Review: At the moment nothing quite says German techno as much as Berlin's Vault Series. Now up to their eighth release via Subjected's solo Vault Series 8.0, the label again refuses to deviate from their renowned take on four to the floor purism. "008 A1" bristles with booming kicks and menacing chords that embrace heaving functionalism, whilst the pounding and stepped rhythms of "008 A2" sees stone cold percussion facilitate the fusion of industrial abrasiveness. The crunching beats and thundering bass lines now synonymous with Vault Series reigns supreme on "008 B_V1" - intent on obliterating anything in its path - whereas "008 B_V2" opts for a less crunch-more punch approach. V2 also brings V1's breathy vocal snippet to the foreground of its mix, allowing for more play among contorted synth stabs. Subjected is one of Berlin's most devout when producing industrial strength slabs of club techno, and once again he fuels a Vault Series juggernaut that relentlessly marches on.
Review: Vault Series boss Subjected proves again why he's one of Europe's most respected producers. "Shift" is typical of his sound, with pummelling beats and sharp hi-hats underpinning high-pitched acid shrieks and squeals. "Rest One" is less predictable; slower than usual for Subjected, its beats are dense and heavy but also blurred like boulders wrapped in cotton wool. Propelled by high pitched percussive licks and underpinned by a rumbling bass, the overall effect feels like daggers being shot through a swamp. Label owner Oscar Mulero also impresses with his version of "Shift". Instead of his usual broken beat sound, this time the remix is linear and pulsing, combining the visceral power of Robert Hood's minimalism with Phuture's acid thunder.
Review: There's no room for ambivalence on this release from Berlin-based artist Subjected. Hard techno is on the menu as the aptly named "Boom Boom" kick starts the release. Harsh, heavy industrial beats drive the arrangement as filters sweep across the grimy landscape. It's a similar story on "Concept 3"; based on a slamming rhythm, the beats are just as insistent and the filters as full-on, but the percussive ticks ensure it has a more subtle feel. On the final track, "TG33", Subjected takes the tempo down and makes the arrangement groovier, but Subjected's signature steely drums ensure that it doesn't lose its edge.
Review: It's fair to say that this release has been a labour of love. Five years in the making, label owner Emmanuel has chosen a collection of tracks from his dream team of techno producers. This means that ASC's breathy ambience "Stasis" sits beside deep, at times acid -soaked pulsing rhythms from Boston 168, Unbalance and Forward Strategy Group as well as peak-time rollers from emerging artists like Cleric and industrial bangers courtesy of scene veterans like Dustin Zahn. While the inclusion of producers such as Subjected and the fast rising I Hate Models is sure to put increased focus on this compilation, its real, lasting value are the more cerebral contributions such as Emmanuel's own "Bridge of Quietness".