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.
Katsunori Sawa - "Unpleasant Consequences" - (6:01) 88 BPM
Codex Empire - "Assuming The Posture Of Death" - (5:22) 69 BPM
Rommek - "Mantra" - (6:03) 64 BPM
Von Grall - "Sacrifice" - (5:41) 64 BPM
Manni Dee - "A Lackey For Life" - (4:58) 64 BPM
NX1 - "LYA1" - (5:35) 62 BPM
HUREN - "The Man With The Snake On His Face" - (10:07) 61 BPM
Isorinne - "Weightless Breath" - (6:40) 75 BPM
Review: Much like imprints cuh as In Paradisum a few years back, the Leyla imprtin is killing it on the space that resides between house, techno and noise, with artists from all three disciplines working together for a sound that is both unique to the label and highly representative of the times we're living in. It's a various artists compilation this time around, with names like Mondkopf, Codex Empire, Von Grall and Manni Dee all bursting through the speakers with their inimitably tenebrous approach to crafting dark, underground industrial music with a techno edge. Although you'll undoubtedly be peddled some hyped releases from other labels, you should not walk away from here without having listened to this because, in our opinion, this is the cr?me-de-la-cr?me right now. Sick.
Exium - "Labyrinth" (Paul Boex & Marco Rane remix) - (5:59) 136 BPM
Review: From the prolific Dutch label comes this high-quality compilation. It starts, somewhat inauspiciously, with the serene ambience of JaBBurg's "Summit", but soon after that plunges into the kind of streamlined techno that Paul Boex's imprint excels at. Deepbass & Ness' "Proximity" is a tough tribal track and Voidloss' "Moment Of Total Emptiness" follows in a similar vein, albeit with some hypnotic tones thrown into the dense rhythms. The Jeroen Search take on Tim Wolff's "Backstage Fridge" is reminiscent of late 90s Sterac mixed with Silent Servant as woozy chords are mixed with functional, loopy rhythms. Paul Boex himself also impresses with "Hate is Love" remixed here by Oscar Mulero, bringing the compilation to an urgent, acid-heavy climax.
Review: The first release on this new label comes from the shadowy NX1 duo. Known for their deep, hypnotic techno, there are no major surprises on the title track, with spiky drums laying the basis for dramatic acid spirals and breakdowns and an underlying feeling of eeriness. The Agony Forces reshape is tougher and more streamlined, with insistent bleeps riding a rolling rhythm. Tadeo's take on "RL1" ventures down a psychedelic path, with woozy synths, tough metallic beats and whiplash percussion making for an infectious cocktail. Finally, the Jonas Kopp version is led by spiky, firing percussion, intense claps and a churning chord sequence.
Review: Oscar Mulero's Pole Group closes out the year with a collection from some of techno's most respected producers. While the overall tone on Unknown Landscapes is dark and at times unsettling, it never strays into the plodding furrowed-brow seriousness that often besets contemporary techno. DVS1's "Strobe" sees the US DJ deliver churning chords over a grinding, metallic rhythm, while Reeko's "Enlightenment Process" shifts from pounding broken beats into a spacey, filtered segue. That's not to suggest that the label or its owner have gone soft either; the squelchy acid and stinging riffs of Jonas Kopp's "M31" is as intense as it gets, but at the same time, contributions from Adam X and Forward Strategy Group tingle and pulse in a dubby, fuzzy afterglow.
Review: Shadowy Spanish producers Samot & Surit have put out a series of killer underground techno releases in the past year and this fifth installment is in the same vein as the previous ones. "NX1_05_013" features swinging, industrial beats and accompanying harsh filters that churn relentlessly. Just as the arrangement threatens to become too visceral, they lead it to a more mellow place thanks to dramatic, swirling synths. "NX1_05_014 " is just as dark, with droning rhythms and hypnotic, pulsing bass tones - not radically dissimilar to Mike Parker - but again a mysterious synth line comes in midway through to make the arrangement seem lighter and less abrasive. "NX1_05_015" is a drummy affair, underpinned by screeching riffs.
Review: Spanish duo Samot & Surit aka NX1 continue their deep dance floor techno mission on NX1 04. Like its predecessors, the fourth instalment is all about fusing esoteric, soft-focus elements with robust, rhythmic elements. "NX1_04-010" sets the tone for the release, its eerie filters and spacey breakdowns unfolding over sharp, metallic rhythms and heavy beats. "NX1_04-011" is more moody, with grey scale textures combined with a bleeding acid line and a slamming rhythm, while "NX1_04-011 " brings the release to a fitting climax. There, the kicks are heavier, the percussion more firing and even the chords resonate with a darker intent.
Review: Across their releases for esteemed labels like Semantica, Modularz and their own eponymous imprint, NX1 have shown themselves to masters of the kind of throbbing techno so beloved of producers like Function and Developer, and this release sees them arrive on M_Rec with four of their most devastating productions to date. Keeping their track titles typically brief, they opt to use the "MR" prefix this time round; "MR1" rolls forward with the inevitability of an out of control juggernaut, as pulsing bass slips between clattering percussion, while "MR2" offers abstract modular noise in conjunction with Fachwerk-style house touches. "MR3" offers a rasping bass and tumbling rhythm akin to Shifted's recent OCS banger "Chapter", while "MR4" combines subtly swung yet whiplash-inducing percussion with an ominous sequence of swelling chords and abstract drones.
Review: This split release on Developer's label brings together some of the finest names in modern techno. The label owner weighs in with two excellent tracks. "They Ring for Madness" is a tracky, moody affair, led by eerie textures and a functional rhythm. "More Matter" is more groovy, its rolling rhythm punctuated by big filter sweeps and hissing percussion. Adrian Lopez follows a similar route with "Estructura", with snappy percussion and up-building chords providing the basis for the rolling groove and concrete beats. Finally, the mysterious Spanish producer NX1 completes the package with "MZ2", its drum-heavy arrangement full of dramatic chord sweeps.
Review: Joan Sureda delivers three more peerless, pure techno cuts for his NX1 label. Eschewing titles and concepts in favour of advanced sound design and thought-provoking sounds, he hits the target each time. "03 007" is a hypnotic affair, reminiscent of 90s labels like Pure Plastic or A13. A resonating chord is set to heavy claps and heaving drums, while the ticking metal bead percussion provides an extra layer of movement. "008" is more upfront and abrasive, with a surging bassline and a slamming rhythm also underpinning chords, albeit more intense ones than on the previous track. Finally, "009" is an ambient affair that flows and ebbs in an evocative manner.
Review: With releases to his credit on his own NX and Svreca's Semantica label, it's fair to say that Spanish producer Joan Sureda's star is in the ascent. DR EP won't do his reputation any harm either, especially as the doubled up tribal beats and whooshing filter on the title track sound refreshing and effective when compared to the droning, Gothic indulgences many producers have fallen foul of. The label has put together an impressive set of remixes: Victor Martinez doesn't stray far from the original version but toughens up the beats, while label boss Paul Boex delivers a version marked by tonal bleeps and repetitive industrial riffs. The best remix though is Aiken's, whose surging chords and infectious cowbells make for a curious but compatible combination
Review: This second release by the anonymous NX1 is all about keeping it simple. "004" starts off with hazy, dubby effects before progressing into a hissing, driving techno track. "005" gets to the point faster, with rattling percussion pitted against a massive filter and heavy beats supporting the straightforward yet effective interplay between both elements. Finally, "006" opts for a similar approach; the groove is rolling, the filters twist and turn at every possible moment and the relentless, chain mail percussion ensures that the arrangement will have the requisite effect on peak-time dance floors. It's functional techno with style and grace.
Review: Joan 'Suri' Sureda unveils his latest recording project, which draws heavily on the influence of purist, austere techno sources. "001" starts the EP off in rumbling, menacing mode, as a wobbly bass and an off-beat rhythm underpin firing percussion and a euphoric chord sequence that spirals its way to a heady climax. "002" is somewhat more subdued as its wobbling, liquid bass underscores rich chords and militaristic, doubled up claps power the arrangement along. However, neither track can prepare the listener for "003". More slamming and based on a straight rhythm, Sureda's surging, building chords and nagging, hissing hats guarantees its place in peak-time sets. File somewhere between Sleeparchive, Sandwell District and Rob Hood.