Review: Australia's Balance Music is known for its quality mixes by the very finest in the underground music circuit. With previous compilations by the likes of New York's Danny Tenaglia, Deetron and Funk D'Void, among others, this is as close to a Fabric mix as you can get without those shiny tin cases. Ex-minimal legend turned all-out techno queen Magda steps up for number 27 in the series, and it's nothing but vibes on this one. Amalgamating shreds of stripped back techno - Marcel Dettmann, DVS1, Samuli Kemppi - together with newer, more underground sounds from some of the most cutting-edge labels around - Marco Bernardi's Sandman project, TTT's Minor Science, XDB and Shackleton - the Minus legend shows why she's still one of the best in the game and a true expert at evolving her aesthetic. A great mix, dig in.
Mike Dehnert - "Track Providing Home" - (5:20) 123 BPM
Deadbeat - "For Whom The Bell Tolls" - (6:46) 128 BPM
Review: Kenneth Christiansen's revered dub techno institution celebrates fifteen years of trusted innovation on this superb compilation showcasing the label's esteemed roster of legends. Starting out with the always impressive Stephan Laubner aka STL who surprises as always; this time with the haunting yet bittersweet ambient journey "The Ancient Scale". There's more from masters of the old school such as German producer Arovane and his broken low end theory on "Struktur 1", the deeply rooted resonations of XDB's "Latonal" and Fachwerk main man Mike Dehnert's Maurizio inspired "Track Providing Home" being one of our highlights.
Review: The same week as Answer Code Request's new album on Ostgut Ton gets announced, the regular Berghain DJ turns up on XDB's new one for Dolly, of course run by Panorama Bar regular Steffi. ACR owns with a remix to the EP's title track, with the German seemingly plucking out his favourite loop-section of the original and pumping it full of a solid sounding techno low-end like only the Germans know how. XDB's version is long-winding, groovy and noticeably lighter in comparison, while Detroit techno and Chicago house influences are abound elsewhere, most notably in "Tonik", while "Liberty" is a stomping and very funky house classic.
Review: Recago is another master class from a producer who effortlessly crosses the divide between house and techno. The title track is fuelled by a slamming rhythm, but disco riffs and loose bongo drums offset its dense, acidic undercurrents. A similar approach is audible on "Ontak", where XDB lays down an upfront groove and a rumbling, menacing bass, but on this occasion warm synth riffs temper his techno leanings. "Sunda" is more delicate, its subtle piano lines unfolding over a stop-start bassy groove, but Brooks Mosher's remix of the same track brings the release to classic techno-house territories. Trance stabs and doubled-up claps are powered by a surging bass, and the arrangement allows Mosher to use the kind of evocative vocal sample last heard on Kevin Saunderson's classic "Forces" as Essa.
Review: Under his XDB guise, Kosta Athanassiadis has been responsible for killer dubby techno and deep house releases on Sistrum and Metrolux. The fact that he's releasing on Echocord suggests that he is keen to highlight the dub side of his productions, but the opposite is true. The title track is a deep, dreamy affair, with XDB deploying a squelching, throbbing bass with devastating effect. Meanwhile, "Blakpin" is more sombre and showcases his esoteric side, as ghostly analogue synths and eerie horns wind their way through a shuffling groove. Finally, Sven Weismann scatters rattling percussion over brittle beats for his understated yet individualistic take on "Apari".