Kirk Degiorgio - "The Convergence" - (7:02) 131 BPM
Lag - "Mashina" - (6:05) 130 BPM
Unbalance - "Blood Lust" - (6:46) 130 BPM
Review: Moscow club Propaganda celebrates its twentieth anniversary by launching a label of the same name. It's testament to the club's ability to reinvent itself that it has put together such an inspired split release as its first offering. Dimi Angelis kicks starts the EP in blistering form with the 130bpm plus thundering tribal sound of "Crossfire". It's followed by UK techno veteran Kirk Degiorgio, who keeps the mood dark and foreboding with the murky bass and rickety drums of "The Convergence". Lag, who has released on Mord, keeps the pressure up with the chant-sampling minimalism of "Machine", before Unbalance brings down the curtain with "Blood Lust", an acid-seared tunnelling workout.
Review: The third volume of Mutable Minds boasts established names lining out alongside emerging producers. One of those newer artists is Astronomical Telegram, whose "Pride" is a multi-layered dub techno affair. Another newcomer, James Bong, opts for a harder route with the acid-led "13", while Craig Mcwhinney aka Vohkinne drops the tough kicks and rave stabs of "Dead Orchard". Not to be outdone, the veterans also impress; both Pfirter's "Falling Bridges" and Patrick Carrera's "Valamar Conflict" are pounding tracks that unravel to the sound of pummelling kicks and grainy industrial riffs, while on "Intruder", Dimi Angelis delivers a blistering analogue techno banger that centres on firing percussion and grainy tones.
Review: The first seven installments of the Herdersmat series comprised a vinyl box set. Now this eighth series sees four upcoming techno producers feature on one 12 inch. Dimi Angelis puts a focus on angular Detroit techno with the jittery "Green Aviation". Sciahri from Italy goes harder and heavier with the tough kicks and resonating bass of "Perplexity" and Endlec, who has already released a number of EPs on the label, puts the focus back on abrasive, hard-hitting techno courtesy of "Neurofunk". Tripeo's "Yfur" inhabits a similar space to Dimi Aneglis - but as always, the sense of menace remains thanks to its meaning, eerie synths.
Review: The long-running collaboration between Angelis and Search has resulted in some fine minimal techno over the past decade, and "Diversity" upholds this strong track record. "Species" is a linear, stripped back affair with an austere feeling, like Samuli Kemppi in particularly gloomy form. "Genetic" offers a less intense approach thanks to the housey drums, but the more inviting rhythm is deceptive and the bleeps that at the outset are understated build and build into a shrieking cacophony of demented sound. By contrast, 'Nucleotide' offers fewer surprises, but it does see the duo deliver a linear, percussive affair that teems with menace as it progresses.
Review: Angeles and Search are experts in crafting purist techno and this release serves to highlight their talents. "Divisio" is an upfront affair, its pumping, snaking groove and insistent chord sequences making for great big room materia. Jonas Kopp contributes a remix of "Rhetorica", which has a similar approach, its rolling groove containing a filtered acidic riff. However, the duo impress most on "Partitio". It's less immediate than the other tracks, but its crisp drums and dark claps, coupled with atmospheric chords, ensure it's the highlight here.