Review: Having earned his corn in the back office of Rush Hour's Amsterdam HQ, Olf Van Elden is now making his mark as a producer. Previously, he's released fizzing, far-sighted techno and house on Voyage Direct and Tape Records Amsterdam. Here, he delivers his most expansive - and arguably strongest - 12" to date for former employers Rush Hour. There's much to admire, from the pulsing analogue motifs and clanking drum machine percussion of "Cable 54" and semi-ambient gorgeousness of "Poly Evolver #1", to the thumping, industrial-influenced modular throb of "Poly Evolver #2". Arguably best of all, though, are his two hook-ups with Jeroen. Choose between the flitting electronic melodies, snappy beats and dreamy chords of "Prototype", and the drowsy, EBM-goes-Detroit brilliance of "Ama Driver".
No Direction To Spacetown (feat Jeroen) - (6:34) 120 BPM
Caves Of Steel (Convextion remix) - (6:46) 133 BPM
The Strips - (3:16) 136 BPM
Review: Olf Van Elden is a producer on the rise. The Dutch producer has barely put a foot wrong since making his debut on Rush Hour back in 2013, consistently impressing with each subsequent release. Even so, this outing on Berceuse Heroique could be his strongest EP to date. Title track "Caves of Steel" offers a heady blend of sci-fi electronics, Drexciyan flourishes and foreboding dancefloor grooves. It's brilliantly remixed by re-born electro legend Convextion, whose thrilling re-make will have you dancing in outer space. Elsewhere, "The Strips" is a perfectly executed chunk of intergalactic ambience full of alien textures and far-out electronics, while Jeroen collaboration "No Direction To Spacetown" is a hauntingly sparse and bubbly electro/techno hybrid.
Review: A decade ago, the Dekmantel crew threw their first party in the Dutch capital; two years later the record label followed. For their decennial anniversary, Dekmantel Records are releasing 10 very special EPs over the course of 2017. The fourth release in their celebratory series is a collection of new material from some of the label's favourite artists. This fourth edition brings together their love of electro and wave influenced grooves by the likes of Los Angeles electro legend The Egyptian Lover, who serves up the aptly titled "This That Old School" which proves to all the bandwagon jumping wannabes what 'real' electro is. Staying on that retro flavoured tip are the Antinote affiliated Syracuse & Epsilove doing some acid infused analogue jack by way of pop on "Scubatomic Love". Finally, they look locally with the Red Light Radio affiliated/Rush Hour 'analogue adventurist' Interstellar Funk: who pursues some retro/balearic vibes on the sublime "EFX Harmonix"
Review: A true staple of the Amsterdam scene, the Rush Hour affiliated Yuri Boselie aka Cinnaman takes up the reins for local institution Dekmantel's extended tenth birthday celebrations with this mastermix. It takes in the entirety of the 10 volume edition - what an effort. What may seem as an outrageous challenge - what with the compilation's genre diversity and wide rage of tempos - it's a success, for they've certainly found the right candidate. Cinnaman plays a wide range of styles anyway, and is never afraid to mix the known with the unknown - he has a reputation for his remarkable combinations and transitions. From moments of sublime ambience (Italian ambient legend Gigi Masin with the utterly evocative "Maja") to bass heavy electro bounce (courtesy of Egyptian Lover or Syracuse & Epsilove), right through to techno bangers of the cerebral variety (by Donato Dozzy & Peter Van Hoesen or local hero Talismann) and stuff by Bufiman or Tony Allen - it's a solid effort here by one of Holland's finest selectors.
Review: If your finances couldn't quite stretch to buying all four releases in the unique Dekmantel x Patta series - in which limited edition vinyl EPs came packaged with exclusive items of clothing - this digital compilation is something of a lifesaver. For starters, the exclusive material - first included on the hard-to-get EPs, and now showcased here - is pretty darn tasty. The various Amsterdam-based producers involved generally hit the spot, from the melodious, analogue-rich Balearic techno of Young Marco's "The Best I Could Do (With What I Had)", and sparkling Detroit retro-futurism of Mark Du Mosch's "2nd 5ystem", to the cosmic deep house shimmer of Tom Trago's "Brutal Romance", and bizarre, off-kilter deep house-jazz of Makam's "The Struggles". Aardvark's quirky rumba-house workout, "Kubaa Rumbaa" is rather good, too.
Review: Recognised as the world beating archivists that Rush Hour are, this compilation presents a series of wayfaring synth tracks released at different times over the last 40 years. With the earliest cut committed to tape in 1978 and the most recent in 2018, Artificial Dancers - Waves Of Synth lifts rare and previously unheard music from the late Stephan Huss of Psyche, to Californian band Batang Frisco, to Matthias Schuster's Im Namen Des Volkes project with a previously unreleased 2014 track called "Alles Ist Gewinn". Alongside the Human League too, you will find a Chris and Cosey number called "Hybrid C" that was plucked from their CD-only album Skimble Skamble. A whole new constellation to explore.