Review: It's hard to believe that "Give Your Body" is nearly 30 years old. Originally issued on Djax back in 1992, its throbbing acid groove and mesmerising vocal sample still burn with the same hypnotic intensity. Delsin has commissioned two of modern techno's most respected names to provide new remixes. Delta Funktionen delivers a tripped out, break beat version of the classic, with layer upon layer of acid woven into the arrangement, The excellent Lost Trax meanwhile drop a straighter, dance floor-focused version; beefing up the drums and adding a visceral edge to the arrangement, it and the Delta Funktionen take are respectful interpretations of this evergreen classic.
Review: The second release on Spandau20 is a family affair. Fadi Mohem, who has previously released on Klockworks, gets down to business with the steely, percussive techno of "Nine". Shifting gears and changing tact, Balas delivers the broken beats, clanging hats and jungliest bass of "Desdemona", while Fjaak return to straighter techno thanks to the big-room chord stabs and pounding kicks of "Transmission", which has echoes of Dave Clarke's Red series. The sound shifts once again for Claus Schoning's "Wizard". In stark contrast to what went before it, it's an abstract, break beat track full of otherworldly squelches and atmospheric textures.
Review: Following Eps for 20:20 Vision and Freerange, Whitesquare aka Maurice Uzzan makes his debut for Life And Death. This release draws on a number of sources for inspiration; on the title track, the bass is influenced by early 90s house, while the acid line is redolent of Josh Wink at his finest. The dreamy vocal samples and break beats on "Not Moving" could have come from a San Fran free party, while "Jasmine" is more grounded. Led by an earthy acid line and a stepping rhythm, it's one of the more functional tracks on this release - until DJ Tennis gets his hands on it and turns it into a rumbling, 303-led roller.
Review: Next up on Lost Palms is 1-800 Girls aka Jake Stewart. Dancing is an atmospheric affair that is sure to appeal to fans of more esoteric techno. "3am Central Line" opens the release with a gentle, stepping groove and squelchy acid lines, while in a similar style is "Latin Tongue": the 303s have been replaced with breathy, billowing synths, but the punchy drums remain. On "Don't Wanna Stop", Stewart ups the tempo to deliver rolling break beats, but they deliver jazzy keys, while the EP concludes with "Minds Nature", an evocative piece of music that has echoes of 90s ambient.
Review: Strangers is the first collaboration between Mall Grab and Skin On Skin, and it sees them deliver a fine, distinctive dance floor release. On the title track, searing bass is combined with driving percussion and melancholic piano lines for a pensive but effective techno track. In contrast, Mall Grab's solo effort, "?" is a pummelling hard techno banger, replete with spooky Halloween samples and a slightly daft ragga vocal sample. Skin On Skin's remix features rolling break beats and tripped out blips, while his own charmingly titled "Got Me Fucked Up" is a slinky electro workout replete with ghetto samples. Mall Grab repays the favour by turning "Fucked Up" into a grainy banger, powered by hollowed out drums.
Review: Next up on Dekmantel is Jered Phillip aka Jex Opolis with this highly engaging EP. One of the brains behind the Good Timin' label, Phillip's music takes inspiration from 80s boogie, electro and Italo Disco. Those elements all come together seamlessly on the title track, where crashing drums and a pulsating bass provide the basis for irresistible synth melodies. It makes for a vivid, expansive track. Meanwhile, "Desolation" sees Phillip focus his efforts more closely on updating the sounds of late 70s Italy, fusing staccato snares with irresistible melodic flourishes. The vocal version, with its nasal drawl, sees Jex Opolis edge closer to Fred Ventura territory.
Review: Anthony Rother's music has always sounded futuristic, so it's not surprising that this release sounds like it came from another time. However, instead of the robust electro drums that Rother's music is usually based on, the title track is underpinned by a stripped back techno arrangement. Despite this slightly different approach than usual, it still gives him the opportunity to deliver his signature robo-vocals and austere, frosty synths. On "Super Future Metropolis", the storied German producer delivers a tantalisingly different approach, with a pile driving rhythm populated by abstract tones, while "The Message" is an epic synth workout, featuring those distinctive vocoder vocals.
Review: Bodies is Chanaski aka Stefan Haag's third release on the acclaimed LARJ label, and sees him drop a series of hardware-produced jams. First up, he displays his love of 80s electro with "Erscheinung". Featuring steely 808s and a Parliament bass, it seamlessly fuses stern, robotic synths and a riotous, freestyle aesthetic. On "Paura", Haag turns towards the dance floor, this time with straighter kicks and squelchy bass pulses creating a robust techno jam. However, Chinaski has a different side: "Forbidden" is more reflective and sees him drop evocative electro synths, while "Face 2 Face" provides the listener with an atmospheric ambient outro.
Review: GOTT is a new collaboration between Uncanny Valley label owner Sneaker and Scannoir. It is also the German word for 'God'. Indeed on "Total Kommander", it sounds like the almighty has had a hand in the production, as an ominous, robust groove rolls menacingly and bleak, gloomy synths underpin a frazzled vocal sample. More indistinct mutterings are audible on the murky rhythm of "En Blick Ufs Matterhorn", where the pair use lo-fi blips and grainy synths to capture the listener's attention. Meanwhile, "Passion" is redolent of Hague-style mutant disco as the God-like duo deliver a pulsating groove tailored for blacked-out bunkers.
Review: New music from Morgan Geist will always be celebrated thanks to his role in Metro Area, and more recently Storm Queen, and the New York producer is certainly on effervescent form with this debut 12" under his new project The Galleria. The four track Calling Card 12" finds Geist calling on the spirit of freestyle, club dubs, razor-edits and bubblegum-pop R&B there is something immediately satisfying to each one of them. Hyperdub artist Jessy Lanza provides some thrilling vocals to both original versions of "Calling Card" and "Mezzanine", the latter is a particularly sweet proposition, and Geist also contributes some superb '80s style dubs.
Review: The mood on the eighth volume of Eps dedicated to celebrating De:tuned's 10th birthday is darker than previous editions. It begins with a new, full-on version of Humanoid's "Stakker" - renamed here as "ST8818r" - replete with coruscating acid lines and stomping break beats. Mike Dred aka Kosmik Kommando's timeless rave track "Biosurvival" also gets an airing, before Luke Vibert slows the pace down with the grinding "The Banter Notes". DE:10.08 also gets extra kudos for including a track from the brilliant - and underrated act - Air Liquide. In keeping with the overall acid-fried theme, they contribute the mind-bending "Strunkelpotz".
Review: Vectorvision aka Brian Bishop joins underground luminaries such as Carl Finlow and Lord of the Isles on the Lone Romantic roster. Similar in aesthetic to Finlow's work, Star Dwellers is a futuristic, at times bleak electro release. It starts off with the stripped back, metallic funk of "Age of Ruin", its slinky rhythm conjuring up the soundtrack to a crumbling industrial city scape. "City of Illusion" sees Bishop take a turn down an alternate route, with ice cool synths unravelling against a low-slung electronic groove. "Vortex Unknown" is similar in approach to "Ruin", but sees Bishop deliver a tougher workout, with mechanical squelches and blips reverberating against a tough, robotic rhythm.
Review: Dutch producer Offset inaugurates his new Rotterdam Electronix imprint with a slab of heavyweight electro and gutsy techno excursions on the Ecotone EP. Starting off with the rusty and dusted down smack electro of "You Are Not My Friend", "Bionic Circuits" then gets into some dark/deep and neon-lit techno grooves. "Gate Invader" is a nicely hypnotic dub workout reminiscent of early Davide Squillace, while "You Can't Take Me Down" gets back into the electro game in properly Dutch fashion: it's reminiscent of local legends like I-F or Alden Tyrell. This is an impressive debut indeed and we are certainly excited for what's in store next from this emerging label.
Review: Second time around for Syncbeat's "Music", an influential early UK electro workout made by members of legendary Manchester outfit Broken Glass and mixed by local hero Greg Wilson. This surprise Running Back reissue includes all three of Wilson's original 1984 mixes. There's the wonderfully deep and glassy eyed Afro-electro/synth-pop fusion of the Original Mix, the Bobby 'O' Orlando-influenced shuffle of the "Remix" and the stripped-back, delay-laden edit brilliance of the dub style "More Music". Fresh reworks come from German house stalwart Boris Dlugosch who tidies it up and beefs it up whilst retaining the loved-up vibes and chanted vocals of the '84 original. His two DJ tool style revisions - the bodypopping "Bonus Beats" and sunrise-friendly "Tribal Reprise" - are also superb.
Review: A decade ago, the Dekmantel crew threw their first party in the Dutch capital; two years later the record label followed. For their decennial anniversary, Dekmantel Records are releasing 10 very special EPs over the course of 2017. The fourth release in their celebratory series is a collection of new material from some of the label's favourite artists. This fourth edition brings together their love of electro and wave influenced grooves by the likes of Los Angeles electro legend The Egyptian Lover, who serves up the aptly titled "This That Old School" which proves to all the bandwagon jumping wannabes what 'real' electro is. Staying on that retro flavoured tip are the Antinote affiliated Syracuse & Epsilove doing some acid infused analogue jack by way of pop on "Scubatomic Love". Finally, they look locally with the Red Light Radio affiliated/Rush Hour 'analogue adventurist' Interstellar Funk: who pursues some retro/balearic vibes on the sublime "EFX Harmonix"
Review: Enzo Elia, who has put out on Hell Yeah and Freerange, delivers a killer debut for Kompakt. Teaming up with Aldebaran for production and Quique on vocals, "Low Red" is a blistering, moody electro cut that resonates to a frazzled bass and atmospheric synths. On the flip, with Elia flying in solo mode, "AJ Squinza" focuses on a more typical Kompakt cut, with high-frequency bleeps building over a pulsating, electronic disco groove. Remaining in similar territory but beefing up the bass, Elia drops "Volpinata", where mysterious synths twist and turn their way over a heads-down slightly tougher bass. It's not the last we're likely to hear of Elia's association with Kompakt.
Review: UK producer Matt Cutler aka Lone delivers the final instalment in his Ambivert Tools series of EPs. Like previous editions, The London based producer borrows respectfully from classic house aesthetics while decorating them with a vibrant and contemporary edge - much like the tracks released on his acclaimed Magicwire imprint. The evocative and breakbeat driven "Pulsar" conjures up memories of the late '90s, sounding like an excerpt from Sasha & Digweed's seminal Northern Exposure series. "Oedo 808" goes down a solid electro bass route and the sensual latin house flair of "Blue Moon Tree" intoxicates you with its shimmering chord progressions and hypnotic bongo rhythms.
Review: Techno institution Tresor have tapped Pittsburgh veteran Shawn Rudiman for their 311th release. Over his 20 year career, he's released on esteemed imprints such as 7th City, Matrix, Pittsburgh Tracks and Applied Rhythmic Technology (ART) so he's definitely earned his spot here on the Berlin-based label. A stark homage to the recent history of American electronic music, Rudiman pays his respect in a poignant manner. From the moody tension and suspense of "Too Far Gone" calling to mind Landcruising era Carl Craig, bridging the gap between Chicago acid and Florida electro on "Too Far Gone" or the majestic hi-tech soul of first wave Motor City on "Backwards Tomarrows" through to the evocative IDM interludes such as "KNSR" or "Past The Edge" which call to mind the work of Detroit innovators such as John Beltran or Neil Ollivierra - Rudiman proudly wears his influences on his sleeve yet impressively reinterprets them as his own on this fine release.
Review: Artefakt aka Nick Lapien and Robin Koek have enjoyed a fruitful relationship with Delsin. They released one of their first Eps on the label back in 2015 and issuing their debut album on its sister imprint, Ann Aimee, last year. Now the duo makes a return visit to the main Dutch imprint. "The Blue Hour" is a malign-sounding roller, led by acrid riffs and heavy layers of reverb. By contrast, "Weltformel" is a wonderfully light and floaty break beat affair that captures their work at its most atmospheric. Somewhere in the middle of these opposites sits the title track, a deep, dance floor-friendly groove that features a fusion of airy synths and curling acid lines.
Review: Bordello A Parigi's long-running Riviera Disco series is undeniably nostalgic in outlook, serving up new music inspired by imaginary European beach holidays in the early-to-mid-80s. That's not meant as a criticism, as the music is invariably superb. This sixth installment delivers plenty of sparkling, retro-futurist thrills, from the tactile, slightly melancholic synth-disco shuffle of John Parsley & Jack Pattern's "Sequential Move", to the classic, arpeggios-and-cheery melodies of Luca Dell'Orso's ZYX style Italo-disco bubbler "Wave No. 3". Those fantasizing about sweaty, late night dances in sticky, sea front clubs should head for the muscular grooves, druggy arpeggios and spacey melodies of Daniel Kyo's "Cami De Pinedo", and the eyes-closed bliss of Mystery of Science's luscious "Planet of Love".
Review: Breaker Breaker head honcho Haider has caught the attention of Will Saul with his eclectic talent. Following his breakout EP for his own label, the 10961 EP is his debut for AUS music. Full name Haider Masroor, the German artist compliments the British label as its newly acquired artist. Features dusty minimal house like on "You" reminiscent of past contributions to the label by the likes of Matt Karmil, Motor City deep house influences by the likes of The Three Chairs on the sublime "Yellow Cake" and timeless electro vibe on "Robocop".
Review: Next up on Scuba's esteemed Hotflush imprint is Brazilian newcomer Daniela Caldellas aka Terr with the driving and hypnotic techno journey entitled "Misantropicalia", which follows up last years awesome Burn The Past EP. The title track is awash in layers of razor sharp arpeggios; it's quite reminiscent of Croatian legend Petar Dundov in a away, and that's a compliment. On "OutRun" she throws down some griity electro-funk which is no doubt informed by a healthy love of legends such as Dopplereffekt or Drexciya, while "Don't Look Around" goes for something different again on this spacey, neon-lit electro house cruiser.