Review: Arrow Of Time is Joel Mull's first artist album in eight years and serves as a reminder that he is one of techno's greatest and most enduring talents. Issued on Swedish label Parabel, it starts with the heart-beat pulses and haunting ambient swirls of "Irreversible" and the brittle electro drums and woodwind of "Up That Hill". While "Gleaming" sees Mull focus on the dance floor, the drums are low in the mix and the melancholic, frosty melodies take centre stage. This tempered approach does not last however, and "Northern Spheres" and "Caver" are Mike Parker-style, frequency shifting grooves, while "Mnemonics" and "Colorblind" are wonderfully sleek, streamlined techno tracks - both as straight and deadly as an arrow.
Review: Adam Beyer's label deserves praise for snapping up this collaboration from veteran producers Laux and Mull. Given their calibre and experi-ence, it's no surprise that Centipede is an impressive EP. "Contour" sees the pair go deep as they drop a sinewy, rolling bass. Meanwhile the title track - and the accompanying Morph version - are both more fast-paced, riding suitably atmospheric, tranced out grooves to blessed out nirvana. In stark contrast, there's "Bullet Ant"; led by wild acid licks and a pounding rhythm, it sounds like a modern interpretation of "Sub-stance Abuse" by Richie Hawtin's FUSE project. This release shows that no matter what they turn their hands to, Laux and Mull do not disap-point.
Review: This release, a collaboration between two of European techno's most experienced practitioners, starts on an unusual note. "Spiegelkabinett", with its jazzy licks and offbeat rhythm sounds like an electronic update of The Durutti Column or 80s funk act A Certain Ratio. It proves to be a temporary distraction though; the title track is a straight down the line techno track, led by heavy kicks, shaking percussion and hiccupping samples. "Stringer Bell", presumably named after the character in The Wire, is a tough, firing affair, led by ticking percussion, detuned tones and surging chords. Completing the release are the tranced out synths of the Petar Dundov-esque "Millipede".
Review: It's hard to believe that Sven Vath's empire has been in existence for 11 years, but what's easier to comprehend is the label's unerring knack of releasing killer club techno. This compilation gives some of Vath's favourite artists - like Roman Flugel and Steve Rachmad - as well as newbies like Patrick Kunkel, who also provides a DJ mix, a chance to rework the catalogue. From Visionquest's murky but driving take on Dinky's "Acid in My Fridge" through the abrasive, jacking Flugel remix of Martin Buttrich's "Hunter", Carlo Lio's tribal take on Dubfire vs Huntemann's "Diablo" and the fist-pumping, big room techno of Paul Ritch's interpretation of 2000 & One's "Tropical Melons", there can be no doubt about this compilation's dance floor credentials.
Review: Set up to shine a light on exciting new producers as well as his solo productions, Sasha's Last Night on Earth label has earned kudos as an emerging underground label. Certainly, the addition of Joel Mull to the roster will do its reputation no harm. On "Pale Reich", a track produced with Sasha, the Swedish producer unleashes wave upon wave of loopy drums before tranced out synths take hold. The rest of the release sees Mull fly solo; "Sending Probe" is a drum-heavy track shot through with dubby hiss and interference, while "Never Dwell On That " takes that sound to its logical conclusion with its heavy drums and razor sharp claps. "The Last One" sees Mull return, albeit in solo mode, to the dreamy tribal sound of "Pale Reich".