Review: Gary Beck continues the fine Glasgow techno tradition pioneered by Rubadub and Slam on "Backward", the opening track on this split release. Tribal drums cascade over a rolling rhythm and in the middle of it all, a vocal sample morphs into a hypnotic Afro chant. "Data Flux", Beck's collaboration with techno veteran Mark Broom, is just as rewarding, only on this occasion, the kicks are tougher and more distorted. Bek 022 also gives a platform to new artists - with Hans Bouffmyhre & Kyle Geiger's "Inwards" delivering a flurry of tough kicks and ear-shredding sirens - and to seasoned artists the Space DJz, whose raucous "Double Zero" brings a distorted drum-led end to the release.
Review: Thanks to his releases on Token and Power Vacuum, veteran UK producer Mark Broom is enjoying a renaissance. That come back continues with the mighty Afterlife release. Like the record on Power Vacuum, the title track is based on a simple premise; use stomping beats and a mangled, grainy bassline as a back drop for a wild, trancey synth line that gets more and more euphoric as it progresses. If that sounds too intense, fear not as Phase has delivered a killer remix. Understated and menacing, it pulses along until he lets loose with the most threatening chord sweeps since Dave Clarke's Red 2.
Review: Broom has making techno for twenty years, but as Silenced shows, he retains the golden touch for dropping killer club tracks. "Silenced 1" features heavy tribal beats and a Hoover bass belching through the speakers, accompanied by a searing acid line. The second instalment is even more visceral; it begins relatively sedately, with deep chords setting an atmospheric tone, but soon enough, ferocious, hissing hats and a churning filter increase the intensity levels. "Part 3" features more of the same bass pressure, this time motoring along to sick acid lines and heavy clicks. Finally, "Part 4" relies on bursts of white noise and a scuffling rhythm to drive home the message.
Review: Belgian label Token dip their toes in the reissue game with this reissue of a Mark Broom cut from 2002. Originally released through the Coda offshoot of James Ruskin's Blue Print, "Two" apparently highest amongst Token boss Kr!z's personal favourite Mark Broom productions and the track still sounds immense some eleven years on. A classic example of Broom at his most relentlessly thumping, "Two" is given some contemporary context with a Syntax remix whose spacious textures and brushed syncopation offer a more serene accompaniment.
Review: UK techno veteran Broom is one of the most consistent producers in the game and on Neon, he delivers four killer dance floor tracks. Inspired in equal parts by the swirling, dub techno of Chain Reaction and the insistent, loopy techno of mid to late-90s Jeff Mills, the release starts with the steel-plate percussion and churning chord builds of "M19". Broom keeps his focus on that approach for "Energy", where doubled-up claps and clanging chords create an eerie but urgent sensibility, while the title track is a slightly less visceral affair thanks to the inclusion of a sleepy vocal sample amid the churning keys. Finally, "Involver" sees Broom focus his energies elsewhere, its acidic, grimy groove coming across like Steve Bicknell in a bad mood.
Review: Veteran UK producer Mark Broom proves once again that diversity is key to remaining relevant. While most of his peers have faded into obscurity at best, Broom's both versions of "Satellite" sound as fresh as the day that he first started fiddling with a sampler. Combining the old with the new, both versions are underpinned by contemporary-sounding dense beats and snappy percussion, but also feature panning, nagging acid lines that are reminiscent of vintage Plastikman. Broom also makes nods to the recent mnml explosion with hissing percussion descending into bursts of white noise - but he does it with such style that it sounds fresh. Here's to another 20 years.
Review: Apart from the odd appearance by like-minded producers like Sterac, M-Plant is primarily a vehicle for Robert Hood's own productions. Therefore, this release by Mark Broom is tacit recognition of the UK veteran's huge contribution to the sound over the years. Fittingly, Stunned is in a similar vein to Hood's own Floorplan style. "Stunned (97 Mix)" is a tough, rolling peak time affair, its heavy drums underpinning insistent, powerful filter sweeps. "Decay" comes across like a more nocturnal version of the Floorplan sound; an acid-soaked organ riff gnaws away incessantly as a sharp riff that sounds like a recycled take on The Bells constantly jabs at the listener's eardrum.
Review: If there was a dedicated techno dictionary, there is no doubt that "Redial" would feature under the entry marked 'big room'. While Broom has made a wide range of electronic music over the years, his focus is now firmly set on putting out peak time tunes for cavernous clubs. The title track is an upfront jacking affair, with reverberating drums underpinning screeching sirens, walls of jarring effects and visceral claps. "Mist" is even more over the top, with a rolling rhythm and filtered metallic riffs leading to an insane crescendo. It may not have the subtlety of his A13 work, but it's certainly effective. Recommended.
Review: First released on Ben Sims Theory Recordings as a 12" in 2009, Mark Broom's "Things" harks back to the raw and rough aesthetics of 90s techno and rave. Brick wall compression sees Broom's original relentlessly crunch, suck and pump until ravey key stabs big enough to fill a Tiesto sized stadium enter the fray. Broom's VIP mix will cause 90s nostalgia seekers and bright eyed youngsters alike to desperately wave their phone in the DJs face with the words track id? Broom super loops his original, occasionally dropping the kick or bass whilst unashamedly sampling Steve Poindexter's '89 club hit "Work That Mutha Fucker". The NYC mix is a more polished production taking "Things" down a minimal and techy route with strings, climbing blips and square pads all in tow. Paul Mac ups Broom's rave antics by plodding a ravey bass line that gets phatter with every stab against crisp hats, tribal percussion and filtered vocals.
Review: When he launched his Beard Man label, UK veteran Mark Broom decided to take ownership again of his releases. Now he's steering his music again and this time it's back to the old school. "48" is an inspired combination of modern white noise bursts and tribal drums that lead into a massive filtered breakdown, while "Fever" is reminiscent of the stab-heavy, acid-tinged techno Broom used to deliver with such aplomb for Pure Plastic. Best of all though is the title track: featuring the distorted beats of DJ Rush and Ben Sims' insistent discoy loops, it is both familiar and fresh.
Review: This sampler from Norman Nodge's new mix CD shows that the Berghain resident spends a lot of time searching out music that no one else has. The upshot of his approach is that Nodge creates a mood like no one else. From the mix opener, the grayscale ambience of Birds Two Cage's "Gase", through the menacing builds of Mark Broom's "Vault 5" to newcomer Patrick Graser's "From Foreign Territories" - an insistent, bleep-heavy groove to rival Sleeparchive at his most austere - this taster release proves that when it comes to setting a menacing, spooky tone, no one can match Norman Nodge.
Review: Given that two of UK techno's most experienced techno producers feature on "Night Nurse" you could be forgiven for thinking that it might turn into a lesson in dance floor intensity. However, while "Pigeon" is based on a solidly jacking rhythm augmented by firing hats and insistent, stabbing riffs, that only tells half the story. Midway through, it veers into a Chain Reaction-style chord sequence that subsequently morphs into a dreamy outro. It's the musical elements that Norman Nodge's remix centres on - the stomping backing helps too - while the title track isn't all sturm und drang either, its broken beats providing the basis for chilling strings and mysterious pads.
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.