Review: Daniel Koehler follows up last year's Melencolia V release on ESP Institute with this bubbling, diverse affair. On "Light Magic", Koehler drops a shuffling rhythm that is underpinned by repetitive vocal samples and buzzing electronic riffs. It sounds like a slightly more accessible version of what he releases on labels like Skudge and Diagonal. In contrast, "The Grand Illusion" comes across as being more introspective. Revolving around languid break beats, its guitar squalls are mixed with looped chords that give the arrangement some extra impetus and ensure that it will work both as a warm up track or peak time selection.
Review: Following Eps on well-known underground labels such as Whities, Berceuse Heroique and Diagonal, Daniel Koehler makes his debut on ESP Institute. It's a release of contrasting styles: "Melencolia V" is a cosmic affair led by sensuous strings and shimmering synths that unfolds over an unhurried back beat and is sure to work best at sun-up. "Invidiosa" is a radically different affair: set to a high-paced tempo, its hollowed out drums take the listener down the rabbit hole and back over the course of seven minutes. As always, ESP Institute can be relied on to dig deep and deliver left of centre electronic music.
Review: It's an endlessly pleasing affair to see Bristol-born, Berlin-based techno deviant Koehler stepping out onto some new labels. Moreover, he's just gone and been recruited by Die Orakel, one of our personal favourites when it's comes to utterly wacked-out dance music...often a strain of sounds boasting a tenebrous connection to the inferno. Our bearded techno ranger steps up with a three-pronged attack of his finest nut-house riddims, vividly peppering the bastards with his personal love of old-school d&b; much like all his other tunes, Koehler isn't one for straight 4/4 grooves. Instead, we get a blend of psyched-out, break-filled bangers that'll undoubtedly spin the entire room out during the early morning hours. The trick is to play them at the right time - do that and you've just won yourself the entire room. Chest-burning gear from the madman.
Review: One of the main contributors to Berceuse Heroique delivers a bass-heavy three-track EP. First up is the title track; with its robust breaks and ear-splitting shrieks unfolding over wave upon wave of nausea-inducing sub-bass, it worships at the altar of hardcore. "Flammarion Beach" is also underpinned by a tearing low end, but on this occasion, the bass intensity is offset by high-pitched trance melodies that flit and hover above the arrangement. Closing out the release is "Rotating Rupees". In stark contrast to the other tracks, it's a soft-focus, ambient passage that recalls the more cosmic end of '70s library music, a soothing alternative to Koehler's fury.
Review: Yes! Berceuse Heroique come through with Dynasty, its much anticipated transmission from Bristol's resident Seb Tellier lookalike Koehler. Compare and contrast the three tracks here with Koehler's last official release on Skudge White (there's an uncredited R Zone contribution in between too) and you'll be more than satisfied with how his productions have developed. The alien feel and grin-inducing crunch of percussion remains central to his work on the title cut, where a swaggering gut punch of synth stabs, darkside basslines and rolling rhythms result in one of those tracks you will love to slam into a mix. Yet it's nice to see Koehler explore beatless synth compositions on the brief "Deleted Scene" before heading back into apocalyptic club territory with the snarling highlight "Spiral Light".
Anti Gravity Switch (A Made Up Sound remix) - (4:51) 120 BPM
Review: Berlin-based producer Koehler may well have affiliations with both Skudge and Creme's R-Zone series, but he's clearly built a bond with London label Berceuse Heroique. Last year's label debut Dynasty was Koehler at his post-apocalyptic best and he's on similarly face-slapping form with "Anti-Gravity Switch". Produced with fellow Berlin type Kuno, the track is essentially a DJ tool for those who like their tracks to breathe a certain filth laden rudeness. A disgustingly thick acid-like riff is at the core of "Anti-Gravity Switch" around which Koehler and Kuno lay down some foundation shattering drum programming. Just listen to the clips! Dave Huismans remixes the track as A Made Up Sound, stripping it down and building it back up as some nasty broken dub business.
Review: Next up on Whities' new Blue series are a couple of terrific offerings. On the A side is SMX: a duo comprised of Max O'Brien and Sam Purcell, who serve up the hypnotic and emotive techno journey "Sleep". It's a reduced take on the early '90s bleep techno sound that is said to have been a recorded live jam (circa 2015) and 'explores themes of discordance and euphoria'. Berlin based Bristolian Daniel Koehler, who has previously displayed his contorted takes on techno via labels such as Die Orakel and Diagonal - serves up the frantic rave deconstruction of "Thief" which is jam packed full of breakneck rhythms, snarling sub bass exploitations and wonky synth stabs.