Review: Although he's still in his mid-20s, Portuguese producer Fautzi has already released on Soma, Figure and Pole Group. Now he brings his singular take on dance floor techno to Tsunami. Both "Illusion" and "Unheard" are heavy, relentless grooves, the former consisting of tense acidic pulses and quick-fire percussion, the latter revolving around distorted kicks and militaristic snares that are shot off like machine-gun volleys from a sniper's nest. Fautzi reveals his softer side on "Bound", where eerie textures are married to rolling, dubby bass. However, this release is primarily concerned with the harder end of techno; this is also evident on the Christian Wunsch reshape of "Bound", where broken beats are shot like grenade shrapnel over the original track's dub textures.
Review: Lewis Fautzi continues his long relationship with Soma on State Of Pressure. This is an expertly crafted big room techno release; the title track centres on a pounding drum pattern, with phased filters and a one-note riff a constant throughout the arrangement. "Epidemic of Wellness" opts for a slightly more nuanced sound, as a dense, tribal rhythm provides the basis for repetitive stabs and soaring, filtered riffs. Soma has also tapped two emerging producers as remixers: N?rbak turns the title track into a more linear, streamlined rhythm, while Temudo's version of "Wellness" focuses on a frazzled electro bass and busy, nagging percussion.
Review: Fautzi puts out his third EP in as many years on Soma - and the title track is a reminder as to why he has become a regular on Slam's label. Echoing the austere, steely minimalism of Space DJz output for Soma during the 90s, it's a robust, steely affair that resounds to menacing riffs and superb percussive builds before returning to its banging path. "Ionic Bonding" is a more contemporary sounding track, with drones rising over tough drum patterns, while on "Absolute Zero" the Portuguese producer flirts with the tunnelling, hypnotic sound of Mike Parker and even Sandwell District. "Covalent Bond' is in a similar vein, but this time Fautzi ups the pace, puts his head down and aims for dance floor abandon.
Review: Mind is Fautzi's third album and follows two long players for Soma as well as a brace of EPs on Figure, Warm Up and Pole. It's a mysterious, textured affair that begins with the ambient noise of "Psychopath" before moving into the eerie sound scape menace of "Entering". The Portuguese producer then shifts his attention towards the dance floor - "Subconscious" is a stripped back, minimal groove laden down with eerie soundscapes, while on "Defracted" and "Rentless", he veers down a tunnelling, acid soaked path, like a murky, visceral version of Sandwell District. "Seasick" is darker and more droning, led by a Mike Parker-style bass, but no matter what style he tuns his hand to, Mind demonstrates that Fautzi is a master.
Review: Slam's label goes down the purist techno route for its latest release. The title track is a trip into Sleeparchive and Mills territory, featuring tough, relentless rhythms and insistent underground pulses and bleeps vying for the listener's attention. Scottish producer Deepbass aka Darren Roberts provides a more subtle version of "Range", but doesn't detract from its dance floor impact, as churning filters and blustering chord sequences unfold over a rickety, percussive arrangement. Futzi's own "Astronauts" is in a similar vein to the Deepbass remix. Based on powerful filters and a rolling groove, it is less direct than "Range", but still packs a powerful punch.
Review: Danny Tenaglia is a stone cold legend, but his profile has waned significantly over recent years. Given that it's 25 years since the release of his first production, this first contribution to the Balance series - is well timed. Pleasingly, it seems Tengalia still "has it it". Throughout the collection, the veteran NYC DJ maintains a fearsome energy level, mixing things up via a track list that spans chunky tech-house, darkroom tribal, heavily percussive fare (see Michel Cleis' dub of Basement Jaxx's "Mermaid of Salinas") and intelligent techno revivalism (Dax J's brilliant "Dreamscape" and Ho's "Deletion 3"). It is, of course, an impeccable selection, as you'd expect from a man with Tengalia's undoubted pedigree.
Review: Oscar Mulero's other label celebrates its fifth anniversary with this mammoth compendium. For fans of the Spanish imprint's club techno there is no shortage of material to get excited about; the Lewis Fautzi remix of Exium's "Nucleoid" is a hypnotic groove par excellence, its confluence of acid and droning pulses arcing to a tantalising climax, while Christian Wunsch and Exium once again represent the tough industrial and dub-meets-noise sound of the label on "Emission Lines" and "Biolag" respectively. However, there is also a more musical, reflective side to Poelgroup's sound. In this regard, 5 Years delivers most impressively with the chilling strings of the Architectural project from Reeko as well as the Spanish producer's cinematic, break beat-led reshape of Jonas Kopp's "M31".