Review: This an altogether epic offering from Deetron; a vast collection of un-mixed tracks from his brilliant DJ Kicks mix (naturally included as a bonus cut) that is little less than a lesson in the evolution of techno over the last three decades. Amongst the 38 tracks you'll find fine representatives of a myriad of sub-genres (intelligent techno, dub techno, IDM, ambient techno, gospel techno, and so on), as well as past, present and future classics (Damier and Trent's "Morning Factory", Spacetime Continuum's "Swing Factory", Mark Ernestus's recent Equinoxx remix, the Motor City bliss of Rhythim is Rhythim AKA Derrick May's "Ka-o-tic Harmony", a brilliant old Black Dog Productions workout). In other words, it's a breathlessly brilliant collection of both well-known and obscure gems. It comes heartily recommended.
Review: With his Modularz label becoming a firm bastion of unfiltered techno machinations, Developer sets about bombarding our senses with his productions and curations across this eight track release. His own track "Heated" rattles through an industrial landscape devoid of colour, instead populated by reverb decays and distant clangs of metal, while "Dirty Drive" sees him stretching to work a melody into his machinery, coming out with a metallic dub chord drowning in its own echo, and "Dirty Drive 2" adds some complexity to the musicality and creates an utterly engrossing hook in the process. Shifted's remix meanwhile keeps a careful distance between the clean beat and the murky textures of the dubby elements. Handing over to Truncate, "Diffraction" flips the script with a central melodic hook and a thoroughly austere beat, while Jonas Kopp's remix beefs up that same theme by doubling up the phrase and edging towards a peak time monster, and Markus Suckut takes things deeper and into a more house compatible realm. For a real lesson in refined techno composition however, head straight to Stanislav Tokachev's "Building Peaks". Simplicity doesn't come more captivating than that synth line.
Review: Tolkachev has been testing the boundaries of techno over the past decade, and on Home, his third album, he continues to mess with its rules. Even dance floor-based tracks like "Five Grams Will Be OK" and "And Then She Fell" teem with rickety sound effects and bizarre tonal shifts, while "Bring" sees the Ukrainian producer veer into Landstrumm territory with its yelping rhythm. Of course there are loads of instances when Tolkachev goes completely off-grid, audible on the queasy, "See You Tomorrow", with the broken beats and bursts of noise that comprises "Misfire" or with the dramatic keys and pummeling drums on "When You Are Not At Home". No matter what direction he pushes in, Tolkachev is always worth a listen.
Stanislav Tolkachev - "Creeping Determinism" - (4:41) 134 BPM
Stanislav Tolkachev - "Cognitive Bias" - (5:08) 140 BPM
YYYY - "Khaliat" - (5:48) 132 BPM
YYYY - "Hath" - (4:58) 135 BPM
Review: London based imprint Weekend Circuit is back with a ferocious back to back effort by Ukrainian techno hero Stanislav Tolkachev and a mysterious newcomer. "Creeping Determinism" is a moment of Tolkachev at his particular finest: a pounding and broken peak time groove featuring all his trademark dystopian aesthetic and best of all, it's actually mixable. Likewise "Cognitive Bias" is surefire dancefloor artillery with its 4/4 onslaught powered by expertly executed series of chimes and bleeps, hypnotising you into submission. On the flip we've got "Khaliat" by the mysterious YYYY: a menacing, Berghain ready, peak time destroyer in the vein of Developer or anything on his famed Modularz imprint. His second offering "Hath" is equally suited to a heaving main room: a tough, surefire cyclical techno cut in the vein of Robert Hood, Phase or Rodhad with hypnotic beats and the mandatory claps on the kick, wicked!
Various - "DJ-Kicks" (Continous mix) - (49:34) 133 BPM
Review: When they were asked to put together the latest volume in the "DJ Kicks" series, Mount Kimbie boys Dominic Maker and Kai Campos drew influence from a recent six-date run supporting Actress. As a result, the 22 tracks they have chosen - here presented in DJ friendly, unmixed form - tend towards the experimental and off-kilter, touching on a myriad of styles (ambient, industrial-era experimentalism, South American influenced tropical drum jams, spacey modular techno, raw-edged peak-time jams, mind-altering acid weirdness and intergalactic electro all feature) in the process. Highlights are naturally plentiful, from the hypnotic dancefloor intensity of Stanislav Tolkachev and bleeping body-jack of A Sagittariun, to the skewed warmth of Severed Heads and the dream-like weirdness of their own exclusive contribution, "Southgate".