Review: Dave Sumner's debut album as Function was one of this year's most anticipated and finest LPs. Atypically, this remix package sees the commissioned producers deliver versions that measure up to the original material. On the dance floor end, there's Rrose's punishing take on "Against The Wall", which starts with a hypnotic, linear rhythm that descends into distorted mayhem, while Recondite's version of "Incubation" marries dramatic filters and insistent bleeps to reach a climax. But when the remixers go as deep as the author, the results are truly fascinating. NSI's take on "Inter" is a sprawling, jazzed out interpretation of the original ambient track, while Vatican Shadow delivers an uncharacteristically melodic, acid-tinged version of "Psychic Warfare".
Review: It seems incredible to think that despite his nearly 20 years of production experience, Dave Sumner hasn't released a full Function album until 2013. Thankfully Incubation proves it's been well worth the wait with the Sandwell District member really stretching his legs out for one of those techno albums that is most definitely an album experience. This nine track set bristles with great ideas and murky atmospherics, combining dystopian sci-fi soundtrack textures with the precision techno he's become known for. There are robust dancefloor tracks - see the murky acid techno of "Against The Wall" and sweaty "Modifier" - but also moments of intense, melodic beauty, from the crystalline bliss of "Counterpoint", to the dreamy hypnotism of "Inter (album version)".
Review: Old flatmates Function and Ed Davenport (aka Inland) team up to deliver a two-track 12" of synthy techno that sounds like what Klaus Schultz and Kraftwerk might be making today if they were contemporary techno artists collaborating. You can really feel that Function is exploring his kosmische side of tonal and synth production on this release, while it's easy to assume that Inland, recently a proponent of dubby rhythm tracks, helps provide both pieces with a solid backbone, flecked with Function's trademark percussive sequences. Beginnings of a new project? We can only hope.
Review: Ostgut Ton ain't just house, techno and concrete, they're ambient, experimental, electro and musique concrete. This is the biggest compilation the label has released since they let Emika run wild in a closed Berghain and Panorama Bar to capture sounds of the humming club for 2010's Funf compilation. Barker & Baumecker and Fiedel saw releases on that compilation and now they contribute a track each to Ostgut Ton's abstract Various LP. B&B offer up some dubby frenetics in "Meiose" while Fiedel supplies some melodica and two step rhythms in "Grunewald2". Tobias' "Dark & Troubling Things" share a similar beatless murk to music from Canadian ambient artist Loscil, while Rolando's track "Neglected" is a stand out. DIN adds some minimally-charged Chicago house to the LP, while Virginia and new name Crushed Soul opt for something more electro. Dave Sumner then seals Various with a primitive "Golden Dawn" featuring Stefanie Parnow for something totally different to what Function fans are usually accustomed to.
Review: One of the leading labels producing consistently high-quality soulful, deep and liquid D&B releases pushes out yet another stellar collection of new, upcoming and underground artists from their repertoire. Kicking of with yearning, wistful vibes from Low5 in "My Heart" and Passive - "Fall Lines", the tone of this compilation is very much to explore the emotional and cinematic ends of drum & bass. Moving into serious liquid roller territory in the second half of the LP, we meet artists from around the world such as Brazilian Marcio Mouse, California-based Amparo and Cornish D&B upstart Synthetic Journey. It's plain to see Soul Deep's mission statement - the best are worth searching for.