Review: In recent times Photonz have been on fire, establishing their own One Eyed Jacks imprint, which delivered the humongous chunk of Fulton style dancefloor terror known as Lamborghini Funk last year. They've already emerged with one of our favourite releases so far this year in the unhinged WEO for new Lisbon based label Principe, and here now they grace the Don't Be Afraid imprint with the equally excellent The Love Spectre EP. The curious chiming melodies and hallow percussion on opening jam "Spectre" contain just the slightest nod towards classic Chicago House yet retains a wholly singular - and immensely beguiling - feel throughout. "Wall" sounds like it was recorded in one take in a sweaty Lisbon basement and is all the better for it; this is followed by the brilliant spacey electro of "Dokos" and frankly mad "Prometheus" (we suggest pitching this down for sleazy/hypnotic results!). Highly recommended.
Review: The plague in the title could easily refer to the glut of samey Chicago-inspired tracks. Thankfully, Photonz don't suffer from this malaise. Instead, they do a fantastic job of pushing acid-led electronic music into new directions. The title track sees a woozy bassline and wood block beats as well as lithe drums cosy up to a gurgling 303 line. It's the bassline's mencing tones that dominate however, as they skip over the lithe drums that appear later on. Maetrik favours a straighter bass-heavy approach on his remix, with tight drums and sharp percussion prevailing. Meanwhile, Photonz deliver more surprises in the shape of "Bach Beetle", whose robust bassline and coruscating drums imbue it with an inherent intensity, despite the mid-tempo it grooves at. Highly recommended.
Review: Dissident lives on! Well, kind of. Andy Blake's cult imprint shut up shop in 2009, but returns here with a digital compilation of Dissident gems plus two cheeky, previously unreleased Juno Download exclusives. Blake has secured a reputation as a no-nonsense individual with an encyclopedic knowledge of electronic music, and his selections here form a soundtrack of sorts to his ongoing World Unknown parties in Brixton, South London. As well as previously hard-to-find gems from Photonz, Naum Gabo and Blake himself among others, you'll also find a brand new version of the killer mind-warp techno of "Colombia No1". The second previously unreleased track is from Blake's new label Cave Paintings, which carries an ethos of raw, stripped back house sounds recorded in the old school fashion (analogue gear, one take). Serious tuneage here folks.
Review: With over 20 releases in less than two years UTTU have managed to uphold their credibility, so often lost with labels who spit out song after song like copy machines (to quote Lil' Louis' French Kiss), and this release from Portugeuse pairing Photonz is another killer. Balearic, beatdown and busy electro with hints of a 80s Hollywood action soundtrack make up the ten-minute title "Hurt Me Hurt Me". Piqued melodies and synthesised pan pips are treated to 707 workouts in "Veracruz", remixed by Boy s Noize Records stalwarts Shadow Dancer who up the BPM and exercise their Warp Records influences.
Review: Portuguese duo Photonz curate this excellent Dead Cities compilation - whose title is inspired by the Future Sound of London album of the same name - which is the most articulate expression yet of their love of warped electronic music. Limiting the selection to a group of artists who are close, local Portuguese talent is prominent and due to this tightly-knit approach, there is a cohesive sound on the compilation, but it could never be called smooth or polished. Recent Opal Tapes signee IVVVO starts the compilation with the reflective bleeps of "Burn", but it's only a slight reprieve: straight afterwards, Photonz weigh in with the stripped back rhythm of "Veil of Kali". Stopping, starting, breaking down and then quickly resuming its foray into the depths of shredded metal screeches, it paves the way for the evil, gurgling acid of Roundhouse Kick & Theodore Allen's "Invocation 1" and Infestus' "Hook'n'Loop", where a dark rave riff implodes over shuffling 808s. As the compilation progresses, the sound and approach gets more and more intense, notably the Pal+ and Voiron contributions
Review: Portuguese duo Photonz' latest track "1551", is described by Unknown To The Unknown as "Anti Illuminati Egyptian Trance House". It's somewhat apt as a description, as the track's tumbling tropical rhythms are joined by the kind of hypnotic melodic arrangement that gets right under your skin alongside some piano chords that make the whole thing sound like Chicago house as invented by Giorgio Moroder. As ever with UTTU, high calibre remixes are on the table also; Capracara turns in a surprisingly UK funky-inspired revision, Walter Ego turns it into a bass-heavy broken garage banger, and HALP smashes it into tiny pieces and rearranges it into a weird hybrid of IDM, footstep and dubstep. Essential!
Review: One Eyed Jacks boss Photonz keeps up his annual appearance record on Unknown To The Unknown, scoring a killer debut on the Hot Haus offshoot after two fine releases on the main UTTU operation. Osiris Resurrected is the latest release in what's been a fairly unrelenting year for both Hot Haus and UTTU and finds Photonz producer Marco Rodriguez dipping into Egyptian mythology for inspiration with the results a mighty slice of polyrhythmic techno filled with cascading melodies almost ticklish in their execution. The potential for club play is maximised further by a remix by Lobster Theremin's Palms Trax - his first by our estimation - that retains certain melodic elements but introduces all manner of diced-up breakbeats.
Review: Den Haag institution Creme Organisation appears to be making a beeline for the many talented house and techno producers residing in and emanating from Lisbon, Portugal. Thanks to his stewardship of One Eyed Jacks and releases for Don't be Afraid, UTTU, Dissident and more, Marco 'Photonz' Rodrigues is probably the most prominent of this Lisbon set, so it makes sense for the London based artist to lead the way onto DJ TLR's label with Lake Haze and IVVVO set to follow. Quite clearly paying titular homage to Legowelt, Gnosis of Wolfers really highlights how under-rated a producer Photonz is! The title cut is all about the play between sweet melodic elements and the attack of multi layered drums that seem to teeter brilliantly on the brink of all out madness, whilst "Ceremonial Acid" develops a nasty streak in a manner that will sound devastating on the dancefloor. The B side is just as brilliant. Do not pass on this one!
Review: London based Portugese producer and head of One Eyed Jack's Photonz is back, this time on on Belgian imprint Silverback with the Corroois Royalty EP where he throws down some slinky and sublime deep house for drifting, particularly on the lovely "Parque Da Liberdade" with its razor sharp bassline and melodies. "Casa Do Povo" dives even deeper, fuelled by groovy congas and rich synth tapestries more suited to the afterhours. Fellow label alumnus The Phantom delivers a dreamy, early 90's style ambient house remix of "Parque Da Liberdade" with some infectious breakbeats while London Humm + Buzz boss Ikonika's version of the track is a sublime future beat makeover.
Review: Best known for his work on Principe and his own One Eyed Jacks imprint, Photonz aka Marco Rodrigues now delivers a blistering EP for DJ Haus' label. "Neo Tokyo" is constructed on a jacking house backing and powered by a gut-busting jungle bass. On "Wall Rose", eerie hardcore riffs move up through an acid-soaked techno rhythm, while "Eva Unit-01" is more menacing. Like Suburban Knight on an especially bad trip, it features frazzled bass tones and high pitched, watery riffs, making for a decidedly disoriented combination. Rounding off the release with the pacy techno rhythm and rolling drums of "Haku & Chihiro", Metanime demonstrates again that Photonz is an idiosyncratic producer.
Review: Photonz, who provided remixes of Almaty's Gennaro, is the latest artist to feature on Naive. Like previous Eps for Violet's label, Angel Heart spans a range of styles, which is also reflective of Photonz' own deep roots in electronic music. This approach results in the rolling break beats and chilling hardcore strings on the title track as well as the slower but much moodier "In A Dream". These sit alongside the relentless, banging "Emerald City" and the wide-eyed, early 90s UK techno-inspired jams like "Baggy Kru". It's quite a trip, and by the time the release ends with Almaty's take on "Emerald City", it feels like the listener has been brought on a whistle-stop tour of underground electronic music.