Review: Delsin is one of techno music's most established operations, but it deserves kudos for promoting new talents. Most of the acts that feature on this second Inertia sampler on its Ann Aimee offshoot were unknown two years ago, but as their contributions demonstrate, their work is deserving of a bigger audience. Marcelus's "24/7" is a strafing minimal track guided to a climax by subtle filters. Sigha's "Finding Myself" also features lithe metallic rhythms, but the chiming bells lend it a more atmospheric feeling, while Area 41's "CNTCT" is a lethal concoction of seared acid bass, warped rhythms and doubled up claps. However, despite the preponderance of so many new acts, the most intense track is the noisy, distorted analogue howl of Redshape's "Static."
Review: Two heroes of the new breed kick off a new mix series for Jamie Jones' esteemed Hot Creations imprint. Jones began Paradise at DC10 (Ibiza) five years ago and it's gone on to be a huge success, inviting the biggest names in the business to come play alongside his crew of residents. The first mix is courtesy of Toronto's Nathan Barato, a frequent collaborator with local heroes such as Carlo Lio and The Junkies and whose career has been on the rise with releases on Cajual, Saved, Circus and Defected. Highlights include the Derrick Carter classic "Where Ya At?" (Mix Originale), Makam's brooding "Loleatta" and Jared Wilson's rusty acid odyssey "Girl, I'm Waitin". UK talent Patrick Topping this year completed his third summer as resident at DC10 in Ibiza for Paradise. Here Topping showcases the sound and style of his sets with high energy from the word go. His mix features several of his own productions guaranteed for maximum dancefloor impact, as well as Metaboman's lo-slung and exotic "Next Please" through to Dave Clarke's massive remix of Jark Prongo's "Movin Thru Your System".
Review: Given his long association with Gerd Janson's Running Bback label, we were rather surprised to learn that "Rise" marks Sebastian Kramer's first appearance on the imprint for three years. "Rise" is naturally hugely impressive, with Kramer building tension via moody Detroit techno style bass and sweaty, off-kilter house drums before introducing more melodic elements (chords, sparkling piano riffs etc.) and trippy spoken word snippets. For those that like to get busy in the mix, Running Back has included a druggy and percussive "Bonus Beats" version as well as a wonky, delay-laden acapella. Elsewhere, "Shape" is a positive and melancholic chunk of broken techno/string-laden deep house fusion, while "Motor Mix" is deep, drowsy and thoroughly delicious.
Review: Redshape follows last year's A Sole Game album with a return to Delsin, one of the main labels that has supported him over the years. This four-tracker has all of the German producer's signature sounds; "Android Malfunction" is a heads-down roller that resounds to eerie bleeps and doleful synths set to busy, rumbling drums. On both "Passengers" and "Bishop", he opts for a more understated approach: the drums are still tough and roll effortlessly, but the bass tones have that unmistakably melancholic Redshape tinge. Most impressive though is "A New Home", where Redshape weaves haunting melodies into a steely rhythm, making for an unforgettable deep techno piece.
Review: Originally released back in 2011, In Trust shows Redshape at the very height of his creative prowess. The title track features staccato drums in the background as the red-masked producer lays down beguiling, hypnotic melodies and beautiful synth lines that trail off into the ether. Representing the other side of the mysterious artist's psyche is "Laser!" Led by a pulsing, growling bass that wraps itself around an eerie synth line, it's on a par with other Redshape floor-killers such as Shaped World and Blood Into Dust. This release serves as a reminder that when it comes to Detroit-influenced techno, few producers can compare to Redshape.
Review: After a number of releases on Nonplus, the mysterious Redshape returns to his own Present label. More esoteric and less menacing than some of the red mask-wearing techno producer's previous output, The Gate/Voyager sees him set his sights on a more reflective path. "The Gate" resounds to dramatic chords and lithe back beats as a mysterious vocal talks about cosmic messages travelling at the speed of light. "Voyager" sees him head into an even more contemplative space. Its bass throbs and purrs powerfully, while all around it moody synths rise through the ether, like a sleek space craft gliding effortlessly across galaxies
Review: It's hard to believe that Plonk is almost a decade old. Famously, it featured on Marcel Dettmann's seminal Berghain mix CD back in 2008, a selection that was instrumental in introducing the Berlin club's sound to a global audience. And yet this release does not neatly dovetail with the soundtrack one would immediately associate with the world's best-known techno club. Sure, it's linear and dense, but Redshape's sparse arrangement is informed by the spacious dub of Basic Channel / Chain Reaction rather than harder iterations of techno. That said, the percussion is relentless in an understated manner and the eerie undercurrents do call to mind the many activities carried out in the club's nooks and crannies. More than anything though, the fact that it still sounds fresh after ten years says a lot about both Redshape and Dettmann's creative visions.
Review: As the title of Redshape's latest release suggests, the material contained therein was recorded during two of his live shows. Typically, the man in the red mask's performance is fluid and freeform by nature, but "London" illustrates that he has also instilled some discipline into his sets. It is more functional than usual and revolves around a driving, heads-down rhythm, firing hi-hats and a murky, grainy bass. By contrast, "Paris" is more sophisticated; while Redshape's powerful drums and cavernous sub-bass provide the backdrop, the track recorded in the French capital is full of mysterious synth flourishes - and adds some elegance to his catalogue.
Review: There's an uncanny, yet distorted resemblance to Kassem Mosse's "578" in Redshape's raving "Tel Aviv", the first cut from a series of EPs the German plans to release to mark a decade of live performance. To be released across a range of labels, Gerd Janson's Running Back is first up to honour the masked producer with his personal celebration of music. "Rome" on the otherhand swerves any real melody, instead focusing its attentions of snarling white noise, in your face bass and a cut up vocals to make you dance!
Review: It is hard to believe that this record is nearly 10 years old. When it appeared back in 2007 on Redshape's own label, the title track's eerie synths and uncontrollable splurging bass sounded like a revelation. Indeed, this type of raw techno was a breath of fresh but menacing air amid the slew of synthetic mnml sounds. On the flip, "Black Dust" isn't quite as heavy and takes inspiration from US deep house, thanks to its bleeding, Chicago bass and melancholic synths. As techno is once again plunged into a world of sixth form misery, we need records like Unfinished Symmetry more than ever.
Review: This is only Redshape's second release this year, but it shows that the masked man has not lost his ability to conjure up atmospheric techno. The title track is typical of his sound, with a dense, upbuilding groove playing host to swirling synths, acid pirouettes and even some deranged vocal chants in the background. "Paper Blades" is a more unusual composition; it sees the masked man slow down the tempo and drop loose break beats. Against this laid back framework, he lays down Pete Namlook-style soothing ambient textures and supernatural, swirling textures that prove once again that Redshape is not a typical techno producer.
Review: The masked wonder returns after some time spent away with a new two track throwdown for Nonplus. After last year saw a pair of 12"s drop on Running Back, it's been a fairly quiet time in the world of Redshape, but he comes to Boddika's label with his surefire analogue intent intact, dropping a pair of assured club jams oozing with warmth and funk. "I Feel Like Riot" rumbles along on a crunchy set of percussion, around which wobbling LFOs of bass and plush synth hits spiral outwards in a fine Motor City tradition. "The Rift" meanwhile drops a slick set of conga-enhanced drum science with a different salvo of thick, throbbing melodic twists for the sleazy end of the dance.
Review: The man in the red mask presents a less singular and more accessible approach on the second Red Pack release. "Path Dub Mix" sees him go down the Chain Reaction route, as a fathomic bass underscores wave upon wave of dubby chords, while in another sideways move, "The Source" is all live, crashing drums and searing synth lines. There are hints of the Redshape of old on the original version of "Path", where eerie synths form over rasping percussion and steely drums, while both "Disco Marauder" and "Daft Mode" both unfolds to the sound of typical churning, brooding basslines. Despite these links to the past, "Bulp Head" shows that he is moving on, with a wired Japanese vocal sample bubbling up through the evocative synth line.
Review: Delsin's masked crusader returns with his fifth EP on the ever reliable Dutch imprint. The three tracks on offer here showcase Redshape's sure hand with vintage production, with "Future Shock" a veritable analogue stew of swirling computer game bleepy synths and shuffling drum programming. "Kung Fu" sees the producer pay homage to the jacking sounds of Chicago, while the crunchy stomp juxtaposed by intergalactic synths of "Manhattan" pleases our ears immensely. Top release.