Review: Efdemin's 2008 mix CD on Curle, Carry On - Pretend We're Not In The Room showed that he was as adept and inventive behind the decks as he was in the studio. A decade later, the same holds true for the follow-up mix, Naif, but this time the boundaries are more blurred. Consisting of 29 unreleased tracks - 10 from the German producer himself and 19 from like-minded artists - the selection runs the gamut, from the hazy, abstract tones of WaWuWe's "Beams" and DIN's noisy "Glide", into hypnotic dance floor techno such as "Laveline", Efdemin's bleep-y collaboration with Konrad Springer, the glorious mid-tempo minimal roller "Watte" - recorded as Sollmann & Gurtler and then 'versioned' by Efdemin and expansive dub tracks from Pom Pom and Marco Shuttle.
Review: The latest release on Par Grindvik's long-running label is a diverse techno record. First up is
Tor Lowkrantz aka Mighty Thor with "All The Shadows", a pumping, bleep-heavy track that fuses the hypnotic Sandwell sound with a groovy undercurrent. DJ Redo's "Barrel of Fish" is a more abstract affair, with clattering percussion driving a dense, stop-start groove. The long-serving German producer Savas Pascalidis steers the release back to the dance floor with the building chords and rolling rhythm of "Synergy", but unpredictably, the release ends with the stripped back, understated minimal house of Border One's "Operate".
Review: The latest release on Pfirter's label features the coming together of some like-minded artists as well as the occasional surprise. The MindTrip boss teams up with Par Grindvik for "Leave One", which fuses the South American's love of fluid, enveloping textures with the Scandinavian's knack of crafting precise, functional rhythms. Diego Amura takes the intensity levels up a few notches with the wild bleeps and sirens of "Flow", while Savas Pascalidis makes an unexpected appearance. Best known perhaps for his electronic, disco-infused tracks, "Silhouettes" is a heavier, austere affair. Fanon Flowers completes this steely, moody release with the outer space blips and driving minimalism of "Tejat Posterior".
Review: Superman first surfaced over ten years ago on UFO, a spin-off label of Lasergun. Now its creator - and label owner - Savas Pascalidis has decided to give to a full reissue. The two most notable things about this release are how little the music has aged and how much it fits with today's tastes. The title track is built on an urgent punk-y disco groove before Pascalidis drops repetitive electronic riffs and soaring orchestral strings. On "Is Anybody There?", he opts for a different tact - cosmic synths swirl and flow over a tight electronic backing. It's exactly the kind of music you'd expect to hear Intergalactic Gary play. Finally, "Space Woman" sees Pascalidis in full-on Italo mode with an epic, pulsating groove prevailing.
Review: The legendary Moscow club delivers a third instalment of future-facing techno. Zadig's "Solar Analog" kicks off the release in frenetic style with a firing percussive workout, while veteran producer Savas Pascalidis shows why he is such a respected name, thanks to the grimy acid and concrete kicks of "Kontext". Conscious of Propaganda's propensity for tougher sounds, DJ Deep's "Night Scan" is among his hardest musical iteration - and is based on a lean rhythm and mean filters that swoop in and out of the arrangement. Finally, Versions take inspiration from the eerie, steel-plated minimalism of Space DJz' 90s sounds with "Broken Strings".