Review: Two of modern techno's most singular artists team up for this raw and lean techno release on Ruskin's Blueprint. "Shortcut" is a twitchy, frenetic minimal track that resounds to dynamic percussion and freaked out electronic stabs. On "Hang Up", the Blueprint owner and Truncate focus their efforts on dense drums and gradually building, electronic tones for a measured but effective arrangement. But all bets are off on the closing track "Drums Eyes". Based on visceral industrial drums and a pile-driving rhythm, it sees the duo draw on Mills during his Waveform Transmissions period for inspiration, delivering an intense, intoxicating track.
Review: On its third and final instalment, We Are Not Alone delivers more cutting edge electronic music from the artists who guested at the party of the same name. This volume is hugely varied, ranging from Ryan James Ford's uplifting deep techno to the underground pulses of Lada's "Kassi" and Heidi Sabertooth's "Innergaze". Sounding a more visceral note is Henning Baer's "Nightwing Microlight" and the hard-jacking analogue banger "Basic" by Truncate, while Setaoc Mass' "Silent Tension" is led by cavernous drums. Sandwiched in between these dance floor burners are more offbeat pieces, like Cosmin TRG's gentle, downbeat "Sourde" and the wonderful drones of "Chaos Transition" from Adriana Lopez.
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.
Plastikman & The Persuader & Van Bonn & Arnold Tempo & Donnacha Costello & Deepchord - "Consumed/Pinnharan/Abroad/Quarion Was Digging For Water/Grape A/DC14 (A1)" - (3:57) 125 BPM
Siopis & Joris Voorn & Lau Frank & Audio Werner & Jichael Mackson & Roland Klinkenberg - "Listen To The Whispers/Where Have You Gone? (Part 1)/7am (D" (feat Mr Brean - Jody Hannan remix) - (3:35) 125 BPM
Howling & Christian Fennesz & Julien Aubert & Martin Aquino & Christian Fennesz & John Tejada & Glac - "Signs (Matom Remix)/Kae/Feelmar (Gaspard De La Montagne Remix)/Red Pavement (Halo & Alex Fuent" - (4:36) 125 BPM
Joris Voorn & Giash - "Fall (Nobody Home Dream Interpretation Mix) / Space Odyssey" - (4:55) 125 BPM
Cobblestone Jazz - "Drawn From The Side Of Crime" - (2:45) 125 BPM
Sounds Like Us & Donnacha Costello & Sagat & Roland Klinkenberg - "Little Helper 163-4/Backache/Body/Departures" - (3:50) 125 BPM
Monobox & Tadeo & Robert Hood & Reggy Van Oers - "Realm/Deep Space/AM Track/Mavie" - (5:53) 125 BPM
Nasty Habits & Anton Pieete & Tom Day & Monsoonsiren & Tom Day & Monsoonsiren & Joris Voorn - "Shadow Boxing/Next Year (Mosca's Skaep Niwt Version)/Love Is Rare/Dreams/Left (Roland Klinke" - (2:48) 125 BPM
Wolfgang Voigt & Rekord 61 - "Empathie/Sverh" (Radio Slave FYM remix 2) - (3:58) 125 BPM
Joran Van Pol & Speedy J - "Exist/Fill 17" - (4:05) 125 BPM
Review: It's been another great year for Catz 'N' Dogz's Pets Recordings imprint. If you missed any of the Polish imprint's many essential releases, fear not, as help is at hand via this top-notch round up of their biggest cuts of 2019. There are naturally plenty of contributions from the label's popular head honchos, with highlights including Andhim's evocative, acid-sporting vocal remix of "Would You Believe", a suspenseful contemporary dream house rework of "There" by Terr and a deliciously retro-futurist house take on "New Love" by Gerd Janson. Elsewhere, top picks include the warehouse-ready throb of Truncate's "Pressure", the pitched-down darkroom chug of "Rattlesnake" by Psychemagik and the drowsy deep house/UK garage fusion of Black Loops' "Keep A Secret".
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: 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: 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".
Review: The last commercial mix that Robert Hood did back in 2008 for Fabric re-ignited his career. Appearing at the tail end of minimalism, its hard-edged sounds provided a welcome relief to the prevailing sound. A decade on, the 66th DJ Kicks finds the Detroit artist once again in firing form. "Focus" signals his intent with its massive siren riff and pounding drums, while "Clocks", which builds and builds to electronic bee swarms, shows that he has lost none of his minimal techno firepower. Sure, there are other fine contributions, like Truncate's sheet metal banger "Terminal 5" and the shadowy riffs of Marcel Fengler's "Thwack" - itself a paean to Dr Motte's "Der Klang Der Familie" - but like the Fabric selection, this instalment of DJ Kicks is all about Robert Hood.