Review: While some techno producers use the album format to explore ideas beyond the dance floor, Yan Cook does not share this thinking. The producer's latest album is designed explicitly for club play, an approach that is audible on the bleep and string-heavy "8 Bars". "Grooveyard" sees him opt for a different approach, with a frazzled bass and atmospheric synths riding a pulsating groove, while "S4" is a firing, visceral banger. That said, Cook also displays deeper sensibilities on XXX: "Exhale" resounds to dramatic synth lines, while the combination of rolling, steely drums and shimmering melodies show that when it comes to crafting dance floor techno, Cook is one of the very best in the business.
Review: On his latest EP, Yan Cook channels the energy and intensity of late 90s techno. The sweeping chords and pounding kicks of "Nocturnal" sound like an update of the Magnetic North / Dave Clarke style, while on "Empty Dancefloors", Cook weaves in the kind of searing, wiggling acid lines that Emmanuel Top specialises in over booming drums. The title track sees Cook do what he excels at, namely delivering killer peak-time material with just a few elements - in this case, he uses concrete-weight kicks and relentless hi-hats in combination with a looped stab - while "Exomoon" is a deeper but still effective rolling club track.
Review: Yan Cook is one of modern techno's most consistent producers, hitting the target with tough, impactful tracks. This release on ARTS is no exception, and gets under way to the sound of the title track's hypnotic pulses and atmospheric synths. "Infrared" is tougher, resounding to rolling tribal drums, insistent filtering and understated vocal samples. "Olympus Mons" sees Cook go deeper, with warm synths, outer space bleeps and crisp claps to the fore, but it's only a temporary divergence: "Shapeshifter" places the Ukranian artist at the very heart of the dance floor, with menacing, Mike Parker-style tones unravelling over heavy kicks.
Review: 2020 is a year that many people will want to forget, but as this compilation shows, it was still a time of remarkably creativity. This is borne out by Regent's "Drama", a crystalline, tranced out groove, while in stark contrast, Vinicius Honorio's "Rock Da House" is a visceral jacking affair that has echoes of DJ Rush. In between these two ends of the spectrum are deadly effective club techno contributions from Yan Cook, with the turbo bass-led "Order and Steve Parker's acid-heavy "Resonate". Best Of also impresses by covering wide range of styles - as A.Paul's rolling "Incidence" and Re:Axis bleepy "Unveil" ably demonstrate.
Review: For the eighth installment on his Cooked imprint, Yan Cook heads down a high-paced route to deliver four distinctive but functional tracks. "Proximity" resounds to dense but bleep-heavy bass tones and doubled up drums and claps, while the title track sees Cook integrate tripped out vocal snippets into a frenetic, angular rhythm. On "Quicksand", he deploys a muddy bass to underpin the eerie synths that swirl up through the arrangement, while "Mara" is the most linear track on the release. It sees the Ukrainian artist drop a hammering tribal drum track that sounds like an update on Music Man releases from the 90s.
Review: Planet Rhythm can always be relied on to deliver high-quality dance floor techno, and this split EP is a case in point. Kmyle's "Misanthrop" kick starts the release, with resonating drums and tight percussion making for an accessible, house-focused take on loopy techno. On "Jtpc 003", Joton & Positive Centre opt for a harder approach, with a pile-driving rhythm and lead-weight kicks combined for a heady combination. On "Lack of Control", Deep Dimension combine discordant tonal riffs with firing, sheet metal percussion to create an effective peak time track, while Yan Cook shows why he is one of Europe's most highly ratted producers with the swirling filters and pumping groove of "Displaced".
Review: This is the first in a three-part compilation series on Bpitch, named after Ellen Allien's party. This volume is an uncompromising collection that takes influence from 90s styles: Allien herself drops the buzzsaw, Heckmann-style "XTC", while Lady Starlight's mesmerising, acid-soaked "Re-15" occupies similar territory. On "Force Majeure" Introversion channels the energy of early Drumcode for a bombastic, drum-heavy workout and Nocow's "Let Em Fall" sounds like man update on DBX's minimalism, with a pared back, jacking rhythm paired with time-stretched vocal samples. Bpitch also deserves kudos for showcasing original techno innovators, and the he compilation includes DJ T-1000's pile-driving "Frequency Kill".
Review: Yan Cook's relationship with Planet Rhythm stretches back five years, and his latest four-tracker serves as a reminder as to why he features regularly on the storied label. "Order" is a lean, linear rhythm, powered by doubled-up claps and metallic riffs, making for a highly effective peak-time track. On the aptly-named "Worm", Cook rides a mesmerising, frazzled groove that is equal parts Mike Parker's tonal experiments and the frazzled bass of Laurent Garnier's "Crispy Bacon". On the title track, Cook adds some fuzzy acid to his lean rhythms, while "Lucid" sees him go deeper, with frozen chords underpinned by a locked groove.
Review: Following remixes on Suara, Obscuur and Noir Music, Ukranian techno hero Yan Cook is back on his Cooked label with some pounding grooves on the Blades EP. The mentalist tunnel vision of the title track is exactly the kind of tackle you could imagine Boris hammering out during one of his legendary closing sets at Berghain, while the full throttle hypnotiser "Whistleblower" perfectly soundtracks the prelude to a blackout under the strobe lights at an illegal warehouse party. The Kiev-based producer hammers the message home - all guns blazing - on the emotive dub techno thriller "Skyhigh" complete with Aril Brikha style chord progressions.
Review: The label arm of Dutch techno distributor Triple Vision delivers a fine compilation. It starts off in understated, sombre mode, with the rolling drums and woozy synths of tracks from Amotik and Refracted, before Codex Empire delves deeper with an atmospheric, break beat-led take on KAS:ST's "Raving Alone". That's not to say that Volume 8 is shy of dance floor tracks; from the rolling tribal groove of Setaoc Mass' "Light Falls" and the rave-infused "Generation X" from Deep Dimension to Remco Beekwilder's banging, chord-heavy "90's Mayhem", this is an expertly weighted and executed collection of modern techno.
Review: Yan Cook follows his Somatic album on Cooked with this raw, banging release. Inspired by the gated rhythms of Luke Slater's X-Tront Series, the title track's visceral percussion and distorted kicks provide a menacing soundtrack. "Abstract" is less frenetic, and sees Cook deploy pitched down vocal snippets over a steely, pulsating rhythm and concrete-weight drums. "Tidal Disruption" resounds to spaced out filters and a pulsating acid rhythm that's not dissimilar to the kind of tough 303 tracks that Synewave used to specialise in. "Noiser" meanwhile, see him change tact again, with a textured, atmospheric piece that has a hypnotic, Mike Parker-style groove at its heart.
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: Last year's fourth volume of the From the Vault series was largely an in-house affair, but for the fifth edition, Dynamic Reflection opts for a wider approach, bringing newcomers into the fold. It means that there are deep techno contributions from Cocoon producer Kevin De Vries' "Samarev" sitting beside spaced out dub tracks from Italy's Tozzy. Despite this proliferation of newer artists, Part V also plays host to familiar names. These include Stefan Vincent in reflective mode on "Torch" and label founders Abstract Division, whose "Metropolis" is turned into a solemn but beautiful slice of underground techno by former Sandwell District founder Function.
Review: Delsin has been a purveyor of deep electronic music for the best part of two decades - and as this compilation demonstrates, 2018 was no exception. It moves in sound from re-issued electro classics by Lost Trax and VC-118A - the latter's chilling string-led "Sepia" is particularly beautiful - into Yagya's brittle deep house/techno and the gentle dub techno of Vril. Even on the more uptempo tracks, such as the throbbing acid of Artefakt's "Falling Into The Light" and the robotic, clanging rhythms of Yan Cook's "Dead Satellite", there is a subtlety and depth of sound absent in most labels' identities. Here's to another twenty years.
Pjotr G & Dubiosity - "Action Potential" (Digital Only) - (6:19) 87 BPM
Pjotr G & Dubiosity - "Design Argument" (Digital Only) - (6:09) 127 BPM
Review: The latest release in Planet Rhythm's various artists series brings together some of the most exciting producers working in techno today. First up is Yan Cook, who delivers the moody, metallic roller, "1991". On "In Your Inner Sea", Alpi offers up a more reflective, introspective interpretation, with deep chords bubbling up over a snaking bass. In stark contrast, Wrong Assessment ups the intensity levels with "Remodelling", a dense, stepping workout, full of metallic riffs and punctuated by pounding kicks. The label has also commissioned a collaboration between Matrixxman and Brendon Moeller's Echologist project for this EP. The resulting track, "Shellshock", is led by visceral drums and is every bit as impactful as one can expect from these two talented producers.
Review: Delsin's Inertia series has been devoted strictly to dancefloor oriented material since 2012, with previous releases coming from top guns such as BNJMN, Discrete Circuit and Skudge to name but a few. It is now back over to ascendant Ukranian producer Yan Cook, returning to follow up his last appearance in 2017 with this blistering EP. Dead Satellite features four fierce and functional cuts for serious DJ use: from the strobed-out tunnel vision of "Second Sun", the hypnotic tool that is the title track or the adrenalised "Skafandr'' that lunges straight for the jugular with its peak-time energy.
Review: Yan Cook emerged from nowhere a few years back and has since released a series of EPs on established techno labels like Soma, Delsin and Planet Rhythm. Now it seems, the Ukrainian producer wants to become the master of his own destiny and has set up his own label. Perfect Mess, the third release on Cooked, is a perfect example of Cook's talents. "Hexa" is a pumping, linear groove that resounds to a looped bleep sequence. Simple in its construction but devastating in its effect, it is one of the best example of his work. The title track operates to similar principles, but this time features echoing, tripped out filters. "Reef" is deeper and wouldn't sound out of place on a Delsin record, but its dense groove provides the necessary support for Cook's melodic approach.
Review: The second release on Yan Cook's label sees him in formidable form. "Roadblock" starts the release with a bang: based on massive kicks drums and a filtered, metallic riff that sounds like it was borrowed from Luke Slater's Planetary Assault Systems catalogue, it's a massive peak time track. "Razor Sharp" makes nods to Mike Parker's pulsing, tonal playbook to create a hypnotic techno groove, while on "Hypnorum", the Ukrainian producer opts for a more stripped back take on electronic music. Calling to mind vintage release on the Torema label and even Joey Beltram, it's an impressive minimal workout - despite its angular framework, it's still a reflective prelude to the grainy, murky closing track, "Split".