Review: It's no surprise that the world's most feted techno club has decided to celebrate its fifteenth anniversary with something special - a release that seeks to redefine the art of the DJ mix. In fact, Luke Slater has christened his approach on Berghain Funfzehn 'ripping the cut': it saw the storied UK techno artist scour all of sister label Ostgut Ton's Eps and LPs for source material in order to fashion 26 new tracks and then to mix them all together. The end result is a wild ride through the very best in contemporary club techno, with elements from well-known Ostgut releases from Ben Klock, Levon Vincent and Marcel Dettmann featuring alongside lesser-known gems from Lerosa and Rolando.
Review: Confusingly, X-Tront Volume 2 from 1993 was Slater's debut album and followed the X-Tront single from the previous year. Despite being 21 years old, it remains a landmark release for a number of reasons. Firstly, it pushes the notion of hard techno to the limits on tracks like the 155bpm nosebleed of "Splitting Atoms" and the (relatively) more sedate 141 bpm rock-hard kicks and furious claps of "Colonial Space Unexplored". More importantly however, it paved the way for techno producers to deliver a range of sounds across an album format - although few have since been able to create music as inspirational as the deep, bleepy techno of "Taking Sides" and the pacey, bell-ringing electro of "Time 2 Time."
Review: As its title suggests, this collection brings together tracks from the UK producer's X-Tront series from the early to mid-90s. This was an exciting time generally for electronic music, as artists tried anything they wanted to - and this is audible on 92-94. From the stomping, concrete beats of "Splitting Atoms" and "Amil" to the churning filters and abrasive percussion of "Bande Magnetique", there is no shortage of hard-edged techno on offer. However, Slater also exceled at making deep electronic sounds during this period - make sure to check his My Yellow Wise Rug album as 7th Plain from this period - and "The Secret Garden" is a great example of this style, with melancholic hooks and lithe, rasping rhythms revealing his more reflective side.