Review: Following last year's Be Aware collaboration, Josh Wink and Truncate re-connect for Let Go. The original version is grounded in an old school minimal techno aesthetic, with the duo conjuring up a stripped back, jacking groove that underpins repetitive, time-stretched vocal samples and insistent analogue bleeps. With these elements building and building throughout the arrangement, "Let Go" makes for a captivating workout. On his remix of the title track, label boss Josh Wink opts for a high-tempo approach; led by doubled-up claps and a piledriving rhythm, the US producer's version is a crafty peak-time affair that will get support from discerning techno DJs.
Review: While Ovum owner Josh Wink and techno producer Truncate had remixed one another's tracks, now they come together to collaborate on new material. In its original form, the title track is a blistering affair that builds gradually to the sound of ponderous vocals, detuned tones and tight, driving percussion. Meanwhile, Truncate's remix sees him deliver a more tripped out version, with frequencies gradually going up the sonic scale until they reach a crescendo, and phased filters augmenting the 'focus on me' vocal sample. There's also an acapella take included for DJs who want to use the original vocal in the mix.
James Ruskin - "Correction Centre A" - (5:59) 136 BPM
Oliver Ho - "Part 1" - (4:17) 139 BPM
James Ruskin - "Weakness Of The System" - (5:45) 132 BPM
Review: To celebrate its twenty-fifth anniversary, Blueprint has delved deep into its back catalogue. "Post Traumatic Son", a collaboration between label owner James Ruskin and Karl O'Connor, features three times in remixed form, with DVS1 dropping a deep take, Robert Hood turning the track into an angular, metallic jacker and Marcel Dettmann remodelling it into a grainy Berghain stomper. In as much as dance floor tracks like "Son..." and the coruscating, gnarly rhythm of Outline's "Encounter" have defined the label since the start, so too does its more abstract work. A shadow of textured sound looms over Ruskin's "Correction Centre A"; Samuel Kerridge's "Operation Neptune" is a trip into the world of grungy electronics, while Lakker's "Static & Amp" fuses haunting vocals with a hissing, humming groove.
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.
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: 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 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: 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.