Review: As Modeselektor's label reaches the final stages of its life, it is clear that it is going out with a bang rather than a whimper. Central to this impressive swan song is Benjamin Damage, one of the most prolific artists on the label. Here, he delivers "Battle", a dense, pumping track, its layered textures riding over tough, dub-heavy beats and rasping percussion. In a similar vein is US producer Truncate's contribution. Following on from his 2014 release on the label, he delivers "86". The groove is less busy than Benjamin Damage but no less effective, thanks to the use of chilling strings and dramatic bass tones, a fitting requiem for the label.
Review: The latest release on Involve brings together some of the most respected names in hard-edged techno. Cleric's "Purge" is led by tough kicks and firing percussive bursts, similar in style to his peer SP-X. On "Left Behind", Setaoc Mass, another UK producer, goes deeper for a rolling, hypnotic groove that still benefits from the power of heavy drums. From there on in, the release veers in a surprising direction: Truncate's "Feel This Way" resounds to a jerky rhythm, jazzed out chords and bleep-y tones, while on "Green Kush", Victor Santana from Chaval lays down a pumping, big-room track, layered in mesmerising chords.
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: Affin does a fine job representing tough techno on Chosen. Samuel Session's take on Roberto's "The Land Of The Midnight Sun" is an anthem in waiting, its murderous bass supporting an insistent ringing bell and visceral percussion. The same could be said of Chemie's "Entropy", where waves of chords build over a stomping backing. This split release isn't solely concerned with the peak time however, and Joachim Spieth's take on Deepchild's "Glitches Ain't Shit" sees stripped back rhythms and hissing percussion splutter their way along to the sound of melodic climaxes. Truncate is also in a more pensive than usual mood and the shards of dissected drums that populate "1" show that he too has an experimental side.
Review: After four solid years of tough linear club techno that's not budged from the morals Truncate set on day one, the first remix package for his music finally arrives. Mark Broom and Ben Sims - long-time stalwarts of straight club constructions - make a more than suitable choice to redefine these first few tracks. Sims takes on "Dial" and "Bodega", re-channelling the filters and adding extra white noise percussion to the former while reducing the bulky minimalism of the latter. Broom adds extra rim-shots, Chicagoan clutter and speckles of dub to "Jack" while Truncate himself chips in with his own tribal rework of "Concentrate" from 2011.
Review: Maybe it's because he is releasing on Modeselektor's label that US producer Truncate has chosen a different approach than usual. Whatever the explanation, Pressurize is full of surprises. The only real dance floor track on the release is "Bipolar", a stripped back, functional minimal techno groove that gets increasingly intense thanks to its grimy acid undercurrent. Elsewhere, Truncate is in more reflective mood. Both "Breakdown" and "Dial 20" are chord-heavy stepping grooves that combine the intensity of Technasia with the bassy power of Shed. Just in case there was any doubt that Pressurize marks a sideways shift for Truncate, the title track is led by dubby chords and slowed down, teased out beats.
Review: Yes. New white label action from the Truncate series, for its 10th instalment - another foreboding slice of neural techno, shaped strictly for warehouse use. Two versions of "Control" and two of "Reflex", all raw and stripped to the bones, wrapped in no nonsense Detroit flair. Highly recommended, as per usual!
Review: Hot on the heels of a fine new version of Truncate's 2014 single "7_1" comes this fresh EP of dancefloor dynamite from David Flores's best-known project. Appearing on James Ruskin's long-running Blueprint label for the very first time, Flores kicks things off with the no-nonsense techno roller that is "Terminal 5", a dark, brooding foray into pitch-black techno territory typical of the British label's output. "Process" is similarly minded but slightly more positive in outlook, with mildly foreboding electronics and a repeated vocal sample riding a rubbery techno groove. "Tribal Tool", an exercise in drum machine percussion and dense African drums, completes a rock solid package.
Review: The fearsomely prolific Gynoid Audio label from Australia returns with this sturdy business from Truncate. "31" is a particularly grooving number from one of the key champions of stripped down, raw techno, letting those devastatingly simple rhythms interlock and trail out into hypnotic eternity. DJ Hyperactive brings a touch more tone and pulse to his remix, adding some choice electronic tomfoolery into the mix for a more quirky end result. Jonas Kopp is serious about bringing some punchy, un-budge-able beats into the fray for his version, but he knows just when to let an extra layer of hat rip out for those energy ramp ups, and likewise when to hold back. Advanced Human & Black Hats team up for the last remix, whipping up a more brooding dub tone that contrasts with the percussive focus of the other tracks.
Review: It sounds like David Flores aka Truncate has delved deep to come up with the tracks for his latest EP. "WRKTRX 2", which kick-starts the release, revolves around the kind of dramatic organ riff that would have been common in the darker recesses of 90s New York house. Meanwhile, "WRKTRX Rhythm 1", with its stripped back rhythm and raw percussive layers, draws inspiration from Dan Bell and even Richie Hawtin side projects like Basement Trax. On "WRKTRX 3", the US producer mines classic Beltram and even Dave Angel for a high-impact, vocal-sampling techno track, while he taps Jimmy Edgar to deliver a Detroit techno oriented take on "3", the version powered by a Juan Atkins-style bass and tight percussive volleys.
Review: For the west coast techno scene of America, Developer and Truncate are a one stop shop for club techno. Where Developer's production goes large, Truncate's focus is primitive techno minimalism - for David Flores, his peak time productions come packaged as Audio Injection. Truncate fans will notice the similarities of "Control V1" to "Concentrate" (recently commissioned for Pangaea's fabric live 73) from 2011. Truncate manages to strip back "Control V2" even more, which puts greater emphasis on the ketamine drugged computer vocal, while "Reflex V1" and "Reflex V2" are also incarnations of themselves; one minimal, the other more so.
Review: The 15th release on techno titan Truncate's eponymous label contains three alternative versions of previously released gems. First up you'll find a vocal-free version of angular and metallic 2011 throb-job "Focus", where relentless cymbals and two-note loops ride a pounding kick-drum pattern. Next, he unloads a bubbling, acid-fired "V2" take on 2012 jack-track "Modify" - all layered percussion, razor-sharp electronics and wayward TB-303 lines - before dedicated all of side B to a tasty alternate riff on "Mira Mar". The original was one of his deepest and dreamiest techno tracks, so it's nice to see that he's retained the warm chords and tumbling melodies amongst the delay-laden beats and gentle acid lines.
Review: West coast techno hero and Droid Behavior affiliate David Flores aka Truncate is back on his eponymous imprint, its 13th release presented here. "Wave 1" is a restrained yet suspenseful journey that's full of warm dubby elements, a dreamy bell melody and emotive strings. This one is great to lead into or out of the pre-peak time phase to make a great transition. By contrast, the offering on track 2 entitled "Hardware Jam 4" is much more intense and just like the name suggests, you can feel the raw energy of this clearly improvised track which retains all the energy and spontaneity of the occasion. A raw, stripped and powerful track on here.
Review: David Flores delivers another Truncate bullet, and as per usual, these three cuts are bundle of techno jerkers for the Berghainian dweller. Title track "Another One" is a clap-heavy head noodle with a distinctly dubby air, "Model 1" is bleepy and all guns blazing thanks to its militant groove, while "Room Mode" is the weirder of the bunch, where a warped Detroit-style bassline dominates Truncate's familiar minimalistic percussion style. Certified bombshells for the dancefloor.
Review: Few if any contemporary producers do heads-down techno better than Truncate, as his latest EP for Blueprint demonstrates. What really sets the LA producer apart is his ability to tease out new sounds and nuances while still maintaining maximum impact. For example, "The Bell" is a rolling, rhythm-heavy affair that resounds to ticking percussion and pounding drums, but also drops into atmospheric reveries. Similarly, on "Initials", Truncate visits Miill-style minimalism, but adds his own touch with some deft, detuned sounds, while "Timbre" sees him deliver a rolling percussive affair that builds and drops subtly thanks to some wild tonal progressions
Review: Truncate debuts on Pets Recordings with a fine jacking release. "Pressure" sees the US producer divert somewhat from his chosen script, dropping a raw, analogue track. Built on a skeletal rhythm and pile-driving percussive, these elements support a pitch-bent vocal. The title track marks a return to the type of sound that Truncate is more commonly known for. However, in part, the aesthetic of "Pressure" remains, thanks to the use of insistent percussion and intense siren riffs unravelling over one of Truncate's typical rolling groove. DJ Haus is tasked with reworking "Pressure" and turns in an excellent version that focuses on fusing the vocal sample with a grinding bass.
Review: Truncate has attracted an impressive remix line-up for this fifth remix instalment, including a contribution from Kai Van Dongen, the winner of a remix contest. First up is Josh Wink with a bleep-laden minimal version of "Concentrate", which true to form, contains pitch bent, chopped up vocals and a cacophony of bleeps. For his take on "Reflex". Radio Slave also favours a 'less is more' approach, but on this occasion, he underpins shifting tones and chord stabs with tough tribal beats. Meanwhile, Lauren Flax's take on "Culture" is an acid-soaked jacker, while Van Dongen's take on "Missing" is a building, chord-heavy affair, full of dramatic twists.
Review: For the twentieth release on his label, Truncate drops a searing minimal track. "Repeat", with its hollowed out, rolling drums and niggling, white noise percussion, is a ferocious peak-time affair that builds and builds around its noisy central riff. Truncate has invited Luis Flores to remix the track, and the Mexican artist does a fine job; taking the sound deeper while dropping insistent percussion, he delivers a mesmerising reshape. The release also contains "El Sonido", another original production from Truncate; focused on a looped vocal sample, its discordant riffs and tight claps ensure that it will receive maximum support.
Review: Jimmy Edgar and Truncate sound like an unusual pairing, but on Submission they come together for an inspired collaboration. Over tight claps and a linear groove, a pitched-down robot vocal intones the track's title and the result is like a modern take on classic Dan Bell. Edgar's own version adds little more than an insistent tonal bleep, while Truncate's take is tougher and rougher, the bass drum pushed to the point of distortion and rolling snares crashing in mercilessly. Kris Wadsworth delivers the last remix and turns it into a dusty, deep house jam, led by dubbed out chords and an insistent rhythm.
Review: This compilation spans a range of sounds, but is testament to the fact that despite its diversity, Affin has always been a byword for quality underground dance music. From the stepping, understated "Minus One" by Truncate to the woodwind-led house of "Stalking You" by James Hunter and the gorgeous, jazzy, filtered groove of Jamal Moulay's "Le Push", 100 does a lot to showcase the label's penchant for deep dance music. Joachim Spieth's "Sensual" boasts hypnotic Basic Channel-style chords, but the beats are tougher and denser. Reggy Van Oers's "Centipede" veers further down this chord-driven, dubby techno path and Affin also celebrates the harder end of techno with the utilitarian, Berghain-influenced linear sound of Chemie & Ian Kran's "Nucleated Thought".
Review: The quality of the 50 Weapons output is always supreme and our German friends really do know how to pull together a diverse and extensive collection of their latest catalogue signings - a sure buy for anyone wanting a glimpse into the world of the most cutting-edge bass music around. Among the twelve stormers we have Dark Sky's "Shutter Speed" which pulls together wacky basslines and rolling tech beats; Addison Groove's usual footwork magic represented here as "I Go Boom"; "Malfunction (Despair) by the nuttiest technoid producer known to man - A Made Up Sound - and even Marcel Dettman's foreboding "Linux" monster. An essential collection.
Review: What a line-up. Featuring the likes of Bok Bok, Teki Latex, Helix & Hrdvsion and Surkin & Todd Edwards, this compilation is an essential purchase. From claustrophobic, dead-of-night meanderings to Miami-highway cheesefests and back again, there's no style to pin down here, just a ton of excellent tunes vying for your attention. All the way from dark, insular beats to New Order/Depeche Mode-esque arms-in-the-air whirlwinds (Crystal & Ikonika - thank you), there isn't a time you'll be bored, and that's a guarantee. Get this now.