Review: The Hacker celebrates ten-plus years of his Zone imprint by delivering a first label compilation: Interzone. Take a skim over the tracklist and there's a wealth of talent on display, and following intro duties given to the honorable Miss Kitten, the likes of In Aeternam Vale, Jenson Interceptor, Gessafelstein and Alessandro Adriani all feature alongside Cardopusher, The Populists and DJ Hell. For further intrigue, Marseille synth punk David Carretta drops in with "Nuit Panic" - alongside his "Moskow Reise" counterpart Millimetric - unknown entity Hyperstellar, and fellow electro buff, Maelstrom. With extra licks coming from Commuter's "Flash Burst" and Djedjotronic's "Zonorama" - exterminate all rational thought and enter Interzone.
Review: Maelstrom follows last year's Heat Wave release on Mechatronica with this fine follow-up. The title track revolves around a busy, glitchy rhythm, monstrous subs and a series of smart drops and builds, while on "Lest We Inhale", a similar approach applies, as acidic tones and bleeps are woven into the stop-start rhythm. "Lost Axis" sees Maelstrom wear his Detroit influences in plain sight, with dreamy synth textures fused with a throbbing bass, while on "Never Crash", he strips back his sound again to deliver an acid soaked banger. Closing out this varied release is the cinematic ambience of "Szdet Drops".
Review: Despite begin one of the leading lights in modern electro and putting put material on CPU and Raar, Eczo is Maelstrom aka Joan-Mael Peneau's debut release for Cultivated Electronics. As befits such an individualistic artist, it's a diverse affair: there's the wiry, high-speed electro funk of "Smoker", while on the title track, Peneau drops the tempo and opts for a more atmospheric arrangement. The approach changes radically again on the Sync 24 remix of "Smoker", with the label owner dropping a high tempo, electro funk version, led by sparse drums and a frenetic, stepping rhythm. Closing out the release is the swampy "Confidential", where Maelstrom uses a dense rhythm and a detuned bass to devastating effect.
Review: Joan-Mael Péneau aka Maelstrom is best known for his releases on Hacker's Zone imprint, but it was only a matter of time before his work appeared on CPU. This mini-album veers in style from the melodic, reflective title track to the frenetic, dense drums and high pitched bleeps of "Letter From M". On "Lost Echoes", he recruits the like-minded Djedjotronic for a slowed down ride through contemporary electro, while on "Vznietit", the French producer combines layers of heavy acid with a pumping, dark bass. With a nod to CPU's own love of the bleep techno and Autechre electronics from its Sheffield hometown, Maelstrom rounds off this impressive EP with "Dialectics" and "Praxis" respectively.
Review: One of Europe's biggest electronic music parties sets out an impressive taster for this year's event. Mixed by French DJ/producer Brodinski, it moves from the deranged, siren-led "Slope" by Joe, through the swinging techno of Randomer's "Bring" and the chord-heavy groove of Brendon Moeller's take on Appleblim & Peverelist's "Over Here" before moving into more raw forms. This is articulated by the rough analogue jack of Marquis Hawkes' "Outta This Hood" and the firing, lean techno of Robert Hood's "Protein Valve (Edit 1). Brodinski also deserves kudos for dropping the grainy, surging bass and crisp drums of Claro Intelecto's rumbling electro killer, "Tone"
Review: Ten years ago, Eskimo Recordings emerged from Ghent, as an outlet for mix albums from hometown heroes the Glimmers. Since then, the label has gone on to be a leading light on the nu-disco and nu Balearic scenes. Fittingly, this expansive tenth anniversary set was put together by the Glimmers, and features two solo DJ mixes featuring label highlights aplenty. For DJs, the real bonus is the huge selection of unmixed tracks on display, which adeptly showcases the depth and variety of the label's output. Highlights are plentiful, from the woozy Scandolearic vibes of Lindstrom & Prins Thomas and brilliance of early Aeroplane, to the sun-bright dream pop of Hiem, and the bouncing dancefloor groovery of LHAS Inc.
Review: A very strong release from Sound Pellegrino, as French producer Maelstrom follows up big tunes for Dirtybird and Boys Noize Records with this trio of electro-bass gold. "USSR" is a deliciously warped mix of huge industrial kicks matched with shifting acapella shots and some charging synth work, while "House Music" ups the bpms a little and rocks a minimal booty bass beat and hazy Detroit stabs. Staying on a Miami tip, "Pool Chicks" recalls recent tunes from Mele and Canblaster with a delirious set of arpeggiated leads married to a thick minimal bassline and kicks.