Review: The latest release on AE Recordings showcases a whole host of excellent producers versed in the language of icy Scandinavian techno. Anton Kubikov is up first with the forlorn leads and dubby ripples of "When Is Deep", which is followed up by a wonderfully dusty deep house locomotive from Ohm & Octal Industries. Thor gets into a strident micro house groove on "Who Stole My Yacht", peppering the swung drums with plenty of immersion chamber echoes and pings. SCSI9 makes a welcome return to close the record out with "Aetherius", a classic minimal tech house bouncer with plenty of spooky atmospherics on top of the mid-00s flavoured synth hooks.
Review: Thule's dark doppelganger AE Recordings was revived with the excellent Freyja EP by NonniMal, and now the saga continues with this devastatingly on-point release from Cold. Much like the vibe on Thule, the music on AE continues to channel the mood of the icy tundra into refined, modern club tracks, but there's definitely a more sinister intent at work in these tracks from Cold. "Aerials" is a nightmarish chugger loaded with eerie sonics, while "Phased Out" lays down some fine dubby processing over a bed of chilly chord pulses. "Exiles" is a standout track thanks to its crafty groove, coming on a little more housey than its counterparts but still heavier than the average Thule jam.
Review: As Icelandic techno receives recognition like never before, so NonniMal steps up to AE Recordings with a fine EP that sports many of the hallmarks of this particular corner of Scandinavian culture. There's a spacious, dubby minimalism that pervades throughout Freyja, but what really sets the EP apart is the considered deployment of found sounds, heavily processed and sticking out in the mix to inject some unpredictable energy into these largely calm oceans of rhythmic hypnosis. Even without such decoration the music is exemplary, as on the haunting lilt of the title track with its subtly shifting pads tuned to the emotional maximum.