Review: With a considerable back catalogue of EPs on techno labels like Cocoon, Token and his own Exploration imprint, Johannes Volk is not the most obvious name to feature on Running Back. However, Extra Dimensions contains a number of surprises: the title track is a hypnotic, pulsating slice of electronic disco, more Moroder than Mills, while on "Reload Love", Volk draws on the influence of Kevin Saunderson's E-Dancer project to deliver an ominous bass that unfolds over skippy break beats and lithe percussion. "An Old Android On A Broken Piano" remains in the Detroit area, thanks to its euphoric keys and rolling groove. Meanwhile, "Hypno Hypno" sees the German producer continue to deliver the unexpected with a vocodered vocal sequence realised against chiming bells and breaks, while on "Rainbow Rockets" there's a melodic electro sound
Review: Volk's latest EP for Cocoon may surprise some followers of Sven Vath's label. The title track after all centres on a massive, pulsating electronic groove that draws inspiration from the Hi-NRG and Italo of the late 70s and early 80s rather than the imprint's usual techno sources. Having said that, there is no mystery as to the appeal of "Awareness". While it also has a groovier feel than most of Cocoon's output, its frazzled bass and receptive, one-note riffs combine the raw energy of early 00s minimalism - and is exactly the kind of track one could image Sven Vath himself dropping.
A Little Story About Time & Space - (7:14) 129 BPM
Review: Lifeworld boss Johannes Volk ha moved on with his impressive run of Jeff Mills tributes and fair play to him - he has released on The Wizard's revered Axis imprint in the past. The German producer now appears on the Cocoon powerhouse following up greats ones on Dial, Token and Avenue 66 with some driving, trance infused techno on "Tears & Walls". It is jam packed full of grinding, euphoric arpeggios and geared for true elevation - all the while supported by his signature steely rhythms. Second offering "A Little Story About Time & Space" is indeed a fitting title - this emotive science-fiction journey will propel you into the stratosphere. With its intricate melody and emotive pads, it'd be great to help create a transition to or from the harder grooves in your set.
Review: German producer Johannes Volk runs the Lifeworld and Exploration imprints. On this new EP for Belgian techno imprint Token, he firmly wears his old school influences on his sleeve. This EP being a dedication to sorts to the hypnotic polyrhythms from the late nineties and early noughties. "Designing Evolution" creates some basic trance induction with its complex layers of steel drums, bongos and syncopated 909 hats all working in wonderful unison like early James Ruskin. The bleepy bell tones and sonar qualities of "Escapism" create wonderful style of suspense over a furious warehouse groove. "Cosmic Clockwork" is the EPs true standout which is reminiscent of Jeff Mills and Oliver Ho's finest moments on Purpose Maker or Meta respectively.
Review: The Future Disco brand has long since stopped releasing anything vaguely disco related; these days, it's all about shimmering deep house and tactile, tech-tinged flavours. All Day Dancing is a concept album of sorts, gathering together a selection of warm, breezy tunes that have rocked open-air parties and beachside festivals the World over this summer. As such, it's a strong collection, showcasing such well-regarded gems as Vimes' "Celestial (Reprise)", Ten Walls' picturesque, string and synth trombone-laden "Walking With Elephants", and Tale of Us' chiming, melancholic remix of Mano Le Tough's "Primative People". Throw in further contributions from Dixon & Guy Gerber, Maya Jane Coles and Booka Shade, and you have a sterling selection.
Review: Steffi's label delivers once again, albeit with a harder release from Volk. The title track is built on titanium-plated drums, as a malevolent acid line swarms to the foreground, building and building, aided and abetted by a reverberated filter. "Kinetic Friction" sees Volk take the intensity down a few notches, its psychedelic synths and cinematic strings inhabiting rickety, metallic drums, but it's only a temporary reprieve: as its title suggests, "Inferno" burns brighter than most releases this month. In part it's due to the rolling kettle drums, but it's mainly down to the epic synth line, that sits somewhere between that of Slam's "Positive Education" and Literon's "Machines".