Markus Suckut - "Acid Landscape" - (10:02) 128 BPM
Antonio Ruscito - "Luce" - (6:08) 127 BPM
Review: Scuba launches his new label named Who Whom, which unlike his main operation Hotflush seems to shift the focus from bass driven tech house to the more straight ahead sounds of modern techno. In the words of the label itself "the artists are various, the sound particular." Dortmund's finest Markus Suckut can impress as always, his tough and functional track sees him in fine form on the decayed 303 slow burner "Acid Landscape". The Skudge affiliated Bleak serves up another another rusty and bass heavy stormer with the dirty electro jam "In My Soul" while Sheffield upstart Isaac Reuben returns after his sophomore effort on Hotflush last year with the deep, stripped back and evocative journey "Machines".
Review: For his eleventh(!) studio album, techno veteran Johannes Heil does what he knows best and focuses on the dance floor. Gospel starts the soundscapes of "Gospel One" before giving way to the epic synths and heavy kicks of "Gospel Two", which come across like Slam and early Ron Trent on steroids. "Gospel Three" sees the German producer delve into deeper, dub techno, while on the fourth instalment, he drops a bleep-heavy break beat track. Heil has always been a versatile producer, but no matter what direction he veers into, each track on Gospel has a crisp, precise sound. From the chord-heavy builds of "Gospel Six" to the rolling tribal groove of "Gospel Nine", this approach prevails on Heil's latest album.
Voices In My Head (Rebar's 3210 remix) - (6:38) 131 BPM
Review: Marcus Suckut recently debuted on Odd Even and the title track on this new EP for Made Of Concrete has a similar flavour. Centred on a rolling groove, Suckut deploys a jazzy, looped sample to create a hypnotic, house DJ tool. The approach is similar but the mood changes radically on "8", where Suckut uses lead-weight kicks and conjures up swirling chords, while "Drift" is a firing, percussive techno affair that resounds to tantalisingly textured drones. Label owners Rebar also provide a remix of "Voices..." with layer upon layer of synths and white noise blasts unfolding over delicate broken beats.
Review: Suckut returns to Andre Kronet's label with a killer dance floor EP. The title track is an irresistible, rolling affair, halfway between house and techno, and featuring a hypnotic vocal loop. On "Prism Part One", Suckut ups the tempo and drops a searing acid line that burns its way over doubled up claps. The second iteration of "Prism" is even more dance floor focused: based on a heavy 303 line, pitch bent hats and rolling snare drums, these elements veer into Emanuel Top-style pandemonium. Changing tact again, "Backyard" inhabits a similar territory as "Promises", albeit with tougher drums, rasping percussion and a indistinguishable vocal loop.
Review: Dedicated to his deceased mother, Heaven is Markus Suckut's third artist album and his most impressive to date. It opens with the orchestral strings of "Escape" and the spacey, upbeat dub techno of "Breeze" before moving into the melancholic deep techno of "Future Is Not Always Bright" and the spaced out down tempo "Above The Clouds". It's not all reflective material however. "Sun's Out" is a more light-hearted track and sees the German producer drop a catchy vocal snippet, while on "Take A Break", he fuses a frenetic jazz break to a filtered techno groove. As these tracks and the niggling acid of "Orchid" all suggest, the sound track to the after life doesn't have to be sombre.
Review: Following on from his excellent long player, Resist, Suckut now drops this killer four-tracker. While the German producer's second artist album saw him explore a range of styles and moods, this release is all about the dance floor. "Your Legs" is a murky, percussive affair that resounds to distant sirens and dense, shuffling drums. On "Your Head", Suckut goes for an all-out acid assault, featuring a central 303 line so virulent and claps so militant that the combination will flatten anything that gets in its way. On "Your Arms", he offers a more loose approach, with a raw bass underpinning a shuffling, percussive rhythm, while on "Your Body", Suckut opts for a minimal, stripped back house workout that takes influence from Dan Bell.
Review: Resist, Markus Suckut's latest album, is released on his own Exile label and plays out like a DJ set. Spread across nine 'movements', it starts with the vocal sampling, bell chiming first installment, before Suckut nudges the listener towards the dance floor with the dense rhythms of number two. However, it becomes clear that Suckut does not succumb to predictability and Resist does not follow the typical conventions of a linear DJ set. Both "Third Movement" and "Fifth Movement" are deep, rolling grooves and the fourth installment centres on a tracky house rhythm. Resist never goes for the jugular - Suckut even slips in an ambient track near the end - and it's this unwillingness to go down the obvious, banging route that makes it so alluring.
Review: On the sixth edition of Exile, its co-owner Markus Suckut proves why he is one of Europe's finest contemporary techno producers. Each track is streamlined and functional, but none sound faceless or linear. The untitled A-side revolves around forceful kicks, rasping hi hats and an all-encompassing, trancey hook. Meanwhile, "B1" is powered by glassy shards of percussion and pin-prick techno bleeps. On "B2", he treats the listener to one of his rare trips down an acid wormhole, but of course this being Suckut, subtle but insistent percussive ticks and steady, relentless drums are never too far from the surface.
Review: Markus Suckut clearly knows how to make throbbing, no-nonsense club cuts. His second EP for Rekids begins with a chunk of sweaty, muscular techno, where a restless, warehouse-ready riff rides a formidable rhythm track built around pulverizing kick-drums, crunchy shares, and relentless hi-hats. In essence, it's the sort of funk-fuelled techno stomper that doesn't strive too hard to impress, but does anyway. His modifies this approach a little with "Zero Nine Six", utilizing a looped synthesized sax loop to add additional funkiness to a denser groove in which his crispy snare hits take a much more prominent role. Like "10 Y", it sounds phenomenally large over club sound systems.
Review: Rightly or wrongly, Markus Suckut has been to date associated with a particularly bleak strain on post-Sandwell techno. That association looks set to disappear thanks to this new release on Radioslave's label. Indeed, it would be difficult to think of a more dissimilar track to that contemporary sound than "Untitled 1". Over rolling break beats and a menacing bass, Suckut unleashes a gloomy filter that sounds like there is indeed a ghost trapped in his machines. "Untitled 2" marks a return of some form, but the focus stays on industrial-strength drums and clanging, metallic percussion. Finally, "Untitled 3" concludes Suckut's reinvention, with a raw rhythm and jagged percussion complementing deeper, more atmospheric soundscapes.
Review: The organisers behind German party The Third Room have responded to the coronavirus by setting up a label and tapping artists who played for them for the material on this split release. The proceeds from the sale of this EP will go to people who bought tickets for one of Third Room's cancelled events - a kind gesture. It's no surprise that the tracks on the compilation are reflective of the party's sound: Dax J and Obscure Shape & SHDW's contribution focuses on hard, fast acid; Inhalt der Nacht & Echoes of October drop the pile-driving "Beutezug" and even Ellen Allien's track is coated in ravey menace. The one exception to this approach is Hector Oaks's droning "Do You See The Light?"
Review: The latest compilation from Scuba's label features some of dance music's most distinctive producers. Recondite delivers "Pour", a throbbing, spaced out groove that will leave listeners mesmerised. Locked Groove, another Hotflush regular, also focuses on the deeper end of techno with the hypnotic, flowing "From Beyond". The compilations also includes "If You Still Want Me", an evocative house cut from Yotam Anvi, where plaintive vocals unravel over a dubbed out groove, while Scuba himself impresses with the synth-heavy "Nineteen Eighty" and, working as SCB, drops the steely, stepping rhythm of "Five Degrees". Floor 2.1 is an essential release for anyone with even a passing interest in forward-facing techno and house.
Johannes Heil - "By Night Part Three" - (6:47) 129 BPM
Electric Rescue - "BELDIP" (TT 144) - (6:11) 130 BPM
Andre Kronert - "Terminus" (Jonas Kopp Torture mix) - (6:08) 132 BPM
Johannes Heil - "By Night Part One" - (6:59) 126 BPM
NX1 - "OE03" - (6:37) 130 BPM
Johannes Heil - "Gospel Thirteen" - (8:16) 129 BPM
Markus Suckut - "Your Arms" - (5:43) 130 BPM
Ruhbarb - "Hetre" - (7:07) 126 BPM
Boston 168 - "Nightcall" (instrumental) - (6:51) 125 BPM
Andre Kronert - "Dirty Old Man" (Blind Observatory's Old Man Rising dub) - (6:37) 129 BPM
Review: A journey through waveforms, transmission and light with label boss Andre Kronert on Odd Even Volume One, where he carefully curates an intoxicating mix comprised of some of the label's finest moments. Highlights not limited to: boss man Kronert on the dirty acid jack of "Ain't No Funny Dirty Old Man Music (Jeroen Search Remix) and the tunnelling techno of "Isolation", German veteran Johannes Heil who is fine form as always on the trance-indicing "Gospel Seven" and the barrelling peak time thriller "By Night Part Three" through to label staple Markus Suckut who delivers his typically contorted style of techno on "Your Legs", plus ever impressive Italian duo Boston 168 doing their usual mentalist thing on the acidic "Oblivion" and "Nightcall" respectively.