Review: This collaboration between The Exaltics and Paris The Black Fu is supposedly 'a post apocalyptic electronic soundtrack'. Another way of looking at it is a collection of kicking electro cuts. The title track features Paris' moody vocals married to an angular rhythm, while on "10 0seco ndstil lmidn ight" a more visceral, raw take on peak time electro prevails. The relentless saw-tooth bass and eerie synths of "thre atmul tiplier" calls to mind the more extreme end of the Drexciya/Arpanet canon - Paris' vocals only add to this sensibility - while on the Lorenz.Orx remix of "10 0seco..." a straighter rhythm and drum pattern prevails and is sure to appeal to techno DJs.
Review: Through aliases like Mohalo and Multicast Dynamics circulating the realms of dub techno and ambient, Samuel van Dijk's VC-118a alias has always been the producer's safe harbour for electro. Keeping his beats dubby and atmospheres deep in Spiritual Machines, VC-118a's fourth album for Delsin (and first following Inside from 2019), presents a distinct connection with glitch, crackle and pop, with transmogrified vocals peppered throughout the LP. By creating his own complement of sample banks, software racks and devices in making the LP, van Dijk was able to work with a hybridised analogue-digital system purely of his own making and the results are abstract, downtempo and hugely atmospheric. Dubbed-out ambient electro with a newfound glitch. Quality.
Review: As minimal house continues to hit the mainstream, there's no denying the likes of Rockstar Games and Ibiza hot house CircoLoco have something to do with it. Combining to create CircoLoco Records, it continues ist summer run of releases with a new various artist EP in Dreamin' Violet - featuring future classics from Luciano, Red Axes, Carl Craig, Butch and Margaret Dygas! With Luciano going deep, stripped back and minimal in "Mantra For Lizzie", Red Axes sends in a frenetic number of drum machine and synth laden mayhem. Carl Craig delivers a bass heavy, beat free and epic synth number "Forever Free", with Butch throwing down a stuttered rave vibe in the broken beat, drum and bass centric "Raindrops". With a slight Detroit mode surfacing too in Margaret Dygas percussive "Wishing Well", she keeps it slightly abstract to complete a package that presses all the right buttons - peak time or after hours.
Review: The team behind the Love International festival has joined forces with Apiento's Test Pressing website to launch a new collaborative EP series, LIXTP. To kick things off they've recruited Melbourne's Fantastic Man, a producer who knows much about atmospheric, retro-futurist house flavours. He begins in confident mood with 'Cloud Manager', where echo-laden piano solos and dreamy chords rise above gnarled analogue bass and off-kilter machine drums, before doffing a cap to the era of 'bleep and breaks' on the shuffling, sub-heavy 'Lounge Wizard'. 'Psychic Monthly' is slow, psychedelic and deliciously odd, while 'Tome Apprentice' brilliantly joins the dots between deep electro, acid and shimmering Balearic house.
Review: For the ninth release on Ternsec, label owner Blawan delivers a killer six-tracker. "Justa" is a slinky, skeletal rhythm that resounds to repetitive vocals and a warped vocal sample. On "The Sithe", Blawan goes down an abstract route, with hyper-speed shuffling drums married to a multi-layered bass and a rickety rhythm. "Silver" is based on a similar approach, but this time a wobbly bass unravels over ticking percussion and a slinky groove. The release takes a more ominous turn on "Fizz City", with Blawan opting for a straighter and searing electronic riffs. "Fourth Dimensional" operates at the very farthest limits of techno, with doubled-up metallic drums fused with abstract percussive slivers and ghostly synths.
Review: Sasha brings us collection of tracks that have featured in his Spotify playlist series of the same name, which is oriented towards midtempo, contemplative but still beats-driven cuts spanning breaks, ambient and leftfield electronica. While much is being made of this "new direction", a more cynical observer might say it's the first CD of 'Northern Exposure' plus drums; all the same, there's much to enjoy here if you're in a laidback kinda mood, with standouts including MJ Cole's haunting, fractured 'Maestro' and Cortese's 'Circles' with its air of restrained menace. The album also includes two fresh cuts from The Man Like himself, 'Corner Shop' and recent single 'HDNI'.
Review: Through their already super-impressive run of releases, the Ansia crew have made a real name for themselves by exploring outside-the-box sound design within their projects. This latest four track Various release is a good example of that creative approach, kicking off with the stuttered, semi-industrial sounds of 'XCUSEME' from BFTT, utilizing metallic percussive twists and unusual vocal processing with wicked results. Next, Metrist explores the aquatic realms of techno with a warbling compositional exploration on 'LB Steaua', before the more classic, bubbling techy textures of 'Gran Macello Ad Ostia' from Piezo jumps into some party starting flavour with it's constantly evolving percussive involvement. Finally, things get a little more unusual as Siete Catorce unleashes a lively, electronic funk out with 'Serrano', a high tempo combination of cartoonistic sampling and drum crunches, giving the project as a whole a seriously high level finale.
Review: A true artist with the ability to go from strength to strength - Leon Vynehall presents the follow up to the lauded 2018 album, Rare, Forever. Still serving up some of the most original hybrid-form house music there is, Vynehall's sound here is as deep, abstract and mysterious as it is colourful, gritty and polished. Flirting with downbeat and drone activities across the album in numbers like "All I See Is You, Velvet Brown", "Ecce! Ego!" and "Farewell! Magnus Gabbro" - to ambient rave in "Worm (& Closer & Closer)" - there's atmospheric jazz to catch in "Alichea Vella Amor" next to the lonely horns and cascading strings of "Mothra". Beatwise, Vynehall's perplexity for dance music goes all the way in "Snakeskin - Has-Been" & "Dumbo" - with "An Exhale" a melodic, breathing wall of synth-tuned noise.
Review: Trust Maurice Fulton to surprise us. Having seemingly abandoned his Syclops pseudonym following the critical and commercial success of the superb 2008 full-length, I've Got My Eye On You, he's resurrected it for a surprise sophomore album. Predictably, A Blink of An Eye is a bit good. Picking up where the previous album left off, it delivers a warped fusion of titanium-plated electronics, leftfield acid jack, freestyle jazz flourishes and intergalactic mutant disco. Formidably twisted but hugely enjoyable, it gleefully charges off in many different directions, mixing shirts-off anthems (see the brilliant "Sarah's E with Extra P"), with curious percussion jams (the afro-centric "Jump Bugs") and curiously blissful, Boof-ish excursions ("5 In"). Stellar stuff.
Review: For many years now, TSVI has been putting on a fantastic showcase for the more experimental areas of electronic dance music. This latest selection sees him join up once again with Nervous Horizon for six sizzling originals. We begin with 'Modulatrum', a powerful roller, focussing on pulsating drums and eerie synthesizer flutters, followed by the almost moombahton style drum chops of 'Sospiro Sospirando', already adding some serious variation. Next up we take a dungeon-ready twist as the powerful drum pulses and reverberated arrangements of the title track 'Sogno' deliver a system-shattering punch, before the minimal, percussive-lead crunches of 'Disturbo' wade into view. The two collaborations then arrive in style as Randomer first unleashes a gnarly run of tripletted, dancehall style rhythms on 'Reflex', before we round off with the twisted electronic distortion and half-time arrangements of 'Compos Mentis' alongside Seven Orbits. Amazing work all around.
Review: Machinedrum is back with his first album in four years! A View Of U sees the arrival of the LA-based producer's ninth LP overall putting him back on the map after teaming up with Holly to release the Berry Patch EP on Visions Recordings, and his J-E-T-S collaboration with Jimmy Edgar. Out of the 11 tracks on show here, eight are collaborations, featuring the likes of Indiana rapper Freddie Gibbs ("Kain Train"), Canadian R&B singer Rochelle Jordan ("The Relic") to Awful Records boss Father ("Spin Blocks"). Find other dope collabs in Mono/Poly & Taner?lle's trip hop and steppy "Star" alongside something deep, cosmic and new age with Chrome Sparks in "Idea 36". A View Of U provides the follow up to Machinedrums last full-length, Human Energy (2016), which this time around is said to center around the idea of having an out-of-body experience. Double Vision.
Review: Following the enigmatic release of an another Zongamin record, 'digital folk producer' Nicola Cruz returns to Thomas Von Party's Multi Culti label in remix form thanks to versions by Auntie Flo, John Talabot and Tunisia's Azu Tiwaline to Luis Maurette's Uji alias (and a Micro Dub by TVP himself). Plodding in some lighter dubstep vibes is John Talabot in his deep and steady mix of "Naeku" that Uji touches up aswell with some looped vocal chants, twinkling melodies and a slight of dub splayed across those dramatic piano chords. Next is TVP's bottom heavy, percussive and filtered remake, while Auntie Flo drops the tempos for something more rare groove in his mix of "Aima" that takes on a similar dub and vocal hook in Azu Tiwaline's version too.
Temporary Thing (feat Ann Margaret Hogan - soundcheck instrumental) - (7:24) 93 BPM
Review: Let The Night Return is a unique one-off performance by Karl 'Regis' O'Connor which took place at the Ancient Theatre of Epidaurus in Peloponnese, Greece. A remarkable UNESCO world heritage site devoted to Asclepius (Greek god of medicine), Regis took to the stage with pianist Ann Margaret Hogan, the soundscapes of Vasileios Trigkas and Justin K Broadrick on guitar for a special one-off performance, miced up and recorded for future prosperity. With the heavyset and poetical language of Regis' music still firmly intact, beat driven numbers come through "The Blind Departing" and "Calling Down A Curse" - which will appeal to fans of his Kalon project to tracks like "Blood Witness" - with O'Connor's all time post punk sound ringing true in "Clean Air". With shadowy, industrial murk and distorted edginess to be explored in "Epidaurus (live extract 1)" & Epidaurus (live extract 2)" - it's as if Regis went as far to channel Lou Reed in "Temporary Thing". Best thing since BMB Live In Tokyo.
Review: In all honesty, we feel that the musical successes of Al Wootton have gone somewhat under the radar, with his consistently impressive productions always leaving us with a smile on our faces. This brand new four track collection alongside the team at Trule kicks off with some interesting percussive work on the vibrant sounding 'Baccata', before 'Alder' combines more fluttering drum designs with a steadily shifting sub-bass pattern below for a really eerie feel. Following this, 'Maenads' feels like the evolution of the previous track with a lot of similar rhythmic patterns being deployed, this time with an overall punchier feel, before slowing the pace significantly on 'Ashe', a downtempo display of introspective calm to round us off in style.
Review: It's been a long wait but like an epic trilogy we thought we were never going to get, Andy Stott delivers a third record related to the ground breaking Passed Me By and We Stay Together EPs. Nothing stops the rolling onward lurch of "Versi" with "Take" a sort of houseir counterpart in rhythm that's given huge bassline pulse of Intelecto reminiscence. Epic Modern Love Sounds. Jus like in 2011, all reference points of genres heard here are contorted, abstracted and blown up to a full scale of subsonic fidelity. Tracks like "0L9" transmute house to a whole new degree of sunken deepness, while amid light footwork numbers and the harmonics in "Promises" and throughout "It Should Be Us", the record is a huge hello for dub music, club culture, tempos and convention.
Review: Returning to Nicolas Jaar's Clown And Sunset stable after his debut in 2011, Valentin Stip is delving into more of his folky electronica with excellent results. "Wit(z)" floats suspended in a murk of melancholic elements before a more discernable rhythm cuts through to bring the track into focus. "Hiathaikm" is a more low-slung affair that revels in mournful keys and a delicate beat, while "Angst" is a bold study of reverbs and the vocals that fuel them. Across the whole release, introspection is the driving force, reaching for a rich spread of instrumentation and sound sources through which to weave a sad but engaging tale.