Review: Following up last year's excellent Frame Digging EP which just so happened to make our best of 2020 lists, New York-based producer Steve Moore of Zombi and Gianni Rossi and Lovelock fame returns to Cologne powerhouse Kompakt with the Auto Sequence Start EP. The title track with its emotive and high tech soul overtones is in the same league as legends like John Beltran or Neil Ollivierra, while the restrained dancefloor drama of "Assemblers" with its epic chord progression builds the tension and suspense just nicely before that massive drop. The glassy eyed and bittersweet ambience of "Shining Rainbow" closes it out.
Review: Most labels and collectives are challenged to last a decade in electronic music's fleeting landscape, but so far Kompakt has endured for twice this lifespan. This is largely due to the fact that the Cologne operation boasts a tightly-knit group of artists who continue to release on its many labels. For the twentieth edition of the annual Total compilation series, many of those producers come correct; Robag Wruhme and founder Michael Mayer both deliver ponderous deep techno tracks, while Jurgen Paape goes even farther, veering into guitar-spangled melancholia on "Vox Acris". This introspective mood seeps through to more overt dance floor tracks, with Sascha Funke's eerie "Atze" and Voigt & Voigt's "Schopper Da Leu" delivering understated but impactful results.
Review: American producer Steve Moore is widely recognized as one half of ZOMBI, his numerous thriller movie soundtrack works, as well has his clubbier output on Ron Morelli's L.I.E.S. imprint. He's back on Cologne institution Kompakt with 'Frame Dragging EP, 10 years since his last appearance on Speicher 67. Some truly soulful and emotive techno journeys featured, as heard on the epic title track or "Gamma Quadrant" which tread a similar territory to label mate John Tejada - and will surely lead to some life affirming moments on the dancefloor. Finally, the contemplative off-kilter and ethereal feelings of "Proto" moves into much more hypnotic territory.
Review: As you'd expect from Blind Vision Records, their latest EP offers the perfect balance between the sci-fi stylings and futuristic vision of purist techno and the chunky, life-affirming dreaminess of deep house. The producer behind the release, Steve Moore, is of course a master at crafting evocative, emotion-rich electronic music, so it's little surprise that the EP is so sumptuous. Our pick of the bunch is probably "Stella", a superb fusion of opaque electronic warmth and driving, bass-heavy grooves. That said, the deeper and hazier deliciousness of "Draft" should excite all those who like their grooves locked-in and their music dreamy, while opener "Reflex" is a beacon of seductive deep house sexiness rich in dubby bass and toasty electric piano chords.
Review: The legacy of Throne In Blood is certainly not insignificant in the annals of recent dance music history, but they're reaching into new ground with this series of compilations. The first two volumes of Moon Rock were already highly worthy of attention, and so it continues on this new installment, where further investigations of ambient, new age and downright mellow techno are brought together by a host of top shelf characters. Steve Moore opens up proceedings in suitably epic fashion, while elsewhere Tempelhof, Pittsburgh Track Authority and Tim Love Lee all excel in various shades of chill-out with guts.
Review: Most recently seen collaborating with vocalist Daniel O'Sullivan as Miracle on an album for Planet Mu, Steve Moore resurfaces in solo mode with a fine LP for the Spectrum Spools label. If you are a fan of the US synth underground, then you will undoubtedly own at least one record by Moore, whose solo output draws from John Carpenter and Tangerine Dream and nudges these influences into patient, evolving synth soundscapes that have positively healing effects. Nine sumptuous tracks long, Pangaea Ultima might be Moore's most ambitious set yet; themed around the super-continent of the same name that geologists have speculated will form in the next quarter of a billion years, the music occupies "an atemporal space" that is far removed from retro pastiche or obvious sci-fi tropes.
Review: A double header from Kompakt Extra, "Speicher 67" lets fly into breathless techno. Frenchman Maxime Dangles's "Bras De Zil" is raw techno that intensifies and then withdraws before Steve Moore takes us in darker, more menacing techno on his "Bayern Kurve." With plenty of energy throughout, this is one not to be missed.