Artificial Drm - "Human With No Name" - (6:47) 129 BPM
Korridor - "VI" - (9:43) 129 BPM
Review: Following on from last year's Artefakt EP, the De Stijl imprint returns with a split release as its second instalment. Focusing again on a more cerebral take on electro and techno, it starts with a fusion of atmospheric synths and steely 808s on Aphelion's "Temple 7". Artificial DRM's "Human With No Name" inhabits a similar territory, as an understated bass supports brooding textures, while Korridor's "VI" ventures into ambient techno territory with pads swirling in a seductive arc. The one variable is Artefakt's "Agents Of Reality"; while also haunted by ghostly sounds, its stepping rhythm and acrid 303s exude a level of intensity not audible elsewhere on De Stijl 02.
Review: Next up on Maceo Plex's label is a killer release from Brame & Hamo. Known primarily for their work on their own label as well as Eps for Feel My Bicep, the pair bring old-school influences to bear on "It's Time.." The title track revolves around a repetitive male vocal sample and is underpinned by a buzzing bass, coming across like a modern riff on Panash's classic Jack 2 Jack. Ellum has recruited Steffi to rework the track, and she does a fine job; going deeper with swirling synths and irresistible acid lines, she turns it into a esoteric but dance floor-primed gem.
Review: Jan Schulte aka Bufiman drops his debut album on Dekmantel, and it's a thing of cosmic beauty. There's the odd ball groove of "Galaxy", on "Sara Sara", he tackles electronic boogie with great flair and "Hoolock Rock" is a superb slice of spaced out disco. However, Schulte's project is not just concerned with revisiting existing styles, and he seems to be just as content when teasing out weird and wonderful new hybrids. These are articulated most impressively on the frazzled acid and steely drums of "Blow Your Mind", the dreamy down tempo drums and tropical sounds of "News From The Treetops" and the sludgy electro funk on "Langsam Aber Slowly".
Review: Delta Funktionen delivers his debut EP for Cultivated Electronics. In keeping with the revered label's signature sound, North Point sees him focus on electro instead of the dubbed out techno that this project is often associated with. It kicks off with the intricate, eerie rhythm of "Intrusion", before "Moonstone Road" sees the Dutch producer transport the listener down an acid-flecked path, where tones warble against the backdrop of shadowy synths. The impossible to pronounce "Gl_T2C_H3Tr4" descends into glitchy abstraction, with its hiccuping robotic vocal samples pushing it towards the edge of malfunction. "Siberian Surf" closes out this fine release with a warbling bass and crisp claps prevailing.
Review: Boysnoize may be seen as a mainstream label by some, but it was one of the first outlets to champion the work of Djedjotronic over a decade ago. Since then, the French artist has released a large amount of work on the imprint, each time with a defiantly underground sound. Boish is no different; it starts with the title track's bleak, rolling ebm groove. "Rusted" is slower and more stripped back, but there is understated power on display in the low-slung rhythm. Most impressive however is "Global Surveillance": pitched-down vocals ride acid-drenched, pounding 808s, while nocturnal rave stabs drop from overhead.