Scanner - "Eros" (Bitten By The Black Dog) - (5:54) 122 BPM
The Future Sound Of London - "Monolith" - (3:59) 93 BPM
Review: There's no doubt that 90s UK techno is popular again - just look at Discogs prices for confirmation of the renewed interest in this form. But what do those revered acts sound like now? The exhaustive 2016 compilation, Brainbox, did much to shine a light on those artists' current trajectory and this follow up remix package also does a fine job. The Black Dog deliver an atmospheric ambient take on Scanner's "Eros", while on Future Sound of London's "Monolith", a somewhat bleaker, dystopian take on ambience is audible. That said, classic UK techno also had a place on the dance floor; Kirk Degiorgio's tunneling take of B12's "World's End" - remixed under his Future/Past name - and Mark Broom's skeletal electro version of the same track show that nearly 25 years later, that this remains the case.
Review: While the mythical The Future Sound Of London duo are usually associated with the late 80s and early 90s wave of techno and acid house, they two producers haven't exactly been quiet over the last five years. Their original material is what made them famous, larger than life personalities within the electronic music world but, over the last five years, their Environment series have taken developed - and even matured - their style significantly. That's because they're free to experiment here, just as they did back in the golden years of club music, except that they're now doing this without the restriction of 4/4 patterns, Roland drum machines of acid baselines. The sixth volume of Environment is is a work of beauty, an all-out journey into the deepest reaches of electronica, downtempo, and and drone. Seen through the lens of two veritable pioneers of modern, experimental music. Don't miss it.
Review: Most box-set releases tend to focus on reissues and re-releases, but on Brainbox De:tuned opts for a different approach. The compilation features artists who defined European techno and electronica's golden age during the 90s, but the Belgian label has commissioned new or unreleased material from these acts. Fans of that era will be thrilled by B12's moody electro, the raw, analogue warmth of John Beltran's "Nineteen Eighty Nine" and the resonating bass-y techno of In:Sync's "Crack in the World". While not every track impresses - Move D's contribution sounds tepid - there are enough jaw-dropping piece of music on this compilation, witness the autumnal majesty of as One's "Where Did He Go & Why" to make Brainbox an essential release.