Review: Following on from a series of impactful releases on Hayes and Klockworks, VIL & Cravo drop this stunning EP for Be As One. The title track is aptly named; powered by an ominous sub-bass and featuring chopped up vocals and rolling beats, it comes across like a modern update of Kevin 'Reese' Saunderson's hardcore techno blueprint. "Sonica" and "Segundo are more contemporary sounding; high paced, shuffling drums and insistent stabs unravel over a brutal bass on the former and sped up vocals are dropped over an insistent rhythm on the latter. "Del" is even more frenetic, but it doesn't feel as pacy thanks to the use of rolling tribal drums.
Review: Thirteen is lucky for Self Reflektion, with the latest release on the label coming from an emerging force in techno. VIL aka Nuno Costa has already issued material on key labels like Klockworks and Hardgroove, and this four-tracker is a masterclass in hard-edged dance floor tracks. Both "Andromeda" and "I Donno" are led by concrete weight kicks and propulsive claps. Meanwhile on the title track, VIL opts for a more stripped back, minimal approach, albeit with distinctive flourishes such as skipping drums and textured synths. Rounding off this fine release is "The City Fly By", where insistent synth loops and layers of steely percussion prevail.
Review: It must be challenging for a long-running label to come up with fresh ideas, but that is exactly what Planet Rhythm has achieved on its latest compilation. TWCOR's "How It Ends" revisits the glory days of Frankfurt Trax techno with its pounding kicks, Vinicius Honorio maps out a new direction for big room techno on the thundering filters and wild rave stabs of "Time & Space" and Two Sided Agency's "Controlled Cycle" is a synapse-melting acid track. There is also a more considered side to Planet Rhythm, and it's audible here on Tom Hades' "Felis", where the veteran producer pairs emotive synths with a rolling tribal groove.
Review: Hayes is a new techno label to emerge from Portugal, and for its second release gathers together some new talent. First up is -2 with "Scherzo", a dense, rolling groove led by dramatic chord surges. It's understated, but its kicks rumble away in the background like distant thunder. Temudo, who has released on Planet Rhythm and Labrynth, delivers deeper, hypnotic, loops of "A2", while on Osse's "Quantum Mechanics", a forbidding future is mapped out through the use of spiky, insistent rhythms and tonal sequences transmitted from outer space. Rounding off this exemplar release is VIL's "Metafora", where claustrophobic drums and clattering percussion prevail.
Review: Hayes is a new label from Portugal and it opens its account with this storming split release. First up is Temudo, who delivers "A1", a gritty, acid-soaked loop that sounds like it was inspired by early Lost releases. Moddullar, who has put out EPs on Planet Rhythm and Dynamic Reflection, opts for a cleaner but still tough loop techno track with "Encrypt", while on Temudo hooks up with ViL and -2. The fruits of their collaboration is "Discordia", which again sees the release towards a slightly more abrasive and mysterious take on dance floor techno. Rounding off this impressive debut is ViL in solo mode, with the tough, percussive "Szandor".