Review: With 20 years spent releasing, distributing and representing techno and electro's finest producers, it's fair to say that ePM is a true champion of the underground. That commitment comes into sharp focus on EPM20, which brings together music from all of the Eps that the label released over the past year. The listener is really spoilt for choice: Regis delivers the beautifully ghostly techno of "Beyond The Reach Of Time Pt 1", while Robert Hood keeps the mood mysterious on the aptly named "Shadows". While the compilation spotlights prominent producers, it also showcases artists who sometimes fly under the radar - on this occasion, it's Paul Mac with the drum-heavy "Nothing Remains" and Carl Finlow's nocturnal electro on "Optogenetic". The fact that it's dedicated to the sadly departed Tim Baker is also a lovely touch.
Review: Following on from his recent Fast Funfzig EP on Rekids, Mark Broom now unveils a superb album for the label. Drawing on a range of styles and sounds, it sees the veteran producer deliver house music in the form of the organ-led "Mover" and disco-sampling, good time vibes of "We Gonna Dance" which features Ella Fleur's uplifting vocals. However, this isn't a case of Broom mellowing out with age/. The album is peppered with straight up bangers like the dynamic, filtered "Let's Roll" and the epic builds of "Memories" that sit alongside crisp, minimal grooves such as "EFX" and more experimental jams like the stepping "Stark" and the evocative shanty of "Dub Me Good".
Review: Mark Broom draws on his own rich back catalogue for the opening tracks on Fast Funfzig: with their rumbling bass tones, swirling synths and hypnotic tribal drums, both "Fingers" and "Slow" draw on the raw techno soul that pervaded his 1996 debut album, Angie Is A Shoplifter. Meanwhile, "Wild Style" sees him embark on a different route; led by a spiky electro rhythm and an ominous bass, the veteran techno producer weaves vocal snippets into the woozy arrangement. On the final track "Facteur" Broom goes deeper, with hollowed out drums providing the backdrop for a tapestry of dreamy melodies that flow and ebb elegantly.
Review: The ePM agency, label and distributor celebrates 20 years with a series of split EPs focused on techno, electro and house. First up is the techno release, with ePM attracting a stellar line-up to contribute. Robert Hood drops the eerie "Shadows", where menacing organs and steely percussion come together for a mesmerising slice of minimal techno. Ben Sims conjures up dense, tribal drums, interspersed with haunting wind chimes on "Xotnuc", while James Ruskin delivers the tough, steely rhythm of "There Was A Time". Remaining at the tougher end of the spectrum, the always consistent Mark Broom brings this part of ePM's celebrations to a close with the cavernous, pounding groove of "The Three Swords".
Review: Mark Broom returns to Rekids with a release that's tailor made for dance floor use. Mutated contains eight tracks, with each one clocking in around the three-minute mark. Designed specifically for DJs to get busy with in the mix, these pieces range in style from the high-paced, Rob Hood-style minimalism of "Changing" and "Form" to tracks like "Marker" and "Stranded", whose frenetic rhythms and building chords have echoes of classic Technasia. There are some deeper tracks too, with the chord-heavy "Mutate" standing out, but no matter which direction he pushes in, this release captures the veteran producer in peak-time mode.
Review: Originally released back in 1995, this is the first time that Richie Hawtin's selection for Mixmag has been available as separate digital tracks. None of the featured tracks have aged a day, with the Plus 8 boss navigating a path through underground house and techno. There's tripped out acid from Lausen and his own Plastikman and FUSE material sitting side by side with pioneering minimalism from DBX and G-Man and the hypnotic pulses of Teste's eternal "The Wipe". Mixmag Live! also reveals a deeper side to Hawtin's oeuvre, and the trio of dubbed out tracks that the mix ends on - from Paul Hannah, Sensorama and Roman Flugel's Roman IV project - is nothing short of stunning.
Knowhat - "The Magician" (original mix) - (8:13) 125 BPM
Review: Riva Starr's Snatch! celebrate 10 years in the game in 2020, and this collection rounds up the best of their output over the latter half of that first decade. Tuff, chuggy tech-house is, unsurprisingly, the dominant sound here, but it's by no means all that's on offer - Rogue D flirts with 80s boogie on 'Take It Easy', for instance, while Soul Speech loops up Heatwave's 'Boogie Nights' on 'Soul Speech'. With tracks from the heavy-hitting likes of Max Chapman, Darius Syrossian, Steve Bug, Groove Armada, Wade and Denis Cruz, and cheeky reworks of classics like 'My Beat' and 'Pride (A Deeper Love)', there's useful ammunition here for house jocks of many different micro-persuasions.
Review: The idea that music should stay away from politics is flawed, and Break The Silence is one of the most convincing counter-arguments against this notion. Featuring unreleased tracks donated by a stellar cast of underground electronic music artists, the compilation seeks to raise funds for Campaign Zero, an initiative that campaigns against police violence in the US. With artists like Rob Hood, 4 Hero and Luke Slater all contributing to Break The Silence, the listener really is spoilt for choice while also supporting a great cause. However, the standouts come from Eddie Fowlkes and Jon Dixon, who both drop superb jazz-influenced house tracks.
Review: While many contemporary producers are mining rave influences with varying degrees of success, few have got the knowledge and sense of history as Mark Broom. This release showcases the UK veteran's expertise: the title track features wild hardcore stabs, filtered heavily and unfolding over pounding kick drums. On "Insta", the Beardman boss goes for a similar approach, only this time, sirens flow over a wobbly bass. "Midnight" is deeper, with celebratory piano lines building gradually against the backdrop of tight percussion and skipping beats, while Broom matches up old school synths with a warbling groove and evocative, looped vocals for the decidedly euphoric "Hear Me".
Review: Token has traditionally maintained a tightly-knit roster, but on this compilation it welcomes new producers to the fold. Nastia Riegel's "Pray" kick-starts Fuga with dreamy, dubbed-out techno, while Stefan Vincent's "Fever Dream" paints a hypnotic, minimal picture. On "Biomorph", Border One - who is best known for his releases on Wolfskuil - delivers a grimy, bass-heavy groove, while Dold's "My Homework Ate My Dog" and PTTRN's "Contempt/Suggest 6" are the kind of high-paced but intricate techno tracks that the Belgian label has helped to pioneer. Rounding off this fine compilation are the discordant tones of Ribe's "The Cause" and Linkan Ray's bleep-heavy "Introspective Vision".
Review: Hardgroove have released some serious names in the techno scene before now - the likes of Mella Dee, Borrowed Identity and Charles Green. It's no surprise considering Ben Sims is at the helm, and that equally explains the fact that the legendary Mark Broom has graced the label with his latest set of taut, main room club cuts. "Outta Sight" is a mean-tempered workout with a whiff of electro in the lead synth refrain, but it's not as outwardly malevolent as noisy juggernaut "L4LV". "Five/Four" has big room chords and massive splashing rides to get fists shaking - the consummate peak time belter. "TR1" takes things in a more dungeon-esque direction, using guttural rhythmic incisions to drag you into the depths of the night.
Review: UK techno veteran Ben Sims is one of the most renowned proponents of the tribal techno sound - his revered Hardgroove imprint being synonymous with such. Comprised of cuts from the Londoner's recent 'Tribology' mix-compilation, it features long time colleague and fellow London legend Mark Broom (Beardyman) on the fiercely hypnotic tool "Loop It" calling to mind his seminal work as Rue East more than a decade ago, the dub-inflected factory floor assault of Marco Bruno's "Any Given Sunday" as well as Dutch artist Cadans on the funky stomper "Bite". Closing out the EP is label regular Avision delivering the mentalist minimalism of "Rebel" geared for proper tunnel vision under the strobe light.
Review: It's been twenty years since Sven Vath's Cocoon operation set up in Ibiza; since then the label's annual alphabet-themed compilations have also come to define techno's stylistic twists and turns. According to S, 2019 clearly saw the re-emergence of trance in its various forms, from Love Over Entropy's wide-eyed abandon to Stimming's more musical approach - audible on "The Gift That Never Stops To Give". Musicality is also a common theme on the house and techno that features on Compilation S, with Emanuel Satie's "Planet XXX" resounding to melodic chord stabs and Giegling artist Edward's "End Days" favouring chattering samples and a soaring bass - inspired by E-Dancer with a modern, Teutonic twist.
Review: It's hard to believe that Gary Beck's techno has been around for a decade, and helping him to blow out the candles is a star-studded line up. First up is Chicago legend DJ Rush collaborating with the label owner to deliver the stomping ghetto techno of "Talkers". Sunčica Bari?ić aka Insolate delivers a more European-focused sound on the atmospheric, tone-laden "He Said, She Said". Changing focus again, Slam's version of JX-216's "Xingu" is a visceral peak-time affair that resounds to discordant riffs, while on Mark Broom's "Red Line", an insistent organ and firing percussion, similar to Floorplan's style, is audible. Hopefully it's the first of many birthday celebrations.
Oliver Way - "Music Is So Special" - (5:33) 128 BPM
Mark Broom - "77" - (5:00) 128 BPM
Paul Mac - "Disc Electronique" - (6:45) 124 BPM
Luis Martinez & Keytone - "Lost At Sea" - (6:31) 124 BPM
Cristian Vogel - "Tyrkisk Peber" - (7:37) 130 BPM
The Third Man - "Pipes At Helios Canyon" - (6:16) 127 BPM
Ben Long - "Simple Soul" - (7:17) 127 BPM
House Of Black Lanterns - "Drown" - (6:33) 125 BPM
Kristian Heikkila - "Konstruktion" - (6:06) 128 BPM
Esteban Adame - "Handed Down" - (5:15) 125 BPM
Review: EPM Music is a label headquartered in Maastricht, the Netherlands that has recently presented terrific work by the likes of Mark Flash, Floorplan and Mark Broom - so it's evident that purist techno sounds are on offer by this fine label. For the seventh edition of their long running EPM Selected series they certainly have a special and well curated compilation on offer that touches on the many shades of the genre- but altogether emotive, soulful and with an undeniable Motor City edge throughout. Highlights not limited to: Detroit veteran Oliver Way's fierce and functional heads-down groove "Music Is So Special", the evocative hypnotism of British legend Paul Mac's fine contribution "Disc Electronique" through to Space DJZ' Ben Long (who's back in fine form) on the adrenalised and cyclical banger "Simple Soul" and the ever impressive Los Angeleno Estaban Adame's hi-tech soul excursion "Handed Down".
Review: Two of techno's biggest names team up for this slamming release. First up, UK veteran Mark Broom delivers a 'dubplate' take on the Flooorplan standard "Never Grow Old". Broom focuses his efforts on snippets of the original vocal and wraps them around a dramatic chord build, making for a fine peak-time workout. Broom's own "Jungle" is next: like a streamlined version of his tribal techno work from the early 00s, a niggling filter and insistent claps weave their way in and out of the rolling rhythm. Hood also drops his own original material with "He Can Save You (Re-plant)", where a preacher man-style vocal is laid over a hammering, grainy rhythm and rickety back beats.
Review: Mark Broom is primarily known for his techno work, but over the years he has also worked on funk and broken beat projects. The title track on this release for Rekids also marks another artistic departure, with the UK producer delivering a vocal-led, disco house groove. There's a similar dynamic at play on "Heart", where Broom drops a slightly tougher but still very soulful workout. Things get progressively tougher as the EP progresses and "Efb" sees him add surging chords and heavy kicks as the remnants of a vocal sample lingers in the background. Finally, "G Theme" sees Broom up the pace for a tough but soulful techno workout - replete with diva vocals.