Review: Having kept 2020 clear for the release of a debut album on REKIDS - Converge Part 1 - Jon Hester states his territory on the label in 2021 with its counterpart - Converge Part 2! The Chicago-born, Berlin-based transplant has had a good run in recent years following a succession of releases with the likes of Deeply Rooted, Transmat and Dystopian, with this LP adding another gold star to the techno producer's vintage yet futuristic sound. Heavily modelled on faster Detroit-styled techno with a touch of Chicago soul (best heard through the LP's melodies and synthwork in tracks like "Instant", "Contact" and "Wonder"), get your dubbier and percussive sessions from "Silver" to the broken beat drums in "Shadows" and minimal warehouse vibes of "Artificial Intelligence". Jon Hester is: Converged.
Review: Jon Hester follows last year's Momentum release on Rekids with this impressive debut album. It starts with the dramatic ambience of "Sending Signals", but quickly moves towards the dance floor with the piano key-led "Metropolitan". Continuing this musical, clubby approach is the equaling sax and snaking groove of "Haze" and the deeper, shuffling "Rain", which resounds to the sound of thunder rolling in. Hester is a talented, crafty producer and while Converge Part I is predominantly dance floor-focused, there is enough diversity on offer here to keep even the fussiest fan happy - as the rolling, "Dreamstate" and the dubbed out "Free' both effortlessly demonstrate.
Review: Since breaking through in 2016 with his Interstellar Systems EP for Berlin label Dystopian, Jon hester has since gone on to release with the likes of DJ Deep, Radio Slave and Derrick May. In four years the likes of Deeply Rooted, Transmat and Rekids have all released the American's music and this Momentum EP continues Rekids' techno assault in 2019 (see EPs from P.Leone, Roberto and the always faithful Phillipe Petit). Industrial beats all round, "Zone" sends in spiraling rhythms, claps washed in reverb and a relentless forward motion, and "Part 4" is a touch syncopated in comparison, its held together by a hypnotising vocal snippet. Same goes for "Beatwave" only with deeper atmospheres and bleep inspired notation, while a fan's favourite can be in the happy hardcore and contemporary rave of "Accelerator".
Review: Tale of Us launch their Afterlife label in style with the Realm of Consciousness compilation. Bringing together some of the best-known names in contemporary techno as well as a group of newcomers, it moves effortlessly between esoteric moods. Tale of Us contribute the ambient intro, while Monoloc and Woo York are both in more mellow form than usual on the melodic "Phoenix" and "Poseidon" respectively. Meanwhile, Recondite contributes the sad melodies and throbbing bass of "Murphy's Law" and Locked Groove balances supernaturally beautiful hooks with powerful bass pulses on "Emeralds". Even more dance floor-focused tracks, like Obscure Shape & SHDW's "Die Wiederkehr", are filled with trancey melancholia.