Review: Veteran techno producer Samuel L Session teams up with rising star Van Czar to deliver a heads-down release on Ben Sims' Hardgroove. Inspired by the loop techno sound of the late 90s / early 00s - a period when Session first rose to prominence - this five-tracker is as nuanced as it is impactful. "Universal" revolves around a dense, layered groove and insistent percussion, while "Fetisch" is a more subtle, pulsating affair. Session and Czar opt for a peak-time approach on the chiming percussion of "Butterfly", while "Omnipresence" sees them focus on a dubby sound, with gritty kicks and a hypnotic groove prevailing.
Review: Tronic has decided to celebrate its 400th release by issuing the second edition of its More Than Machine electro series. It gets off to an impressive start with label owner Christian Smith delivering an ominous slice of machine funk on "I Want It", before Carl Finlow drops a lithe rhythm and powerful low end in the shape of "Anomaly 3" and Detroit veteran DJ Godfather up the pace with the twitchy "Invasion of Detroit". But the presence of these veteran electro producers proves to be the exception rather than the rule, and the rest of Machine features techno artists exploring less well-known paths. Samuel Session impresses with the gritty, angular "Engine of War" and Alexander Kowalski deploys his bass-heavy approach to the nocturnal "Flickering Lights".