Review: Over the past five years, ARTS has become one of techno's most consistent labels. Listening to Dark Matter 002, the latest release from the imprint's owner, Emmanuel, it's not hard to understand why. "Hype Beast" kick starts the EP with a stepping rhythm and filtered chord builds, that are not too far away from Shed's Equalized project. "Rejected" is a far straighter, linear affair, with the Italian producer laying down insistent riffs, tonal stabs and smart filtering, all over banging drums. Leaving the most unusual track to last, "Jungle Ting" sounds like it was inspired by early Oliver Ho, as layered textures and samples unfold over an intricate tribal drum sequenc
Review: Arts label owner Emmanuel teams up with veteran producer Dustin Zahn for this resolutely underground EP. Emmanuel's "Bethide" starts the release in tough mode, with gritty kicks and dense, clicking percussion providing a funky but utilitarian sound. On "Visible Invisible", he veers into a deeper but gloomy direction, as bleak synths unfold over a pumping rhythm. It's a marvellously moody affair. This split release also finds Zahn in uncompromising form; the tribal "Submit Yourself" unfolds to belching acid lines and looped vocal snatches, while on "Eternity's Edge", he lets broken beats and rolling filters provide the basis for dreamy but dark chords.
Review: Not much is known about Ersatz Olfolks, the latest artist to release on Berlin-based ARTS, but whoever is behind the project certainly has a taste for techno's more extreme side. "Proxima Centauri" resounds to distorted kicks and electronic discordance, while on "Gamma Aquarii", the low-profile producer applies the same approach to rolling electro rhythms, with devastating effect. "Irradiated" is even more extreme: paying tribute to the hard acid of 90s acts like Acid Junkies, it features layers of distorted 303s vying for the listener's attention over a pounding kick drums. Unexpectedly, the artist shows their softer side on "Laminar Flow", an introspective, mellow alternative to the preceding abrasive sounds.