Review: German label Tronic Soundz drops a compilation that does exactly what it says on the tin, bringing together some of contemporary techno's finest releases. Maceo Plex's edit of Der Dritte Raum's "Hale Bopp" turns the trance classic into a sleek techno affair, while Humantronic's "Invado" is a similar linear rhythm with a focus on the dance floor. Meanwhile, on "Fire", CJ Bolland veers into dark electro territory, while another 90s veteran Frank de Wulf, drops a hypnotic, stripped back rhythm on "Fifth Insight". Ramping up the intensity levels, Sikora's "Plough" is a dark, stepping techno track that has echoes of the Fachwerk catalogue.
Review: Out Of The Blue, Phil Mison's first compilation for some time, was apparently inspired by his first few trips to the White Isle of Ibiza, and specifically the unlikely set of circumstances that led to him filling in for Jose Padilla at Cafe Del Mar. Musically, it's reflective of the story, joining the dots between impossible-to-find rarities (see the loved-up instrumental jazz-rock of "Jelly" by The Cactus Rose Project and the life-affirming fusion business of Christoph Spendel Group's "Forever", for starters), huggable Balearic synth-pop, flamenco-inspired sunset gems, and a smattering of head-in-the-clouds Italian dream house killers. Given Mison's heritage and status as one of Balearica's top selectors, it's perhaps unsurprising that Out Of The Blue is undeniably brilliant.
Review: Despite not being a name on everyone's lips, Belgium is, actually pretty freakin' awesome. They've given us lots of cool clothes, food and architecture, but in terms of music? Unbelievable. The previous two volumes of The Sounds Sound Of Belgium were mind-blowing excursions into uber stylish electronic music from disco to EBM to techno. Now we have Volume Three. We 56 examples of awesomeness here to get through but highlights include the punky creep-funk of "Poison" by The Weathermen, the staccato electro of "The Voice" by Telex and the techno on steroids mayhem of "Horsepower" by Ravesignal. This album is gold!