Review: Two of modern techno's most singular artists team up for this raw and lean techno release on Ruskin's Blueprint. "Shortcut" is a twitchy, frenetic minimal track that resounds to dynamic percussion and freaked out electronic stabs. On "Hang Up", the Blueprint owner and Truncate focus their efforts on dense drums and gradually building, electronic tones for a measured but effective arrangement. But all bets are off on the closing track "Drums Eyes". Based on visceral industrial drums and a pile-driving rhythm, it sees the duo draw on Mills during his Waveform Transmissions period for inspiration, delivering an intense, intoxicating track.
Review: To mark the twentieth anniversary of the foundation of his label, James Ruskin has put together this massive compilation. It includes long-term friends and associates of the label - like Oliver Ho, Regis and Luke Slater - as well as newer additions to the roster, including Lakker and Rommek. Apart from uniting artists from different generations, the compilation also showcases the label's various hues; from the broken beats and intricate rhythms of Ruskin and Regis' O/V/R project and the hypnotic soundscapes of Lakker's "Orange" to the trace stabs and 10 tonne kicks of Regis' "Party Spoiler Too" and the chaotic industrial rhythms on Truss' "Wanastow", this compilation offers to newcomers an invaluable introduction to Blueprint, or to long-standing fans an indispensable reminder of why the label is unique.
Review: Woof! If you are looking for a massive slab of techno, you won't find anything as hefty as Aphelion. A package of tracks from Belgian label Token, Aphelion is essentially a primer for the best in contemporary techno, featuring contributions from Surgeon, Rodhad, James Ruskin, Karenn and Planetary Assault System alongside some label regulars. You will have probably already heard "Fixed Action Pattern" from Surgeon - it's possibly one of this year's finest techno tracks - but it's got some stiff competition here with Ruskin in particularly funked up form on "No Trace". Aphelion is a real statement and proof of Token's current rank as a European techno powerhouse alongside the likes of Delsin and Ostgut Ton.
Review: London distributor, PR/DJ agency and all-round nice guys EPM celebrate 10 years in business with a compilation that features some of electronic music's most respected names. Italo veteran Alexander Robotnick delivers the tear-jerking melodies of "Running About", while Rob Hood, working as Floorplan, delivers the looped disco meets Chicago house jack of "Move It". There is austere techno courtesy of Mark Broom and James Ruskin on the restrained, bleepy minimal "Merz" and Sandwell District's dub meets chilling strings workout "Live in Berlin", while RadioNasty drops the woozy bass and elector breaks of "Radio 3". All these contributions display EPM's flawless underground credentials, while they may have a mainstream club hit on their hands in the shape of the shimmering strings, plaintive keys and Ibiza-friendly groove of Marius's "Jet Set".