Review: The latest release in Developer's archive series gets straight to the point, with dense drums and layered textures controlled by rocking percussion on "Nothing But Trouble". "Ashes In The Sky" is more stripped back and sees the US producer lay down a heady fusion of grainy, tribal drums and outer space tones. On "Still Fuckable", Developer turns up the intensity dial a few notches, with visceral bass and a heads-down arrangement making for a truly hypnotic sound. "Nostalgia Plays Its Part" is another noisy affair, this time with rumbling drums and grainy frequencies making for a raw climax to the latest instalment in this acclaimed series.
Review: The idea that music should stay away from politics is flawed, and Break The Silence is one of the most convincing counter-arguments against this notion. Featuring unreleased tracks donated by a stellar cast of underground electronic music artists, the compilation seeks to raise funds for Campaign Zero, an initiative that campaigns against police violence in the US. With artists like Rob Hood, 4 Hero and Luke Slater all contributing to Break The Silence, the listener really is spoilt for choice while also supporting a great cause. However, the standouts come from Eddie Fowlkes and Jon Dixon, who both drop superb jazz-influenced house tracks.
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: 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.
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: 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: 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: 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: 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: Oscar Mulero's other label celebrates its fifth anniversary with this mammoth compendium. For fans of the Spanish imprint's club techno there is no shortage of material to get excited about; the Lewis Fautzi remix of Exium's "Nucleoid" is a hypnotic groove par excellence, its confluence of acid and droning pulses arcing to a tantalising climax, while Christian Wunsch and Exium once again represent the tough industrial and dub-meets-noise sound of the label on "Emission Lines" and "Biolag" respectively. However, there is also a more musical, reflective side to Poelgroup's sound. In this regard, 5 Years delivers most impressively with the chilling strings of the Architectural project from Reeko as well as the Spanish producer's cinematic, break beat-led reshape of Jonas Kopp's "M31".
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: Glenn Wilson's long-standing hard techno label casts its gaze back to assess some of last year's highlights. Labelling Planet Rhythm as merely an outlet for heads-down tracks is somewhat misleading, and as this compilation shows, some of its best material comes from left of centre. Robert S' "Matos" is a chord-heavy groove with enough attitude to ensure it doesn't sound bland, while Samuli Kemppi drops one of his trademark bleep techno bombs on "Ant On A Rubber Rope". For those who like it harder, there's Giorgio Gigli & Ness' tunnelling "Resin" and Yan Cook's resonating "Shift", but the highlight is Mr G's "Binky's Groove", a loopy house number with the kind of tough beats and insistent vocal sampling that makes Colin McBean unique.