Review: Drawing on the usual combination of close associates and fresh talent, Modeselektor are plaing curators once again and serve us this hefty 18-strong collection of shockingly modern beats. There's rugged and ranging electronica from Clark, Prefuse 73 and Mouse On Mars, while Modeselektor themselves keep things decidedly techno. By and large though the strongest informer is electro, from Lazer Sword's manic delivery to the deadly Detroitisms of Diamond Version. A special mention goes out to Martyn for the swinging glory of "Red Dancers", a rough and ready jacker with bandy legs and bawdy acid in its veins.
Review: If the Modeselektor guys are not careful, their label may end up having more farewells than Liberace. The latest curtain call in the 50 Weapons saga is the release of stems of tracks to allow digital DJs to get really creative with the label's back catalogue. Phon.O's "Tw33tz" yields some fantastically hypnotic, broken beats and dense percussion, while the stems of Bambounou's "See You Soon" also provides some excellent tools in the form of heavy dub beats and atmospheric bleeps. Best of all though is Addison Groove's "Allaby" a halfway house between Dance Mania-style ghetto techno and modern footwork, all mesmerising percussion and relentless, jacking rhythms.
Review: "Tw33tz" is Phon.O's follow-up release on Modeselektor's label and it's an intoxicating fusion. Great melodic chords wash over a rolling, robust rhythm that lurches and sways forcefully. It's an adept combination of the functional and the musical. There are no such concessions towards melodic elements on the flipside track, from UK producer Paula Temple. "Oscillate" is reminiscent of Robert Hood at his most visceral or even her former associate Chris McCormack. Dark, bleak stabs swoop in over a relentless minimal rhythm, which also features subtle percussive builds and breaks. It's in stark contrast to Phon.O's melodic production and proves that even during its last days, that 50 Weapons remains an adventurous imprint.
Review: It's safe to say that German imprint Shitkatapult can now be classed as a pillar of modern techno music. Over the years, Shitkatapult artists such as Apparat and Cristian Vogel have been very important for the development of dance music and the label has always managed to reinvent themselves. This time, it's the third edition of its Werkschau compilation, and it features some of the hottest names in the game, as well as some of the darker sonics currently being made. Inside, you'll find the likes of TTT and Killekill's Eomac, Phon.O and of course, all the label's regular stars. Ace.
Review: Given that Krake is an annual, Berlin-based festival celebrating "challenging electronic music", you'd expect this second EP from their label offshoot to be packed with intriguing, left-of-centre gems. Happily, it is, with heaps of off-kilter goodness to enjoy. Arguably the highlight is Eomac's "No Name", a throbbing combination of jaunty, post-dubstep beats, dreamy chords and cut-up choral samples. Equally impressive are Phon.o's picturesque electronica cut "Tell Me" and "Interrupt" by the ever-reliable Monolake, a clanking, metallic foray into wonky, heads-down techno. In truth, all seven tracks are excellent, with the droning ambient contributions from Christian Vogel and Dammern also hitting home hard.
Review: The quality of the 50 Weapons output is always supreme and our German friends really do know how to pull together a diverse and extensive collection of their latest catalogue signings - a sure buy for anyone wanting a glimpse into the world of the most cutting-edge bass music around. Among the twelve stormers we have Dark Sky's "Shutter Speed" which pulls together wacky basslines and rolling tech beats; Addison Groove's usual footwork magic represented here as "I Go Boom"; "Malfunction (Despair) by the nuttiest technoid producer known to man - A Made Up Sound - and even Marcel Dettman's foreboding "Linux" monster. An essential collection.