Review: Jeff Mills is releasing a jazz album in collaboration with multi-instrumentalist Rafael Leafar! Said to 'reflect on the precise moment people decide in their minds that the only way to improve a situation is to act,' Mills personally points out that The Override Switch is an "improvisational electronic jazz in the way Detroit can only produce." Hooking up with Rafael Leafar, live horns and handplayed acoustics waver and swim overtop pulsating 909 drum machines, seering Detroit techno melodies, pads and deeper jazz themes that delivers an exceptionally unique blend of orchestral, instrumental and freeform techno. Deeper dancefloor highlights include "Breaker Breaker One Ten", "Soul Filter (The Dancer)" and "Homage". As for the rest, flick the switch!
Review: As befits one of techno's most revered labels, Tresor 30 is a comprehensive collection that takes in a breath-taking array of artists and sounds. The compilation features classics, such as Underground Resistance's "Final Frontier", remixed here into a clubbier shape, the spellbinding deep techno of Juan Atkins' "I Love You" and Jeff Mills' timeless banger, "Late Night", one of Tresor's signature tracks. These eternal works sit alongside contributions from newer artists: in particular, Afrodeutsche's "Can't Stop" is a wonderfully dreamy affair, while RRoxymore's "Multiplicity" teases new twists from percussive techno. Thirty years after its inception, Tresor is showing no signs of slowing down.
Review: The Paradox is a new collaborative project helmed by Detroit legend Jeff Mills and keyboard wizard Jean-Phi Dary, a pair who first worked together - alongside the late Tony Allen - on the Tomorrow Comes The Harvest project. Counter Active, the pair's debut outing, was apparently inspired by the pair's desire to make music with no set boundaries. The set's six tracks lean heavily on jazz and jazz-funk, with Dary's impressive keys-work rising above Mills' impeccable drum programming, sci-fi synths and, on occasions, surprisingly loose-limbed basslines. Highlights include the tech-jazz goodness of 'The X Factor', the far-sighted deep techno lusciousness of 'Residence' (an alternate tech-jazz take can be found at the end of the EP), and the intergalactic deep house lusciousness of 'Ultraviolet'.
Review: Ben Klock is Berghain's DJ's DJ and Marcel Dettmann is the club's purist, but Norman Nodge is the teacher. Without the lawyer, family man and DJ's influence, it is arguable whether the Berlin club where both reside would enjoy the same kind of global profile. Nodge's DJing played a central role in shaping the club's musical aesthetic. Mixing classic house and techno styles with contemporary variants, his selection veers from the wild abstractions of Birds Two Cage and Oni Ayhun to the explosive white noise intensity of Planet Assault Systems' take on The Nightripper's "Tone Exploitation" and the stomping industrial techno of Charlton's "Black Slong". While Nodge is clearly an expert in building a set, he doesn't simply ramp up the tempo and cruise to a predictable climax. Nodge follows the PAS/Charlton segue with the gnarly rhythms and chain mail percussion of Ctrls and Chance 'Chancellor' McDermott, but then drops into the trippy acid and infectious vocals of Tim Taylor & DJ Slip's "New York Minds". He follows this shift in sound with Radioactive Man's melodic electro bass and Legowelt's warm synth version of Xosar's "Rainy Day Juno Jam", bringing to a close Berghain's most impressive mix yet.