Review: Electronic music is often defined as being apolitical and entirely self-serving, but in this time of existential crisis for Japan, it shows that dance producers not only have a conscience, but care deeply about the country. There have been a number of initiatives already within electronic music to raise funds for Japanese earthquake/tsunami victims, and the act of helping is the overarching concern here. However, hopefully when you do decide to purchase this Kompakt compilation, you will get the added bonus of ghostly ambience from Marsen Jules and Ezekiel Honig, playful, offbeat house from Efdemin, eerie minimal house from SCSI-9 and Nick Hoppner, and Anontelli's playful electronic pulses - as well as feeling good about supporting a beleaguered nation.
Review: If two years ago you'd said to even the most open-minded BPitch Control fan that the diverse label would be putting out soulful torch songs in 2011, they would have questioned your sanity. However, that's exactly what's happened. On Werkschau, the latest compilation from Ellen Allien's Berlin imprint, the centrepiece is the smoky, seductive soul of Jahcoozi's "Day In, Day Out". It's not an aberration: the other highlights here are characterised by a focus on deeply personal contributions. Be it the muffled vocals on Chaim's dub techno, Sascha Funke's unforgettably melodic techno poem, "Hiddensee" or Kiki & Lenz and Zander VT's explorations of disco-fuelled, vocal-led house on "Morning Maniacs" and "Gotta Look Up To Get Down" respectively, every shared experience is worth its weight in gold.