Review: Par Grindvik returns with one of his best releases in years. The Swedish producer is known for his tight production skills and Dim the Light is no exception. Marking a shift from modern minimalism to stripped back techno of a classic bent, "Abyme" bristles with tension as malevolent organ licks ride heavy claps and an insistent chain-mail groove. The title track sounds at first more understated thanks to its dubby beats, but when the firing swathes of percussion drop, the track's tension levels shoot up. "Embay" maintains the pressure thanks to its driving groove and filtered riffs, while Andre Kronert's take on "Dim The Light" is tough and tribal, with a metallic break down reminiscent of Luke Slater's remix of Ken Ishii's "Extra".
Review: Uh oh, Truncate is back onto your subwoofers with the second chapter of his recent remix series...the last outing still pounding its way across the Juno HQ! This time the American techno maverick chooses Par Grindvik and Dustin Zahn to mould "Mira Mar" into bleepy, hi-hat-heavy tool, while Zahn himself strips "Modify" of all its dignity and cuts it down to a beautifully simple kick-beat approach. Grindvik closes this chapter off with a deeper, more mentalist take on "Mira Mar", where the melodies are catapulted into oblivion thanks to intricate FX processing .
Review: This split EP brilliantly captures the darker forces curently guiding techno music. In the abstract corner it's Par Grindvik's "Sinister Re-enter", where abstract shapes and found sounds compete for our attention and Dustin Zahn's teased out "Our Tide of Sin", which builds slowly and ominously to reveal dubby drums and haunting rave riffs. There is a similar approach on Secluded's "Energy", where an eerie synth riff makes slow progress over reverberating drums. The tempo and intensity ramps up on the Monolith dub of Zahn's track, with dramatic filter sweeps and scratchy percussion underpinning a vocal that declares 'I'm tired, I'm really tired'. The killer track however is Heiko Laux & Alexander Lukat's "Bleak", which sees eerie synths flowing into churning filters as a relentless rhythm plays out.
Review: Corded brings together two of Sweden and Europe's best techno producers. Peder Mannerfelt has already put out an excellent abstract album this year and he continues in that vein with his contributions to this release. "Metastasizing" is all dark soundscapes and the sound of malfunctioning machines, while "Valle" is led by insane screeches, like someone ramming their finger into a live electricity socket. "White Noise-Pink Ladies" is even more extreme, as wave upon wave of noise and ear-shredding tones coalesce. Grindvik meanwhile, represents a more dance floor friendly approach; "Speaker Attack" is led by clonking rhythms and firing percussion, while "Help Me Shiver" is a tough techno groove led by cold bleeps and a driving rhythm.
Review: Real is Par Grindvik's debut album, and it explains why he is so well regarded. The Swede-in-Berlin is as much at home making the mellow, dreamy ambient of "Never Give In" as he is belting out the hard-as-nails minimalism of "Headland". Grindvik clearly has a deeply musical streak and this is audible on the title track's mournful piano scapes and the layered textures of "Tide Us Part". Even when he locks into full-on techno mode, this influence remains audible. The hammmering kicks on "Limits Of Real" underscore warbling keys and the robust broken beats of "Shelter" house solemn melodic sequences that weave in and out of Grindvik's direct but subtle arrangements.
Review: This is Grindvik's sole release this year, but it has been worth the wait. Supposedly inspired by 'current events, politics, and people in his surroundings', it isn't a typical techno record. "Trails" is an expansive affair, with woozy melodies unravelling over clicking percussion and broken beats. It's far less direct than is normal for the Swedish artist's music, but it also shows that his sound is evolving, not staying in the same place. "The Right To Be Forgotten" is just as left of centre. It too features broken beats - albeit accompanied by sharper, leaner percussion - as well as a sonorous, moody bass that works its way gradually through the arrangement. It's an evocative record from an artist whose development is a joy to witness.
Review: After a release earlier this year for Weekend Circuit, it looks like Par Grindvik has settled again at Stockholm Ltd, his own label. Following on from the Aged EP comes The Game. It's an intriguing release that, like much of the material on the label, doesn't fall into a distinct category. "Wall to Wall" is pared back and mysterious sounding, like a close cousin of Bodycode, while on "Private Life", the Swedish producer delivers a deep, dense chord-heavy affair, its synths murmuring their way over a rolling groove. "Demand" sees a similar approach applied to a more peak-time approach, while on "Front Row (The Game)" Grindvik surprises again, with a mid-tempo groove that features evocative soundscapes.
Review: It turns out that the latest release on Stockholm Ltd is auto-biographical. The label's owner, Par Grindvik, has written and recorded an EP about growing older within a scene that stays forever young. It explains why "London Marble" and "One Day" are so evocative, alternating between spaced out, slow-burning acidic pulses, glitch percussion and beautiful textures, sampled from nature. That said, the Swedish producer still knows how to knock out dance floor tracks; there's the glitchy minimalism of "Fair View House" and the dubby, hypnotic "Magnolia", while on "Hold You", he unleashes his own version of Valhalla, with an abrasive, jarring 909 workout.
Review: The latest release on Par Grindvik's release is an unusual one, uniting old and new artists. Last year, Jesper Dahlback revived his The Persuader guise, which during the late '90s released a series of exquisite - and now highly sought after - deep house records. For this release he surprises with the serene ambience of "Pressure Relief". Dimi Angeles & Jeroen Search's "Emotional Times" proffers the same kind of dreamy sound, as does newcomer Stefan Vincent on the cinematic synth sweeps and dramatic strings of "The Void She Left". However, there is another side to Vincent's canon and he highlights it on the churning filters of "I Would Give Anything To Feel Nothing". Grindvik also focuses on visceral techno with the noisy, pumping analogue stomp of "Stay In Wild".
Review: The latest release on Pfirter's label features the coming together of some like-minded artists as well as the occasional surprise. The MindTrip boss teams up with Par Grindvik for "Leave One", which fuses the South American's love of fluid, enveloping textures with the Scandinavian's knack of crafting precise, functional rhythms. Diego Amura takes the intensity levels up a few notches with the wild bleeps and sirens of "Flow", while Savas Pascalidis makes an unexpected appearance. Best known perhaps for his electronic, disco-infused tracks, "Silhouettes" is a heavier, austere affair. Fanon Flowers completes this steely, moody release with the outer space blips and driving minimalism of "Tejat Posterior".
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.