Review: Having debuted on Avian in 2017, techno producer Reeko makes a glorious return with Fat Punko. The release opens with "Punish or Be Damned", where a disturbing vocal sample unfolds over eerie sound scapes, before Reeko pivots towards the dance floor with the discordant, building minimalism of "Massive Garage Meetings". "Screem'N'Cry" is more abrasive, with pummelling broken beats and pile-driving percussion overlapping, while "Nervous Idiots in the Bar" moves back towards the abstract, albeit with a darker focus thanks to its synapse-splitting tones and industrial kicks. Rounding off this gloriously moody Ep is the menacing wall of sound that is "Dirty Feeling".
The Gravedigger And His Bitch (2019 version) - (6:15) 135 BPM
The Funeral - (2:31) 101 BPM
The Gravedigger And His Bitch (2009 version) - (7:26) 138 BPM
Review: To celebrate the tenth anniversary of the release of Gravedigger, Reeko aka Juan Rico has decided to resurrect - no pun intended - this hard techno classic. As part of the re-release, there's a new 2019 version, with the abrasive original given a more rolling groove and powerful building filters. Reeko has also wisely included the original in all its glory albeit with the benefit of remastering: visceral, punchy drums, rough percussion and that central howling riff serve as a reminder as to why this 90s New York techno-influenced Spanish-produced hard club track continues to excite and inspire - ten years after its original release.
Review: It was only a matter of time before Reeko released on Avian. The Spanish producer has long been a master of dark, industrial techno, and now he brings that sound to Shifted's label. However, La Mala Educacion marks a change in direction for the Spanish producer; for the first half of the EP, his sledge hammer drums are absent. It means that "Engendrado" unfolds to the sound of menacing bass tones, while on "Carne y Demonio", he delivers a raw, frazzled sound scape. By the time he reaches "Las Virgenes Tambien Juegan Con Cuchillos", the more familiar sound of dense, looped techno is audible, while on "Habitacion 877", Reeko drops one of his trademark rough steppers.
Review: Reeko faces down techno duo Exium for a no-nonsense release on the pair's Nheoma label. Circuits is an inspired meeting of minds and features Spain's leading proponents of harder-edged techno (with the possible exception of Oscar Mulero). It's no surprise then that "Circuit IV" is all noisy metallic riffs, dense loops and gives off the kind of eerie, spaced out feeling one normally associates with all-night techno parties. "Circuit V" is just as intense and sees the trio drop a dense, noisy loop over a rolling, linear bass. Rounding off the release is "Circuit VI", which focuses on a slightly deeper sound, thanks to its eerie synths, but the same relentless, pumping groove is audible in the background.
Review: Oscar Mulero's Polegroup label closes the year with a mammoth compilation that defines the current state of the techno nation. As Unknown Landscapes shows, it is a diverse place. There's droning ambience from Daphne RXX, while Reeko, Reggy Van Oers and Mike Parker deliver bleep-heavy, hypnotic groove that draw on the influence of F.U.S.E and Sandwell District. Heads-down loopy fare is also catered for - with the spiky percussion and bleak filters of Jonas Koop's "Fu Factor" standing out - and the form also revisits the rough, analogue sound of the 90s thanks to Karl Bult and American scene veteran DJ Hyperactive's contributions.
Review: Oscar Mulero's other label celebrates its fifth anniversary with this mammoth compendium. For fans of the Spanish imprint's club techno there is no shortage of material to get excited about; the Lewis Fautzi remix of Exium's "Nucleoid" is a hypnotic groove par excellence, its confluence of acid and droning pulses arcing to a tantalising climax, while Christian Wunsch and Exium once again represent the tough industrial and dub-meets-noise sound of the label on "Emission Lines" and "Biolag" respectively. However, there is also a more musical, reflective side to Poelgroup's sound. In this regard, 5 Years delivers most impressively with the chilling strings of the Architectural project from Reeko as well as the Spanish producer's cinematic, break beat-led reshape of Jonas Kopp's "M31".
Review: Slam has been running Soma for almost a quarter century, but as Barcelona 3am demonstrates, they haven't lost their A&R skills. The latest signing to the label, Spanish producer Reeko, captures the prevailing dark mood in techno. The title track starts with deep, dubby beats before he introduces some ghoulishly eerie riffs and speaker threatening subsonic bleeps. "Flaming" is in a similar mould, with Reeko adding some churning filters to the mix, but without losing the underlying, ominous mood. However, he lets loose on closing track "Heartbeat Error", where the combination of rolling rhythm and heavy kicks underscores a series of ringing alarm bell effects.
Review: Spain's Reeko returns to the dance floor for his latest excursion on Oscar Mulero's label. Tough, tribal beats, rolling grooves and insistent rhythms are on offer across these four tracks. However, to describe Reeko's music in such simplistic terms is to do it a disservice. Each track on this release has an extra layer, an added dimension that makes it stand out from the increasingly crowded tough techno scene. On "Empty Streets", this manifests itself in the form of niggling percussion, the title track is characterised by its tough tribal beats and best of all, "Dishonest Thoughts" resonates to gut-wrenching sub-bass.
Review: Oscar Mulero's label consistently puts out forward thinking techno - and this compilation is no exception. It may start with a surprise for some fans of the Spanish producer's broken beat sounds, with Reeko's "Miracle" delivering ghostly synths over a snaking bass line and Exium's "Mantra" featuring the kind of warbling trance melodies that one would associate with deep Detroit techno. Mulero's own "Tidal Acceleration" heralds a shift back towards more typical sounds as distorted, mangled drums support cold bleeps and a stepping rhythm, while Rolando drops a firing, percussive take on Exium's "Complex". Still, there is enough room for diversity as the skewed metallic rhythms and broken beats of Christian Wunsch's "Complete Surrender" demonstrate.
Review: Oscar Mulero's Pole Group closes out the year with a collection from some of techno's most respected producers. While the overall tone on Unknown Landscapes is dark and at times unsettling, it never strays into the plodding furrowed-brow seriousness that often besets contemporary techno. DVS1's "Strobe" sees the US DJ deliver churning chords over a grinding, metallic rhythm, while Reeko's "Enlightenment Process" shifts from pounding broken beats into a spacey, filtered segue. That's not to suggest that the label or its owner have gone soft either; the squelchy acid and stinging riffs of Jonas Kopp's "M31" is as intense as it gets, but at the same time, contributions from Adam X and Forward Strategy Group tingle and pulse in a dubby, fuzzy afterglow.