Time To Sleep - "For The Love Of" - (5:54) 115 BPM
Rosa Red - "Quarantina" - (4:33) 124 BPM
Heidemann & Man Power - "Trips" - (9:09) 120 BPM
Review: Some 15 years after Benjamin Frolich and Tom Bioly launched their Permanent Vacation label with a fine compilation of the same name, the Munich-based pair return with a seventh showcase of treats from the imprint's now sizable roster of artists. As you'd expect, it's an eclectic and uniformly high-quality affair, with the 22 included cuts touching on everything from cheeky electro covers of Chris Rea (DMX Krew's rather good take on 'On The Beach'), deep nu-disco (the star-fall synths and Italo-disco bass of Kendal's Basorexia') and sun-soaked, 80s synth-pop-meets-dream house bliss ('Digital Joy' by Rees), to sleazy slow acid ('Lose Your Soul' by Zilas on Acid), late-night proto-house revivalism (Felice's 'Just Passing By') and rushing, breakbeat-driven dancefloor dreaminess (Dharma's 'The Epiphany'). In a word: excellent.
Review: A confirmed presence within the landscape of UK dance music for the best part of 15 years, Hypercolour has cultivated its own constellation of artists while becoming a port of call for those hitting their peak within pseudo-mainstream house music. It's Patterns compilation series has always offered rare cuts and remixes from its roster of artists and from the get go here a lesser known Zodiac impresses out of the blocks with a banging dub techno joint "GhostNet". Sebastian Mullaert & Boelja go hardcore Swedish bleeptronic in "Who Are You Really?" with FRAK also included with an old school and lo-fi 909 workout "Berga Magic". Roman Flugel hits a sweetspot as usual next to some lowly jackin tracks by London Modular Alliance, a vocal breakbeat number of classical drum and bass refrain by Mathew Herbert to some tongue cheek rave by Luke Vibert and much much more! Approved.
Review: The second release on Peggy Gou's Gudu label comes from a reliable source: long-serving electro/techno fusionist Ed Upton AKA DMX Krew. Upton is in predictably fine form from the off, sprinting his way through the atmospheric late night chords, garage style organ motifs, bustling acid lines and jacking drums of "CJ Vibe". He moves further towards vintage Motor City techno territory on the lusciously melodious but percussively punchy peak-time skip of "DXIOO", before reaching for the boogie synths and proto-house drums on futurist electrofunk number "Don't You Wanna Play". To round things off, Upton brilliantly dips the tempo and layers up spacey melodies over classic analogue bass on "110 Series".
Review: On the latest instalment of the long-running DJ-Kicks series, Peggy Gou paints a vivid picture. It starts with the widescreen ambience of Space Time Continuum's 1993 debut, "Fluresence", before moving into her own, cosmic "Hungboo" and the niggling acid of Pearson Sound's "Earwig", a contemporary cousin to Plastikman's Musik. There are other endearing oddities here, such as Andrew Weatherall's seductive house version of Sly & Lovechild's "The World According To..." and the raw drums of Kyle Hall's "Flemmenup". Gou has also included a Detroit techno classic, Psyche's "Crackdown", but balances this out with new, unreleased tracks from I:Cube - "Cassette Jam 1993" sees the maverick French producer deliver a frazzled, hazy affair - and Hiver's pulsating, acid-flecked "Pert".
Review: It's a surprise to see DMX Kru land on the Permanent Vacation imprint. After all, the legendary artist has pretty much focused on bold-faced acid antics for most of his illustrious career, but it is true that electro has also been a core component of his output. This style of electro, however, is much gentler and more dreamy that the usual industrial lashings that he churns out, making Nu Romantix a wonderful LP for lovers of both synth-pop and pure rave music. In fact, most of these tunes are hybrid in form and shape, rendering them effective in a multitude of situations, both on and off the rave-hall. The title is more than apt, too, with many of these tracks containing a clear 'nu-romantic' feel at their core, shaped by modern technology - hence the 'X' factor.
Review: Supposedly recorded to mark Permanent Vacation's 10th anniversary party, Raketenmix is full of surprises. Certainly the tripped out electronic disco of DMX Krew's "Disco Theme" is not what one might expect from the German label, while a similar, albeit more glossy-sounding approach is audible on Tensnake's remix of Sally Shapiro's "I'll Be By Your Side". There are plenty of feel good house tracks here as well; for example, the mix revisits Holy Ghost's 2008 disco reshape of indie rockers Panthers' "Goblin City" and the 'Rave Dub' version of John Talabot's "Destiny" is an excellent low-slung groove. It all comes together to create the ultimate party mix for a Munich keller.
Review: Jerome Hill's imprint welcomes DMX Krew back to Super Rhythm Trax with another EP crammed full of future classics. Following up some great releases of late on Hypercolour, Shipwrec and Abstract Forms, the UK electro legend delivers a few jams in his renowned style, plus goes old school techno here and there. "Grand Tour" modelling his style on 'Magic 'Juan Atkins' exploits as Model 500 in the late '80s, while the booming smack techno of "Death Blip" sounds like an old Djax Up Beats record on -8. "The Wiggly Worm" gives us a taste of the acid life, complete with wobbly arpeggios and jacking vocals until it all comes to a fine close with the classic, neon-lit, hi-tech soul/funk of "Old Groove".
Review: A new DMX Krew album is exactly what we needed to hear on this fine Friday morning. Needless to say, we've been big fans of this guy since his days on Rephlex, and he's clearly respected not just by us, but by certain influential figures in the enlarged techno game. DMX has also invariably represented the UK when it comes to all things 4/4 and, moreover, he's pushed the limits of what that formula can do. This new LP for the excellent Hypercolour, Strange Directions, is a wild and diverse piece of work which feels impossible to boil down to one genre of style. Its fourteen tracks span a range of styles, speeds and vibes, but the crucial thing is that DMX Krew maintains a certain air of mysticism throughout - a lingering sense of psychedelia represents each and every one of these endlessly deep slabs of techno-not-techno. Explore and drift...
Review: London/Bristol based tech house institution celebrates a decade in the business. They've seen a few faces and phases, tech-wise or otherwise but at the end of the day remained consistent in their pursuit of quality grooves. Alex Jones and Jamie Russell present some great music here and there are many highlights. From electronica legends such as Warp's Luke Vibert, minimal house pioneer Matthew Herbert (with the deep and dusty microhouse of "Downgraded") as well as techno's one time enfant terrible Neil Landstrumm through to new favourites such as Swedish hypnotic techno hero Sebastian Mullaert (the tunnelling "Shadowed By I"), Italian hardware mavericks The Analogue Cops plus up and comers Yaleesa Hall x Malin Genie with the banging' "Buchan Trap". We applaud the label for their ability to keep on the pulse of the ever changing electronic music landscape and heres to another ten years.
Review: At times, it really does feel as if DMX Krew must make tune sin his sleep; wherever we look, we find a new EP or album form the man, and all of the highest calibre, too! This time, the long-haired UK techno soldier lands on the ever-excellent Hypercolour with a hefty nine-tracker made up of eerie, slithering techno and cinematic electro. The opener "Spiritual Encounter" is almost enough in term of quality - check those Drexciyan waves - and the res of this beauty develops in similar fashion, from the gorgeous strings od "Bombay Mix", to the grizzly synth-led beats of "Daylight Saving", and the heavy, Detroit style of "Computational Paradigm Shift". Class, through and through.
Review: Having launched Mystic & Quantum last year with Standing Stones, a DMX Krew album that drew its creative juices from the mysterious pillars of stone that have stood across Western Europe, Ed Upton is back with more LP length endeavours for the Spanish label. The enlightening methods of Buddha seem to be the source of inspiration for the ten tracks on There Is No Enduring Self (a simple press release from Mystic & Quantum merely quotes a section from Buddhist text The Sun of Enlightenment Shines) and musically Upton seems to be on spiritually enriching form with the Das Ding style "Expanding Consciousness" a real highlight. Arrives on limited transparent vinyl LP in silk screen-printed sleeve.