Review: Two of underground techno's most promising artists feature on this split release. Advanced Human shows two different sides to his musical palette. "Noh Funk" is a primal, slamming groove, the tough rhythms housing eerie chord progressions and a tunnelling, hypnotic riff. "Maszyna" is more understated and sees AH embrace dubby influences, yet at the same time the beats are hard and stomping, even though the tempo isn't as fast. By contrast, Developer favours a lighter approach. "Primera" is a deep, pulsing groove its rolling rhythm augmented by chain mail percussion. "Fuego" sees Developer go deeper still and its eerie chords rounds off this excellent package.
Review: Deep within the pores of techno you'll find Developer, an artist tirelessly producing techno like a motor-neuron being printed in 3D. This album, Sangre Por Oro, translates to that (and Blood For Gold in English) with a soundtrack that sends our consciousness spiralling into a new cosmological space. Flecked with sci-atmospheres, subtle industrialisms, trippy vocal snippets and touches of dub techno, Developer's tracks come together for full warehouse purpose. Thematic and melody can be found in numbers like "Over Cold Seas" alongside heavier tracks like "Headhunter" and "Boogie Down", with dubby touches in "Jive Keep Me Alive" and opener "Risky". Golden.
Review: Sourced from the vaults of Developer's studio, Archive 10 is a heady, hypnotic collection of dance floor techno. It starts with "Dream Awake", where vocal samples are looped over a dense, drum-led groove. On "Raw Gram", a more visceral approach applies as gated synths unravel to the sound of brassy blasts and jagged percussive bursts. Meanwhile, "Te Vale Made" sees Developer opt for a surprisingly deeper approach, as UR-style blips unravel over a driving tribal groove. The US producer also drops another surprise in the form of "Purgatorio", where atmospheric organ stabs offset his typically driving dance floor rhythm.
Review: Developer has many facets to his sound, but he starts Off Grid with its most visceral iteration. "He Was" features noisy kicks, snappy percussion and a somewhat disturbing vocal sample proclaiming 'he was a Londoner'. Vocal samples also feature on "Get Down Motive" but they murmur their way over a leaner, less visceral rhythm track peppered with eerie organs. However, it seems like the LA producer's default setting remains on the darker side for this release; "The Resistance" is led by urgent percussion and Sleeparchive-style lone bleeps as ghostly textures unravel in the background, while "Faded Nights" is another noisy, visceral workout.
Review: Developer aka Adrian Sandoval delves back into his vaults again for the ninth instalment of the Archive series. Like previous instalments, it shows that the US producer has made a wealth of dark, deep techno. A case in point is "Zodiac Talking". Over a throbbing bass, he lays down a muffled vocal loop and skipping percussion. It's a subtle but heady combination, and a mood that he replicates on "Queen of Arcs". Although the drums are tougher and the looped stabs more dramatic, there is still an understated sensibility at play. While "Severed Ties" sees him return to the rolling, loopy sound he is known for, there is still subtle flair audible here - just check the menacing "Transmissions From The Yucatan" if you are in any doubt.
Review: For the third Failsafe instalment, Developer has tried something a little different. Despite the presence of "Get It On", which integrates Dan Bell and Robert Hood's minimalism with UK techno's loopy aesthetic, the US producer showcases a range of other influences. "Chain of Life" is an uptempo, string-heavy house jam, while on "Natives Calling", the Modularz boss fuses melodic Detroit techno elements with his trademark rolling sound. The biggest surprise however is "Snap Over". Led by thumb-clicking percussion and a hypnotic vocal sample, it will work on the dance floor, but it also hints at a deeper, indeed more melancholic personality behind one of techno's most renowned projects.
Review: The Archive series has allowed its owner, Developer, to show a different side to his music, and this is clearly audible on the eighth instalment. "Hooked In" sounds like the US producer is locking horns with early Octave One, as a tense, hypnotic rhythm gives way to soaring synths. "Towering Figure" also reveals a deeper side to the Developer canon, as eerie textures accompany bristling drums and a rolling groove prevail. However, the biggest change is audible on "Drama Cut", where noisy guitar, scratchy percussion and rolling beats make for a truly left of centre combination. By contrast, "Callisto", with its horror stabs, is almost conventional.
Review: The seventh instalment of the series that Adrian 'Developer' Sandoval began back in 2011 sees him lay down more functional but individualistic techno. At the deeper end of the spectrum, there's "Outer Planetary Horn Calls", where atmospheric chords and a wiry groove prevail, while "Out of Body Terminology" is a hypnotic tribal groove with similarities to the hypnotic Italian techno of Obtane and P.God. At the harder end of the spectrum, there's "Ancient Modernists", a tough banging acid workout and the scuzzy, grungy techno of "Tesla On The Radio", but probably the track that best sums up Developer's linear, functional sound is the metal-plated rhythm and firing percussion of "Latin Mechanics".
Review: Los Angeles' finest and Modularz main man Developer steps up for the fifth anniversary edition of his always reliable imprint for peak time techno weapons. "Catch My Flow" is a ferocious journey through dark side futurism and is just begging to be played at techno mecca Berghain. On the flip "Abnormal Mentality" is completely hysterical: with its mentasm style melodies dancing on top of a beastly bassline and belting rhythm: it's got all you need really. Finally it wouldn't be a Developer EP without one of his tunnelling and hypnotic epics would it? "The Charmer" satisfies such cravings, executed as brilliantly as always.
Review: Launched just over a year ago, Developer's Archive label allows the American techno producer an opportunity to slip out intermittent limited vinyl only runs of his own material while his more established Modularz imprint continues to flourish thanks to collaborative releases with Truncate, Silent Servant and more. This third Archive release doesn't stray far from the established template, drawing on a palette of raw, growling metallic techno for four exercises in expertly sculpted sound design. "SEQ7" is a vicious opening gambit, driven by dense kicks and cascading hats which nudge the central one note motif up and down the tempo scale, while "Obsessions" is a weightier production that seems to gain pounds as it descends into the depths of claustrophobic techno. The ghosts of a fully blown vocal track sound trapped deep within the DNA of the juddering "Impure Thoughts" while "De Chord" is a suitably titled exercise in dubby chord techno.
Review: The foreboding Developer Archive returns with its fifth chapter and as you'd expect, the EP is made up of four wavey techno bleepers tailor-made for floor-filling. From "Body Art" - a steamroller of a cut - to "Precious Time", Developer voices his thoughts across in a techno language, except that his moods differ on each track and although the bulk of the EP is rather bleak and grey-scaled, the sounds on a track like "Metronica" also portray a lighter side to the man's vision. Quality as always, this one's for the techno heads. Most probably supported by the whole Berghain mafia.
Review: Although his Modularz imprint has been receiving significant attention for its dark, textured take on techno functionalism, Developer's Archive imprint is an opportunity to showcase his own material on limited vinyl only runs. While the beautiful marble charcoal pressing would, in the hands of other labels, be to distract from below par music, there's nothing of the sort in evidence here, with the same intricate approach to sound design as contemporaries Silent Servant and Shifted. "Sangre Por Oro" takes a firm, yet ghostly stomp and foregrounds bleached out, ascending chords, while "Horns From The West" is an apt summation of its mood, with its Mariachi inspired melody and rolling drums. On the flip, "The Truth" goes for hypnotic key stabs shrouded in delay atop a rumbling rhythm, while "From The Womb" begins as an expectedly claustrophobic experience, with its muddy vocal snippet and shackling industrial rhythms, but slowly opening out with lighter hints of melody and gaseous atmospherics.
Review: Developer's latest release sees him teasing new ideas from existing tropes. "Signal 1" has the US producer copper-fasten the surging chords of the '90s techno label Kanzleramt to one of his trademark repetitive, linear rhythms. He succeeds in doing the same on "Signal 2", only this time his source for inspiration is the pared back minimalism of Robert Hood. "Signal 3" sees him push the controls into the red and rain down distorted beats on the listener, like an old release on Lost given a sense of modern-day precision and functionality. As a parting shot, he turns his attention to the 303 for the tough acid loops of "Signal 4".
Review: If anyone can knock out a techno LP of 25 quality big room club tools it's Developer. The Modularz boss is one of the few producers to reliably release a constant stream of booming 909 sounds without losing a sense of artistic character through oversaturation. For the DJ, In Pure Form is like a box of bullets: each track is deadly as the next. All productions vary between reverb-soaked drum patterns and distorted bell sequences to grittier productions flexing between music you'd expect from Sandwell District, LB Dub Corp and Oscar Mulero's Pole Group. Arm yourself with some Developer techno.
Review: US producer Developer teams up with Mulero's Pole Group label for a fine dancefloor techno release. "1975 A" is a tough rhythm track, its distorted kicks and grinding riffs pushing into Mills-esque territory. "B" is just as dense, but not as visceral. While the central rhythm bangs away, Developer uses swirling filters and dreamy chords to create a deeper sound. The same is true on "C", where snappy percussion and dramatic string stabs unfold over a pulsing, predatory bassline. The label has commissioned a great remix of "A", with Spanish producer Reeko making the original less abrasive thanks to its surging chords and intricate percussive filaments.
Review: The first track from this EP, "The Provoker", draws parallels with some of the genre's finest; namely Ben Klock's remix of Kerri Chandler's "Pong" and Marcel Fengler's string epic "Enigma". "Extension" is grubby, linear, and infinite techno that's slave to a four-four time signature, while "Alone" and "Frames" offer the dubby Berghain beats that he and Truncate do so well. Developer, take a bow.
Review: US producer Developer aka Adrian Sandoval has released a staggering 20 EPs in the past three years, but as Parallel Series 4 shows, there has been no fall-off in quality. Indeed, "Random Attractions" is the perfect example of what he does best; over a pulsing, heavy groove, metallic snares rattle in, ominous chords bubble to the surface and a screeching, abstract noise filters in and out. "Drive Themes" is just as effective; here, an evil chord sequence builds and drops over a hard-hitting percussive backing. "Forty Four" sees Sandoval deliver more bass-heavy pressure and jacking, metallic percussion, but there is another side to Developer, as the minimal house groove and breathy vocals of "Is it Skinny" demonstrate.
Review: Developer continues his fine run of form with this EP for Gynoid Audio with four tracks of typically driving yet intelligent techno. "Tiburon" opens on a decidedly mechanistic tip, as factory line rhythms drive forward gaseous textures, while "Shade" is decidedly chunkier affair, with shackling hi-hats playing off against deep organ drones. "Bodega" fills its rhythmic gaps with shrill bleeps and electro-acoustic tones, but it's "Formu" that's the real powerhouse of the release, as pounding kicks go head to head with undulating sheet metal chords.
Review: This is Developer's fourth outing for Modularz and it's clear that with each release, he sounds closer to the level of world-beaters like Fanon Flowers and Silent Servant who also release on the label. "Migrations" starts things off in loopy housey mode, the insistent, slightly detuned chords giving an offbeat feeling to the arrangement. "Space & Concrete" is more up tempo and denser, but the insistent bass licks are accompanied by skeletal percussion and dubby filter sweeps. The title track is a more intense proposition and the surging bass and chain mail hats are only matched in the intensity levels by Truncate's remix. There, reverberating claps and rattling snares provide the base for an intense, tunnelling bass that tries to drill its way to the earth's core - via the listener's cranium.
Adriana Lopez - "Lines Of Fracture" - (5:24) 127 BPM
Adriana Lopez - "Sequel" - (6:09) 127 BPM
Review: This split release shows that peak-time techno need not be all about tunnel vision and furrowed brow seriousness. Granted, Developer's "Let It Be Said" is a tough, pumping affair led by steely drums, but the eerie synths that hang over them lend it a mysterious air. There are no such concessions on "Madre", where a rolling groove and heavy, distorted kicks prevail, but the mood is never too dark, thanks to Adriana Lopez. "Lines Of Fracture" is a more subtle, pulsing affair, and she follows a similar route on "Sequel". There, eerie bleeps and reverberating claps support a predatory, bassy groove.
Review: This split release on Developer's label brings together some of the finest names in modern techno. The label owner weighs in with two excellent tracks. "They Ring for Madness" is a tracky, moody affair, led by eerie textures and a functional rhythm. "More Matter" is more groovy, its rolling rhythm punctuated by big filter sweeps and hissing percussion. Adrian Lopez follows a similar route with "Estructura", with snappy percussion and up-building chords providing the basis for the rolling groove and concrete beats. Finally, the mysterious Spanish producer NX1 completes the package with "MZ2", its drum-heavy arrangement full of dramatic chord sweeps.
Review: Next up on Modularz, ever-prolific label boss Developer has invited former guest Ascion back to contribute to a new split EP. Of course with Developer you always know where you stand, and sure enough the techno comes focused and functional on "Power Dynamics" where a minimum of elements is needed to stamp out an instructive techno command. "Defined By Gravity" is a busier affair with its off-key synth lines, but the beats stay right on course. Ascion however has a fuller sound that embraces bigger dynamics, even on a track as carefully steered as "Wrth 2". "Exaline" makes for the deepest kind of acid techno you could wish for, drowning the 303 in reverb for a wonderfully psychedelic effect.
Heretic - "& We Are Left To Dance In The Ashes" - (7:51) 126 BPM
Review: Modularz marks 10 years at the forefront of underground club techno with a release that will surprise as much as it entertains. Label owner Developer sets out a ferocious agenda with the thundering "Rattle Bell", which forms around a repetitive, ringing tone, while on "Haunted Cave", Rhomb tunnels down the worm hole with a serving of mysterious throbbing rhythm. Surprisingly, there's a deeper dimension to this anniversary release; Heretic's "We Are Left To Dance In The Ashes" resounds to a dramatic, bleak synth-led melody, while a chord-heavy workout from Astronomical Telegram in the shape of "Saara" shows that Modularz isn't as singular as might have been imagined.
Review: US techno wizard Developer is back on his trusted Modularz imprint, this time alongside the lesser known DJ Surgeles, and the duo pack quite the punch with these five cold-hearted dance burners. Developer's "Infinite Numbers" opens on a bit of a cavernous tip, unleashing whole swarms of chilling bleeps over a stripped-back techno beat, and "Glimmer" ups the ante with yet more speed - and by that we mean velocity, not the powdered type! DJ Surgeles' "Hidden Places" follows with an echoing, hollow mass of drums and bass, while "Pulsating Orbs" bounces up and down with a distorted tone of voice, and "Out Of This World" steadies the ships by forming a thick, oozing layer of beatless ambience. A dish best served cold...
Review: Variations manages the rare feat of sounding suitably austere without resorting to the industrial-themed cliches that many techno producers are guilty of. Adrian Sandoval aka Developer's "Hexmode" is based on steely rhythms, but dank acid seeps through its metallic cover and later on, jarring riffs are sprayed over its framework. The title track is like Sleeparchive on downers as a series of insistent bleeps unfold over hissing percussion and ghostly synths loom in the background. There's an air of familiarity also on Eduardo de la Calle's "The Solution", where billowing dub techno chords are tempered by a nagging percussive underbelly, while Developer's combination of vocal snippets, cloudy percussion and dubbed out chords on "Under" keep the listener guessing right until the end.
Review: Creeping ever closer towards their third year of existence, Modularz have remained steadfast in their aesthetic approach, deftly combining the dynamism of straight up techno with an intricately textured approach that has proved enduringly rewarding. Label boss Developer once again features prominently on their tenth entry, contributing four cuts. The expansive bassline to the opening track "Sequence 85" practically consumes you, with "Sequence 88" markedly sparser, allowing the rigid percussion and booming kicks centre stage. "Mover Of The Mercury" meanwhile combines linear, tribal drumming and bleak, distant drones, while "Gaining" is imbued with a surprisingly funky character a la Gesloten Cirkel, as dark synth horns snake around precision drums. The producer's allies put in a fine showing too; last seen on Mote Evolver, Spaniard Psyk adds further balance with the subaqueous dub techno of "Transito", whilst the unknown quantity Rhomb is on electrifying form with the Mike Parker-esque "Reboot". Elyas' "Camberwell" may seem to take its name from one of South London's more picturesque locations, but the slamming techno stabs and granite drums are anything but polite, recalling Shed's Equalized material; Ascion rounds things off with the trippiest cut of the release, as savage waveforms twist themselves around abstract atonal beeps.
Review: US producer Fanon Flowers contributes the impressive "Prado Obscuro" to this release - its building, billowing chords are as good as his recent Sect and Mechanism Industries releases - but it's fair to say that this release is mainly about mystery artist Developer. From the ominous bass and clanging metallic chords of "Enhancer" to the darker, droning rhythms of "Climate", the artist behind the moniker demonstrates their mastery of the tougher end of techno. There is also a softer side to Developer's sound on display, as evidenced by the woozy melodies and housey rhythms of "Time Framer". Silent Servant completes this essential techno release with a brooding, dubby take on "Edificio".
Review: The fourth instalment in the Dead Architect series is a proper heads-down affair. It starts off with label owner Developer delivering "Utero", a visceral, pulsing groove encased in concrete kick drums. Rhomb, who has released a few EPs on Modularz, also keeps the focus on peak-time sounds with the rave stabs and subterranean bass of "Helix", which unfolds over a galloping groove. Rebekah maintains the intensity levels with the chain mail percussion and relentless rhythm of "Reflex", while CNCPT, another artist who has released before on the US imprint drops "Frazil". While it's not as fast-paced as other tracks, its dark tones and rasping hi-hats bring this split release to a close with a menacing undercurrent.
Review: Celebrating its tenth anniversary, Modularz delivers a split EP featuring label owner Developer and upcoming producer Roll Dann. "Ritual Master" is every bit what you would expect from a Developer track - ominous, streamlined and deadly effective as he loops a hypnotic electronic riff over a pounding kick. "Lone Mystic" reveals a different side to his canon, as he fuses a repetitive vocal sample with an eerie organ riff. On the flip side, Roll Dann immerses a tough techno track in colourful rave riffs to create an unusual hybrid, while "Soul Bag" is a more typical Modularz track, as eerie tones unfold over a lithe, rolling groove.
Review: With his Modularz label becoming a firm bastion of unfiltered techno machinations, Developer sets about bombarding our senses with his productions and curations across this eight track release. His own track "Heated" rattles through an industrial landscape devoid of colour, instead populated by reverb decays and distant clangs of metal, while "Dirty Drive" sees him stretching to work a melody into his machinery, coming out with a metallic dub chord drowning in its own echo, and "Dirty Drive 2" adds some complexity to the musicality and creates an utterly engrossing hook in the process. Shifted's remix meanwhile keeps a careful distance between the clean beat and the murky textures of the dubby elements. Handing over to Truncate, "Diffraction" flips the script with a central melodic hook and a thoroughly austere beat, while Jonas Kopp's remix beefs up that same theme by doubling up the phrase and edging towards a peak time monster, and Markus Suckut takes things deeper and into a more house compatible realm. For a real lesson in refined techno composition however, head straight to Stanislav Tokachev's "Building Peaks". Simplicity doesn't come more captivating than that synth line.
Review: Two of contemporary techno's finest producers go head to head on Payback. Spain's Exium represents a clubby take on techno with his tracks "Diverse Population" and "Pulstar". The latter is a rumbling, cavernous groove lit up by acidic tones, while the former is built on tough tribal beats and a robust, meaty bassline similar to the one on James Ruskin's evergreen track "The Divide". Developer's contributions are far more visceral: "Promiscuous" is an insane, driving rhythm track led by ghoulish chords, while "Indigenous" is even more intense. Powered by distorted industrial drums, its cranium-splitting rhythms recall Jeff Mills at his most intense.