Review: While Convex has focused more on his Kid Drama alter ego over the past year, this split release shows that he is still highly adept at delivering underground techno. Available here in remixed format from the ubiquitous Matrixxman, "Day After Day" swirls and bleeps hypnotically, its tones and almost catchy chords sounding like a cross between Sleeparchive and Ian Pooley. On the flip, Convex has commissioned Light Year's "Inside". Again, it is only released in a remixed format, with Mr G underpinning the infectious hooks and mysterious vocal sample with the kind of tough tribal beats that have become his signature.
Review: One of Europe's biggest electronic music parties sets out an impressive taster for this year's event. Mixed by French DJ/producer Brodinski, it moves from the deranged, siren-led "Slope" by Joe, through the swinging techno of Randomer's "Bring" and the chord-heavy groove of Brendon Moeller's take on Appleblim & Peverelist's "Over Here" before moving into more raw forms. This is articulated by the rough analogue jack of Marquis Hawkes' "Outta This Hood" and the firing, lean techno of Robert Hood's "Protein Valve (Edit 1). Brodinski also deserves kudos for dropping the grainy, surging bass and crisp drums of Claro Intelecto's rumbling electro killer, "Tone"
Review: Listening to Force, it's hard to believe that Damon Kirkham was once involved with Instra:mental. Indeed, it would be hard to imagine a more disconnected path to his former guise than the one he ventures down here. The title track has a closer bearing to Kirkham's other releases as Jon Convex in that it teems with snare rolls, Chicago kettle drums and an ominous bassline. However, at its core is a baseline so brutal and oppressive that it sounds like Borghesia or Laibach on speed. "Snake" is even more explicit in how Kirkham wears his influences and its oppressive low end pulses and doom vocal sound like a modern, techno tribute to Front 242.
Review: Considering the rich vein of form Al Bleek has enjoyed as Boddika of late, Martyn's 3024 seems the perfect launch pad for Jon Convex - the solo endeavour of Bleek's Instra:mental cohort Damon Kirkham. Convexations is purportedly the first of a raft of releases across a number of labels for the Convex moniker and you can commence finger licking now, as the two productions here are perfect breakout material. The title track sets the tone, commencing in dramatic fashion before quickly settling into menacing Detroit electro pulse of rattling percussion, sputtering chords dipped with intensity and uneasy vocal flourishes. Complementing this is "Falling Down" with tight percussive rhythms, drowned out warm vocal swirls and rich sounding bass patterns - the end result being much more than the sum of its parts, especially when the array of thick chord washes join the party!
Review: It was an important year for Jon Convex and after his spectacular collaborative album with his Instra:Mental brother, Boddika, he needed to continue delivering the goods. London's 3024 has been his closest imprint, having released a string of fantastic releases for the label. The title track features the debaucheries of D&B legend, dBridge, where the pair have conjured a monter track, filled with swarming slices of bass, shifty drums and smooth vocals. "Zero" places its thumping drums next to bleepy melodies and a seriously odd bass line - a certified booty shaker! "Stay" is a gentler hymn, aided once again by dBridge's mastery, where 4/4 beats meet with anthemic piano keys and ludicrously seductive bass tones.
Review: Sidling up to Civil Music for his latest salvo of muscular electro-techno, Jon Convex is showing no signs of going soft as his solo project continues to mature into a sizable back catalogue. "Losing Time" is a rough and tumble of leering bass notes and biting drums, but there's still space for a drawn out melancholic breakdown that swirls in a vat of pads before launching back into the guttural main groove. "TX" on the other hand comes on like a merry-go-round of chugging beats and delirious synth lines aimed squarely at twisting up the minds of all present when the clarion call rings out over a sizable system. Ore is on hand to deliver an industrial-tinged revision of the track, while dBridge drops some stellar Autonomic-style half-step sci-fi considerations on his own remix.
Review: While it might be tricky in these open-minded times for Scuba to shatter preconceptions the way that he did with his Sub:Stance mix a few years ago, this compilation should be seen really as a celebration of the man himself as a DJ. After launching with a decidedly minimalist approach, the mix meanders between pacey techno, bluesy broken beat and rolling dubstep tempos. At times the flow feels unsteady, but then it just rings true that he put this mix together for himself. Without a dancefloor to look after, who knows where many of our favourite DJs might take us?