Review: It sounds like Moderna and Theus Mago have tapped into the zeitgeist on their latest release. In particular, the title track, with its rumbling bass and cold bleeps, provides a background for a woman singing 'your techno is misogynist", first in Spanish and then in English. Hopefully it'll serve to get more labels, DJs and artists to grapple with this important issue. Elsewhere, the pair deliver a grinding, noisy workout on "Francesca (Wild at Heart)" , while they opt for a different approach on "Can You Se Her". Tripped out and stripped back, its druggy vocals and intergalactic sounds make for an inspired, unusual track.
Review: Four cuts here from Mexico's Mateo Gonzalez - better known as Theus Mago - that will suit those who like their disco on the more electronic/leftfield/experimental side. Opener 'Apache Nights', for instance, owes far more to bleep techno and the early Warp sound than it does to the likes of (say) Chic or Earth Wind & Fire, while the accompanying Chicken Lips re-rub comes on like Kraftwerk jamming with Rennie Pilgrem. 'Piu Mosso' is a more straight-up homage to early 80s Euro/Italo disco and centres around an infectious, Arabic-sounding hook, while finally closer 'Sergio Ramos' could work in disco/Italo/EBM and progressive house sets alike.
Review: With releases on Turbo and Kill The DJ, Mago has already spread his wings far from his native Mexico. Now this release on Roam is sure to win him further acclaim. The title track is a bleep-heavy, tripped out techno groove, replete with Mago's own nasal vocals. On his version, Jamie Paton from UK act Cage & Aviary strips the tonal elements back to create a dubbed out take that resounds to trippy vocal samples and eerie sound effects. Meanwhile, Cabizbajo, who also hails from Mexico, delivers a throbbing, pulsating take. Led by a hypnotic bass, it puts the focus once again on Mago's hypnotic bleeps.
Review: Theus Mago aka Mateo Gonz?lez is having a moment. Hot on the heels of his release for Ombra International, he returns to his own label to deliver Inertials. Like previous releases, this latest EP is inspired by the work of sci-fi writer Philip K Dick, and the title track is certainly unusual. Combining tight break beats with splurging acid, sprawling riffs and understated vocals, it's not a typical techno or house track. Things get weirder on the remix by fellow Mexican producer I?igo Vontier, where the vocals are pitched up and down and crash their way over the raw drums. There's also a wonderfully stripped back take by Jamie Paton from Cage & Aviary that puts a focus on a subsonic bass.
Review: Next up on Ombra International is Theus Mago, a DJ and producer from Mexico as well as co-founder of the Duro label. From the grinding, neon-lit synthpop of "Ella" (feat Doog) which is followed by some sombre minimal synth journeys - such as the remix up next by Il Est Vilaine and the haunting "Smokey Red Lights" again featuring the nonchalant vocals of Doog. Belgian Arthur Russell (La Dame Noir) delivers a punk-funk rendition up next and label head honcho Curses delivers a cheeky indie-dance version -which also will appeal to fans of the Tel Aviv sound - popularised by the likes of Red Axes and Autarkic.
Review: Theus Mago is Mexican producer Mateo Gonzalez who has appered on esteemed labels like Kitsune, Discotexas and Turbo Recordings. Here he teams up with Berlin-based DJs and real-life couple Max Brudi (Munich) and Vamparela (Thessaloniki) aka Local Suicide (My Favorite Robot Records/Multi Culti/Roam) on his own co-run Duro label. "Komm Ins Loch" is a woozy and slow burning vocal-led number that joins the dots between EBM techno and nu-disco. The first remix comes from Aera (Permanent Vacation/Innervisions) whose version is respectful enough that it doesn't deviate too much from the original - just injects more dancefloor dynamic. Next up, Colossio (Calypso Records) sees the fellow Mexican go for that Multi Culti/Hippie Dance style indie-dance groove
Review: Prepare to indulge in your darkest disco fantasies courtesy of Correspondant's second collection of greatest hits and near misses. Featuring a stellar cast of indie-dance favourites, all serving up bold and stylistic electro-noir across 20 tracks. Black Merlin's dark ambient intro "Sub Conscious" sets the tone from the get-go that this is a largely brooding affair, just like on Bird of Paradise's knackered house epic "Brothel Drummer" from a few years back, and there's even moments of oddball IDM as heard on Borusiade's "Not Harmed". A duty of care was taken to highlight more recent offerings to the labels' catalogue too, such as The Juan Maclean's new beat influenced "Manthony", dark disco heroine Terr's wicked rendition of Fort Romeau's "DADA Pt. 1", and Irishman Cyence's strobe-lit "Slave" (Eurodollar Dub) which ventures into hypnotic techno territory.
Review: Based in Hamburg, TAU is a label started in 2018 by Benjamin Busse and Friso Traas aka Adana Twins, that has released tracks by scene heroes such as Glowal, Echonomist, The Cheapers and many more. The label presents their second instalment in the 'Spektrum' various artists sampler, which features top shelf material by the likes of: Southern Italian duo Underspreche who deliver the entrancing pizzicato inflected vibes of "My Beloved", German veteran Ruede Hagelstein delivering impeccable dancefloor drama as always on "Aschera", ascendant Berliners Local Suicide teaming up with Duro main man Theus Mago on the dark disco odyssey "Technican" and Watergate's sound engineer in residence Biesmans, who provides yet more successful efforts in his newfound love of music production on the neon-lit Italo acid energy of "Wild Wild World".
Review: Compiled by head of programming Vidmantas "B" Cepkauskas, Opium of the People is the first compilation from Lithuania's infamous Opium Club. It's a druggy, off-kilter and decidedly trippy affair, with Cepkuskas wisely choosing to showcase cuts from artists who in some way have helped shape the sound of the label. Expect to hear tracks that touch on EBM, new wave, new beat, bleep techno-influenced deep house, mutant disco, mind-altering techno and skewed acid house, with highlights - and there are certainly plenty scattered throughout the compilation - coming from the likes of Sharif Laffrey, Kris Baha, Lauer, V and Von Party.
Review: To celebrate five years of releasing new wave-inspired, left-of-centre goodness, Madrid's Play Pal Music has put together this celebratory compilation of previously unheard treats from the label's growing roster of artists. As you'd expect, the tone is dark, druggy and psychedelic from the word go, with Rambal Cochet's hallucinatory, slo-mo opener "Dark Caravan" neatly signposting what's to come. There are of course plenty less intense moments scattered throughout the compilation - see the tasty tracks by Did Virgo and Amevicious, Vereno and Club Bizarre, for starters - but a low-slung, heavyweight jam is never far away. To our ears, the best examples come from Curses (the wonky disco-punk of "More Cherry Pie"), Theus Mago (the Motorik throb of "Low Cost Interstellar Drive") and Nozz (grandiose soundtrack Italo throb-job "Clock").