Review: Some excellent all-star action here, as Amberoom (AKA Manuel Tur and Adrian Hoffman) join forces with scene stalwart Blakkat and LA artist Babygirl for a first joint single on Crosstown Rebels. In its' original form, 'Forces of Nature' is attractive and intoxicating in original measure, with soulful lead vocals riding bubbly synthesizer lines, undulating synth-bass and a stripped-back rhythm track. The headline remixes come from Radio Slave, who delivers two 'New Age of Love' reworks. The first is dreamy and loved-up, delivering a 21st century update on the funky breakbeat house sound of the early '90s, while the second is a hip-hop tempo take that's every bit as alluring. To complete the EP, Blakkat and Lucas Forta re-invent 'Forces of Nature' as a deep, Latin-tinged chunk of jazz-house hedonism.
Review: Following on from his evocative, at times rave-tinged material in 2020, Radio Slave returns underground for this heads-down EP. Similar in style and approach to the recent Floorplan material on Rekids, this four-tracker is punctuated by robust bass drums, spiralling chord sequences and militaristic percussion. "Variations V1", with its ticking hi-hats and doubled up claps, gets the EP off to a rousing start, while on the "V2", Matt Edwards takes the intensity down for a broken beat affair that has echoes of Fachwerk's catalogue. It's only a brief reprieve, however; "V3" is a storming affair, led by billowing chords and dense kicks, while the fourth and final version resounds to ominous synth stabs and niggling percussion.
Review: Matt Edwards originally released this EP under the Silent Witness moniker last year, and now re-issues it under his more widely-known Radio Slave alias. Inspired by the sound of early 90s bleep techno, the title track is based on a robust, lean rhythm track and features an eerie, repetitive tonal sequence that weaves its way through the arrangement. These elements make for an evocative track that never strays into retro territory. "Year of the Snake" sees Edwards opt for a slower tempo: while still drawing on the UK sound that gave the world artists like LFO, this time the bleeps unfold against the backdrop of mysterious synths and chugging, clanging percussion.
Review: Matt Edwards departs from the script for his latest Radio Slave material. Taking influence from old school hardcore and a cut and paste production approach, on "Stay Out.." he delivers twitchy, good-time break beats that are full of hip-hop and soulful vocal samples. It's quite a departure for the creator of linear techno tracks like "Grindhouse" and "Another Club". On "Wait A Minute", Edwards returns to the techno realm; while still containing a repetitive vocal sample that intones the track's title, the rattling percussion, tough kicks and driving rhythm all come together to form a deadly effective big room techno track.
Review: This is not the first compilation to drop whose sole aim is to raise funds for NHS Chartities Together - R&S Records and Bass Agenda both delivered similarly epic sets - but "Care4Life" may well be the strongest and most diverse. As you'd expect, each one of the 45 tracks is previously unreleased, and the cast list reads like a who's who of dance music culture. Notable highlights include an ultra-deep, saucer-eyed number from Daniel Avery, an unheard rework of the Chemical Brothers' "Catch Me I'm Falling", a superb revision of Harvey's Locussolus project by Kiwi, Matthew Herbert in jazzy broken beat mode, a rare solo outing from Optimo's JD Twitch, a rip-roaring rave workout from Jas Shaw, and thumping peak-time bangers from Dusky, Eats Everything and Patrick Topping.
Review: Radio Slave is releasing his second album in three phases - and this first volume of Radio Silence sure to impress techno fans of all persuasion. This is largely due to the fact that the Rekids boss has drawn inspiration from a myriad of sources; these include Jeff Mills at his most esoteric for the swirling sound scales of "Ghost" and the break beat driven "Cell", while on "Contact", he opts for a visceral, grubby techno banger. On "Zqu", we get to hear Radio Slave at his most intense, with a pounding steely rhythm prevailing, while he quickly shifts into compelling abstract mode for the eerie tones of "Command Z Av".
Review: Berlin-based Brit Matt Edwards started Special Projects as a techno focused series in 2017. Since then, it has gone on to host scene heroes such as Shinedoe, P.Leone, Dustin Zahn and the SRVD project he does with Patrick Mason. Three years later, Edwards finally graces the label for its twentieth release under his most revered pseudonym - Radio Slave. Featuring two club oriented workouts that are reliably heavy and functional: the first being the hypnotic 'plink plonk' of "Command Z" which is reminiscent of classic Purpose Maker aesthetics, followed by some serious tension and suspense on the M-Plant tribute that is "Command X" - packed full of bleepiness and claps on the kick galore.
Don't Stop No Sleep (Tale Of Us remix) - (7:30) 128 BPM
Don't Stop No Sleep (Roman Poncet & DJ Deep remix) - (6:51) 130 BPM
Review: Radio Slave's 2014 release gets the remix treatment from some of the biggest names in house and techno. First up is Robert Hood's version, where the Detroit veteran takes the original track's vocal loop and sets it against firing percussion and a barrelling techno rhythm. It builds up to a heady climax courtesy of some churning chords. Meanwhile, the Tale of Us interpretation focuses on letting the vocal unravel over a juddering kick, wiry percussion and dramatic chords - while the formidable pairing of Roman Poncet and DJ Deep head down a similar route, albeit one inhabited by garbled synth hooks and crisp claps.
Don't Stop No Sleep (Nightmare mix) - (2:30) 128 BPM
Review: Originally issued on Boddika's label back in 2014, "Don't Stop..." has remained fresh despite the passage of five years. This is largely down to its straightforward but effective arrangement and Radio Slave's subtle, powerful production. Drawing on a looped, hypnotic vocal sample, ticking percussion and understated kicks, it's a timeless piece of stripped back techno. "War Dub (Version 2)" also taken from the Nonplus record, follows a similar path, embarking down a path paved with subtle bleeps, steely percussion and intricate drums, while the Nightmare Mix of "Sleep" sees Matt Edwards embark on an even more reduced approach, guided by eerie tones.
Review: Originally released to mark Rekids' one hundredth release, Radio Slave's "Another Club" now gets remixed. The label has tapped the fast-rising Charlotte De Witte to interpret the track, and the Belgian DJ doesn't disappoint. Underpinned by tough tribal beats and insistent acid sequences, it draws on the heritage of 90s European techno, but with a modern day feel thanks to the razor sharp percussion and flawless execution. Matt Edwards also delivers a version of the track, together with Patrick Mason under the SRVD alias. Focusing their attention on a dark siren riff and chopping up the original track's vocal sample, they deliver a pounding, rave techno bomb that's sure to cause mayhem wherever it's dropped.
Review: The first Radio Slave material of 2019 also marks the start of a new chapter for Rekids, as it kick starts the Stranger In The Night sub-label. A vehicle designed solely for releases by label owner Radio Slave, Fred P, Anthony Rother and King Britt, it gets off to a great start with "Ground Control". Unlike much of Edwards' work, this is a dramatic, musical affair with dramatic synth stabs and tonal builds underpinned by a grungy bass and a loose, stepping groove. It comes across like Radio Slave's take on Underground Resistance. "Last Communication" is also atypical of the Radio Slave sound, with widescreen synths and woodwind unraveling over a stop-start groove.
Review: SRVD is a new collaborative project between Radio Slave and the art director Patrick Mason, and sees the pair focus on tracky house. The title track is a driving, heads-down affair, with a hypnotic vocal refrain unfolding over tough drums and swirling synth lines. Both the original and the tough dub version are exactly the kind of tracks you'd expect Radio Slave to drop in a club. "Nasty" also features vocals, but on this occasion they unfold to the back drop of rolling snares, receptive whoops and crashing metallic drums. The result sounds like "Witchdoktor"-era Armand Van Helden on angel dust.
Review: In its original form, "Trans" was one of the dancefloor highlights of Matt Edwards' second album as Radio Slave, 2017's Feel The Same. Here, the dark and stylish original - think alien new wave synth-pop from 1983 re-imagined as a Panoramabar-friendly workout - is given a makeover by two titans of the electronic music scene: Innervisions overlord Dixon and Detroit techno stalwarts Underground Resistance. Naturally, Dixon's rub is weightier and more obviously big room-friendly than Edwards album cut, with the foreboding original synth bassline and bubbly electronic flourishes being joined by weightier drum hits and bold new melodic motifs which fire "Trans" towards the stratosphere. In contrast, Underground Resistance's revision is fuzzier, wonkier and more hypnotic, albeit with a little disco surprise here and there.
Review: Rekids features here two extraordinary re-edits of recent Radio Slave tracks by Pampa boss DJ Koze. Taken from his Feel The Same album, Matt Edwards has certainly received a brilliant rendition from the Hamburg legend right here.The euphoric remix of the title track still features the looped-up diva vocals of the original and is exactly the kind of track you'd expect him to drop on a Sunday night one of his his regular appearances at Panorama Bar. Then, the hard hitting and tunneling "Reverse" is more on the techno tip and originally appeared on 2017's Overdue EP. Both edits are secret weapons for any serious DJ's set.
Review: This an altogether epic offering from Deetron; a vast collection of un-mixed tracks from his brilliant DJ Kicks mix (naturally included as a bonus cut) that is little less than a lesson in the evolution of techno over the last three decades. Amongst the 38 tracks you'll find fine representatives of a myriad of sub-genres (intelligent techno, dub techno, IDM, ambient techno, gospel techno, and so on), as well as past, present and future classics (Damier and Trent's "Morning Factory", Spacetime Continuum's "Swing Factory", Mark Ernestus's recent Equinoxx remix, the Motor City bliss of Rhythim is Rhythim AKA Derrick May's "Ka-o-tic Harmony", a brilliant old Black Dog Productions workout). In other words, it's a breathlessly brilliant collection of both well-known and obscure gems. It comes heartily recommended.
Review: Following on from last year's remixes from Len Faki of Matt Edwards' 2008 Grindhouse come two new versions. First up are veterans Slam, who turn the track into a bleak-sounding but funky workout, the dense drums underpinning menacing bass tones, eerie vocal undercurrents and the sound of riotous war horns. The Scottish duo is always a hard act to follow, but on this occasion, Obscure Shape & SHDW acquit themselves admirably. For their remix, the German production pair up the tempo, lay down steely, urgent drums and a juggernaut rhythm that is sure to see "Grindhouse" careering into a techno club near you shortly.
Review: It's been ten years since Matt Edwards unleashed Grindhouse on an unsuspecting techno public. To mark the occasion, he has recruited Len Faki to rework it. Faki's remixes are the latest in a long line of fine reshapes of this modern-day classic - following in the wake of versions from Dubfire, Terence Fixmer and Nic Fanciulli - and he acquits himself admirably. The Berghain resident's first 'Hardspace' version sees him drop punchy drums and relentless, rattling percussion as an accompaniment to Danton Eeprom's slurred vocals and the track's eerie synths. A brooding foghorn pierces the arrangement on the second 'Hardspace' version. This time, the drums are tougher and more dense and the same eerie synth line is audible in the background.
Review: Matt Edwards marked the 100th release in Rekids earlier this year with a release that featured "Feel the Same", and now he is putting out the debut Radio Slave album using the same title. It's a real mixed bag; "2nd Home" starts with gentle ambience and the dreamy breaks of "Forana", before the UK producer changes pace and drops the album version of the title track in all its vocal-heavy, driving glory. If its insistent riffs get too much, then there is the low-slung bass-heavy groove of "Trans" and the dubbed out abstractions of "Draw" to keep his audience guessing. Rekids may now be a house music institution, but as "Feel the Same" shows, it doesn't slide into predictability.
Review: Originally released earlier this year, Rekids now taps Floorplan for two brilliant remixes. ironically, it's Robert Hood's side project that has seen him receive the most recognition in recent years, and it's not hard to understand how this happened. The first Floorplan version of "Feel the Same" sees the Detroit producer deliver a jacking, grinding rhythm track, which underpins a lo-if riff and a female vocal intoning 'get back feel the same' on a loop. The second version is heavier and more suited to techno dance floors, as brooding chords swoop in over doubled up claps and the vocal is truncated to simply intone the track's title.
Review: Gerd Janson's label pulls together a heavyweight cast to rework "Children...", originally released on Running Back in 2015. While the original track drew on break beats and hardcore for inspiration, Kink's 'SP1200' version follows this approach to its logical, unwavering conclusion. Massive rave stabs gyrate their way over rolling hardcore breaks, navigating a path that is equal parts menace and euphoria. Janson's own edit of the Kink and Rachel remix is more understated and bubbly, with warbling electronic hooks bubbling up amid the lithe breaks. Finally, Justin Van Der Volgen turns in a deep, hazy house interpretation, with the US producer mapping out a sound populated by clicky percussion and hazy textures.