Review: Innervate's latest offering provides an insight into how modern techno and house producers have assimilated, magpie-like, previous styles and tropes while forging their own identities. While Larix's "Phantom" is the most conventional of the pack, its reverberating filters provide a glimpse of late 90s party techno influences, Kereni's "Major Bass" has a more contemporary flavour, with microscopic beats and doubled up rhythms. However, it's Woo York's "Batiskaf" that provides the real revelation. Sounding like an update on the dark drums sound of late 90s prog, the use of an ominous droning, filtered bassline also gives "Batiskaf" a truly contemporary feeling.
Review: Tale of Us launch their Afterlife label in style with the Realm of Consciousness compilation. Bringing together some of the best-known names in contemporary techno as well as a group of newcomers, it moves effortlessly between esoteric moods. Tale of Us contribute the ambient intro, while Monoloc and Woo York are both in more mellow form than usual on the melodic "Phoenix" and "Poseidon" respectively. Meanwhile, Recondite contributes the sad melodies and throbbing bass of "Murphy's Law" and Locked Groove balances supernaturally beautiful hooks with powerful bass pulses on "Emeralds". Even more dance floor-focused tracks, like Obscure Shape & SHDW's "Die Wiederkehr", are filled with trancey melancholia.
Review: For the fourth instalment of its From The Vault series, Paul Boex' label opts for a less banging than usual approach. Area Forty One's 'Sunday Morning cut' of Abstract Division's "Deformation" sets the tone for the release with its deep groove, while Deepbass & Ness come together to create the rolling groove and atmospheric tones of "Flight 103". Stefan Vincent's contribution, "Aro", is similarly deep, with some tropical samples embedded in its lithe rhythm, while remixers Milton Bradley and Delta Funktionen also use the opportunity to take Abstract Division on a more esoteric path. In the case of the former, it is articulated on the churning, dubby "Shifted Reality", while on the latter's re-work of "Floating Point", a jerky, angular rhythm prevails.
Review: One of Europe's biggest electronic music parties sets out an impressive taster for this year's event. Mixed by French DJ/producer Brodinski, it moves from the deranged, siren-led "Slope" by Joe, through the swinging techno of Randomer's "Bring" and the chord-heavy groove of Brendon Moeller's take on Appleblim & Peverelist's "Over Here" before moving into more raw forms. This is articulated by the rough analogue jack of Marquis Hawkes' "Outta This Hood" and the firing, lean techno of Robert Hood's "Protein Valve (Edit 1). Brodinski also deserves kudos for dropping the grainy, surging bass and crisp drums of Claro Intelecto's rumbling electro killer, "Tone"
Review: Acclaimed Italian duo Tale Of Us present the third Realm Of Consciousness compilation on Afterlife Recordings. A collection of spellbinding and melodic epics packed full of narratives plus plenty of dancefloor drama awaits with some rather surprising additions too - artist wise. The German hero Recondite serves up the powerful opening track "Savaaq" with its tension and suspense and those soaring melodies, fellow Italians Mind Against team up with Blausch on the hypnotic bliss of "Trust My Eyes" and Ukranian deep techno experts Woo York give us the steely heads down techno of "Discovery". Elsewhere, southern Italians Agents Of Time appear with the adrenalised and entrancing cyclicality of "Superia", frequent Tale Of Us collaborator Vaal takes you deep into the aether on "Weakness Days" and ascendant German Kevin De Vries gets into freefall on the sublime "Phoenix"
Review: Originally conceived by Adam Beyer as a platform to release music that he couldn't fit into Drumcode's regular schedule, the A-Sides series has reached its eighth volume. Comprising a vast array of styles and sounds, this 25-track compilation puts a spotlight on new and established artists. These include label regular Layton Giordani with the moody, tranced out "Chrome", newcomer Juliet Fox, who delivers the rolling, grainy drums of the Berghain-primed "Was Beautiful" alongside veteran artists like Secret Cinema - representing here with SAMA on the driving, dubbed out "Diviner" - and Joey Beltram, with the dreamy, old school groove and vocal sample-heavy "Can You Feel It".
Review: Hailing from Kiev, Woo York make techno that is refreshing, at times almost naive-sounding. On Vacuum, this is most audible on the title track, where epic chords build and build to a dramatic peak. Finnish producer Samuli Kemppi is more subtle in his approach, with his version led by skipping rhythms and a more hypnotic interpretation of the original track's chords. The focus of Unbalance's version is darker and more malevolent, as a churning metallic rhythm and layers of acid are fused. But the last word is left up to the Ukrainian duo, who deliver 'Oka', an acid-laced, tranced out groove reminiscent of Speicher's finest back catalogue.
Review: This duo from the Ukraine have put out a string of excellent hard-edged techno records on Planet Rhythm and Mutex - now they make the next move up with a record for Soma. The Scottish label may not seem like the obvious home for their driving rhythms, but the title track sees Woo York open up their sound; while the same droning rhythms prevail, the trancey chord sequence, which builds and builds through the arrangement, marks out a more accessible sound. "Solar Diet" sees them return to a tougher approach, with pile-driving industrial rhythms fused with harsh, metallic drums to create an intense sound.
Review: Ukranian techno manipulators Woo York have taken brutal beats and in their own light way, incorporated beautifully crisp, light production to create a total sphere of sound and texture. Pushing through with the gradual intensity of progressive techno but the encroaching agoraphobia of minimal, "Smoke Signal" is a thing of beauty. "Cold Welding" brings on that doomy 2am sound, gathering softly-softly until you barely notice the thundering changes that have occurred. It's a perfect release, what more can we say?
Review: Not only is it a product of its past achievements, Planet Rhythm is pushing things forward, with Woo York emerging as the label's biggest talent. The Ukrainian duo took over Planet Rhythm headquarters as the label's proprietors and spent no time at all making their mark, releasing this delicious slice of acid, techno, ambient, progressive gloriousness almost immediately. From the abstract TB-303-ish structures of "Acid Rain", through the building peaks of "Analogue Swamp", a perfect example of stripping functional techno, to "Come Closer"'s uplifting trance-like melodies and the closing sequence of "Strobe 1", this record is shaping up to be Woo York's strongest releases to date.
Alien Worlds (The Advent Jacking remix) - (5:27) 129 BPM
Review: Confusingly, Woo York is a duo from Ukraine, who have released on labels as diverse as Soma and Planet Rhythm. Alien Worlds sees them continue their habit of putting out material on a variety of imprints and is their debut release for Rodhad's label. However, one listen to the original material on this EP is enough to confirm that Dystopian is the right home for it. "Black Rain" has an epic, atmospheric feel, but is contained in a tunneling groove. On the title track, the pair utilise the kind of dense drums and skipping rhythms associated with Klockworks as the backdrop for a dark trance riff to unrvael, while "Uranium Echoes" is a tripped out, acidic groove. It's only on The Advent's visceral take on the title track that Woo York re-enter the club techno stratosphere.
Review: For their latest release on Soma, Ukrainian duo Woo York ventures deep into sci-fi territory. Like the seminal film of the same name, "Bladerunner" is futuristic affair. Reminiscent of the pointillist approach of Terrence Dixon, it sees the pair drop a tapestry of subsonic bleeps over a stripped back, minimal groove, making for an arrangement that is hypnotic and functional. "Phantom" is less esoteric and more direct as a mean, lean rhythm rides over sleek, metallic percussive bursts. Zadig has been commissioned to do a remix of the title track and rises to the occasion with an intense, storming take that brings Woo York's sound to a more visceral place.
Review: Chasing The Dream is the first artist album on Tale of Us' label and it's an impressive affair. The work of Ukrainian duo Woo York, it stays true to Afterlife's love of melodic electronic music. This is audible on the gentle break beats and warm synth hooks of "More Than a Feeling" and the title track or the windswept "Inception". That said, there is also a darker side to Dream; it first rears its head on the pulsating acid of "Burning With You" before the pair veer into the throbbing, epic "Energy Pulse" and drop tough kicks and the purring bass menace of "Kadastre". However, they really impress on the record's more melodic moments, and the soft-burning hooks of "Rise" shows that Woo York and Afterlife are masters of the art of the melodic.
Review: Despite being over two hundred releases old, Soma has lost none of its A&R skills. This is the second EP on the label from Ukraine duo Woo York and it's an impressive release. The title track is a raw slice of techno, its dense, seemingly impenetrable groove containing waves of noise, burning acid splurges and, by contrast, lithe percussive licks. "In The End" is a swaggering, stepping affair; it is based on dense drums and dubby kicks, but at its core there is a haunting hook that serves to offset the intensity. Soma can't be faulted for its choice of remixer and Phase delivers a dark, pulsing take on the title track.