Review: All hail Dettmann! Having included a veritable swathe of unreleased material from artists affiliated with his label on the excellent Fabric 77 earlier this year, Marcel Dettmann has done the right thing and issued the majority across two EPs. As is the case when granted the chance to own these cuts, it's interesting to see if they retain the power and intensity they conveyed when utilised by Dettmann within the context of the mix CD. In the case of "Transit" and "BB 1.0" from Answer Code Request and Norman Nodge respectively, that's a resounding yes! The latter's production is a particularly potent slab of lysergic sonic dementia that the more adventurous selectors will be playing for years to come. Dettman's A&R skills are on full display with cuts from Stefan 'Kryptic Universe' Schindler's new Lockermatik project and newcomer Ryan James Ford.
Review: Canada's Ryan James Ford returns after some killer releases on German heavyweights such as MDR and Answer Code Request. This is his second offering on his new Shut imprint which will focus on his own productions. "Faith Servet" is tough EBM infused techno with gritty arpeggios and pounding lo-fi beats, while it's more of an Aphex Twin style IDM affair on the lovely "Sitton Rehlik". Then "Misled Youth" offers up a more sensitive side to Ford on this deep techno excursion that relies on subtle and minimal elements while "Rohmie Sinkt" is that kind of ambient house flavour that had us reminiscing of Ten Days Of Blue era John Beltran.
Review: Known primarily for his work on Marcel Dettmann's MDR and his own Shut imprint, Ryan James Ford now spreads his wings with this EP on Clone's Basement spin-off. "Face Me (Inside Mix)" resounds to a tranced out, frosty melody and a rolling tribal rhythm, while on "BX 19 GTX", he opts for a tougher approach; static crackles over grayscale synths as he lays down a hammering rhythm. There's a similar aesthetic at play on "Amethyst (Tri dub)", which comprises a driving, wiry techno rhythm that's shot through with crackling electronic riffs. However, Ford is nothing if not diverse, and "Dames Shmedt" is an acid-heavy groove, while on "M21 Junction 20W" he drops a dreamy slice of 90s techno-trance.
Review: Canadian techno expert Ryan James Ford appeared seemingly out of nowhere with a debut release on powerhouse MDR back in 2015. Since then, the Berlin based artist has released a genre defying album for Answer Code Request ,as well as launching his Shut imprint: devoted entirely to his own productions. Like its title may suggest: Discipline 78-96 could well refer to his musical education back in his old hometown of Calgary, and these retro leaning techno cuts definitely allude to it too. "Deer Run" is a functional big room techno cut that wouldn't have sounded out of place on F Comms back in the day, while the epic pitched-down rave monster "Beltine" or modern junglist reinterpretation "Ken's Defekt" would make even Shed and Special Request stand up and notice.
Review: Tale of Us launch their Afterlife label in style with the Realm of Consciousness compilation. Bringing together some of the best-known names in contemporary techno as well as a group of newcomers, it moves effortlessly between esoteric moods. Tale of Us contribute the ambient intro, while Monoloc and Woo York are both in more mellow form than usual on the melodic "Phoenix" and "Poseidon" respectively. Meanwhile, Recondite contributes the sad melodies and throbbing bass of "Murphy's Law" and Locked Groove balances supernaturally beautiful hooks with powerful bass pulses on "Emeralds". Even more dance floor-focused tracks, like Obscure Shape & SHDW's "Die Wiederkehr", are filled with trancey melancholia.
Review: The latest compilation on Trip claims to be inspired by classic trance, but on label owner Nina Kraviz' "Test", it sounds like gabba is the main influence. That said, the 't' word does raise its head on a number of occasions: it is audible on Ryan James Ford's pummelling, rolling "Royal Legion" thanks to the use of eerie melodies, while Antigone's high-octane stepper, "Dance" features lo-fi melodies amid its grinding rhythm. Meanwhile, Analemma's "Plunging Asymptote" features a different dynamic at play: austere vocal samples announce the title, while wild bursts of Frankfurt Trax-synth populate its rickety rhythm. Like all releases on Kraviz' label, Error is a wild sonic trip.