform Zero", its chiming keys unfolding over sweeping filters. There is also an unexpected remix from Token's O [Phase], whose version of "Naive Response" favours a blissful, percussive workout rather than his usual, abrasive sounds. Silent Servant's take on "Spring 27" is one of the few real techno remixes with an insistent, stabbing chord and a rumbling bass prevailing, while Factory Floor's version of "Drone Logic" is a mutant disco dub, laced with bubbling acid and detached vocals.
Review: Phantasy Sound serve up another pair of remixes from Daniel Avery's world-beating Drone Logic LP, and this time they've turned to Roman Flugel and Ricardo Tobar to deliver the goods. Flugel takes on "All I Need" and rustles up a startling peak time burner full of earworm synth shimmers that show the German producer in his most club-ready mode, while keeping a healthy dose of the low-key moody tones of his own recent output humming away in the calmer moments. Ricardo Tobar meanwhile takes "These Nights Never End" into a leftfield headspace full of fractious rhythms, heavy layers of melody and noise, and an all-round rousing atmosphere.
Review: Riding high after the blanket success of his debut album, Daniel Avery is back on Phantasy Sound once again with some dangerous remixes from his album, collected from several vinyl releases. Audion returns Avery's previous remix favour with the messy mind games of "Need Electric", which find Matthew Dear's alias reaching a previous peak of dark and freaky sound design fit for the more deviant dancers. Matt Walsh takes on "Free Floating" with a curiously dualistic interpretation that flits between sweet natured piano chords and off key acid paranoia, all set to a slow and immersive thud of understated drums. In addition to the album's title track, where an old school progressive house bassline is chewed to pieces by bursts of electronic feedback, Factory Floor's Gabe Gurnsey provide a fine remix that sounds remarkably restrained for a member of the inheritors of Throbbing Gristle's throne; like Avery's original Gurnsey keeps things mid-tempo but strips everything back to basics, with a simple analogue arpeggio which adds an early industrial quality.
Review: Hot on the heels of the album that has cemented his presence on the house and techno circuit, Daniel Avery has been foisted up onto Phantasy Sound's mast one more time with the All I Need single providing a few useful alternative cuts to the original long player tracks on Drone Logic. "All I Need" comes in a clean form that sounds largely like that on the album, all bold punches of synth and solid drum machine hits. Danny Daze takes a radical new route with his version of "Naive Response" that takes the playful bleeps and blurps of the original and strips away the warmth to leave a cold and grubby roller in its place. The "Club Edit" of "Free Floating" does well to keep the wistful qualities of the original intact and simply work some extra limber beats into appropriate junctures.
Review: Having given keen listeners a healthy preview in his Fabriclive mix last year, the artist formerly known as Stopmakingme delivers his full-length album for Erol Alkan's Phantasy Sound. It's a limber brew that channels a strong dose of analogue trickery through smart and snappy beat constructions, all bubbling, aquatic synths and troubled delays propelled by unfussy drum patterns so that the melodies can do the talking. Primarily this is a dancefloor album, moving from peppy breakbeat driven numbers to gently bumping house, but always the playful, ineffably warm synth work sets the tone, from "Naive Response"s robotic charm to "Drone Logic"s soaring grind. It's an album brimming in confidence and nailed with precision, and it's packed full of incredibly usable floor rockers to boot.
Review: This could be a match made in heaven. On one side, rising star Daniel Avery (aka Stopmakingme), on the other, veteran producer, DJ and all round legend Justin Robertson (here appearing under recently-adopted Deadstock 33s pseudonym). Musically, "Nylon Icon" and "New Moon" are typical of Robertson's recent work, offering a dark but addictive fusion of bubbling electronic disco, vintage dark wave synth-pop and analogue house. "Eric Zann Revisited" flips the script slightly, touching on Italo whilst retaining a bouncy electronic groove. Remix wise, there's an acid-flecked tweak of the latter track by Filthy Dukes, whilst People Get Real deliver an off-kilter, cowbell-heavy version of "New Moon".