Review: You have to admire Ostgut Ton's ambition. While celebrating a decade in dance music with a compilation of exclusive, previously unheard music is now standard practice amongst leading underground labels, few would have the balls to release it with such a killer tracklisting as Zehn. Across the 30 tracks (count 'em!) you get a who's who of Berghain and Panorama Bar associates delivering a quite outstanding selection of left-of-centre techno and deep European house, with Marcel Dettmann, Boris, Virginia, Steffi, DVS1, Martyn, Tobias and Ben Klock all featuring. Highlights naturally come thick and fast, from the spacey electronics, heady textures and hypnotic rhythms of Function's "DX3 Analog Bass Seq", and the rush-inducing, string-laden house warmth of Matthew Styles' remix of Dinky's "Planes", to the picturesque intelligent techno of Doms & Deykers.
Review: It's always a good day for techno when new Steve 'master of the loop' Bicknell material arises, just like it's done here on the first sampler for Function's Berghain 07 mix. "Odyssey #1" is a distorted gyration through fizzy atmospheres and chocked bleeps, while Post Scriptum's rolling "Human Timescales" is a cross between the Hauntologists sound and the beats heard on Tobias' Leaning Over Backwards album, also released on Ostgut Ton. There's some transatlantic vibes on LB Dub Corp's "So Much", while the emerging Blue Hour sees his zapping drum track keep the sustain on his synth locked for the entirety of the track.
Review: Ostgut's year of high profile album releases continues apace as Luke Slater graces the label with an album under his lesser spotted alias L.B. Dub Corp. Despite their being only four L.B. Dub Corp releases over a seven year span, it's still a name synonymous with the Mote-Evolver boss and has served up some considered highlights of the producer's distinguished discography. Unknown Origin arrives on Ostgut two years after Slater's excellent Planetary Assault System long-player for the label and sees him explicitly look to alternative poetry for inspiration with dub poet Benjamin Zephaniah a prominent presence, contributing to two tracks on Unknown Origin. Despite this, the mood is still resolutely Ostgut and Slater's pedigree is clear throughout.
Review: Luke Slater is best known for his searing, mind-bendingly futuristic techno as Planetary Assault Systems, but occasionally he slips into house mode as LB Dub Corp. With an excellent debut album scheduled in for release soon under this guise, this taster release reminds the listener of Slater's diverse palette. The title track is a nagging, acid-soaked jack track, while he changes tact on "Nearly Africa Dub". Sounding like a cross between Oliver Ho-style tribalism and early E-Dancer, as hypnotic chants are led by a menacing sub-bass. Slater also shows his sense of humour on "I Have A Dream". Featuring Benjamin Zephaniah delivering a tongue in cheek version of Martin Luther King's famous "I Have a Dream" speech, it has choice lines like "one day everyone will have to own at least one Barry Manilow record", set to a dubby techno groove.
Review: Now this is a bit special. Luke Slater's Mote Evolver launches the Parallel series, the concept being that two contrasting but complementing artists drop a brace of tracks each on the one release.First up, US based Englishman ASC (real name James Clements), known primarily for his forward thinking D&B excursions, turns in two whopping techno cuts. The relentless guttural throb of "Slow Burn" is offset by some slapping synths and barely there vocal snippets, kind of what we'd expect a studio jam between Levon Vincent and Boddika to sound like. This is complemented by the more liquid tones of "Transit", a reverb-laden throbber with menacing sonar bleeps piercing the swampy atmospherics. Up next, Slater adopts his seldom seen L.B.Dub Corp guise for "Lurcher's Dub" and "Native Dub", with the cavernous sub-bass and twinkling keys of the former demanding play on an implausibly large soundsytem.