Review: Yan Cook is one of modern techno's most consistent producers, hitting the target with tough, impactful tracks. This release on ARTS is no exception, and gets under way to the sound of the title track's hypnotic pulses and atmospheric synths. "Infrared" is tougher, resounding to rolling tribal drums, insistent filtering and understated vocal samples. "Olympus Mons" sees Cook go deeper, with warm synths, outer space bleeps and crisp claps to the fore, but it's only a temporary divergence: "Shapeshifter" places the Ukranian artist at the very heart of the dance floor, with menacing, Mike Parker-style tones unravelling over heavy kicks.
Review: Paul Roux takes leave from his Memorial Home project with Jeremy Pinchasi to deliver this mesmerising release. It starts with the emotive Detroit techno influenced "The Truth", where Roux fuses heart-rending melodies with a wiry, snaking rhythm. "Transform Mode" sounds like has opted for a more stripped back approach; tough tribal drums and a grungy bass prevail at the outset before he slips into soulful synth sounds. "On Reve" marks a radical departure from Roux's deep dance floor sound, with a funk bass underpinning a spaced out groove littered with vocal samples. The release concludes with another curve ball, the title track's broken beats and sun-kissed melodies.
Review: ARTS has recruited Ecilo for its latest instalment of club-primed techno, and he delivers in style. "Bugi Minimalist", with its insistent chord builds and pounding kicks, sounds like a harder, contemporary version of Ian Pooley's evergreen "Chord Memory", while on the title track, Ecilo chooses a deeper approach, with swirling synths unravelling over hammering drums. "Lorong Hitam" follows in a similar vein, but it sees Ecilo focus on more ominous elements - think the darker side of Technasia - and firing percussion. That same nocturnal element is also audible on "Jiwa Maraenism", where Ecilo fuses a driving rhythm with murky filters and eerie synths.
Review: 2020 was a particularly difficult year for electronic music, with clubs worldwide shuttered, but as the latest compilation from ARTS demonstrates, the techno community has no shortage of creative energy. This ingenuity and creativity is audible in all areas, with Rave Culture platforming new and established artists. MRD and Alfredo Mazzilli both deliver pulsating electronic bangers, while Raar's "Collider" is a moody break beat affair. At the other end of the spectrum, label owner Emmanuel's "Camouflage" is a rave-influenced peak-time roller and I Hate Models drops the stomping but atmospheric "Intergalactic Emotional Breakdown", while other established names, Benjamin Damage and ASC, deliver forceful, musical workouts.
Review: Vinicius Honorio outta Brazil slips out a fourth release for the year on the impenetrable ARTS label following stints on Drumcode and Planet Rhythm among others before that. Going hard as f*** on industrial acid tracks like "Stardust", percussive, dub techno and warped tribal elements push through to the surface on "Le Boi". Groovier, almost housed-up rhythms hit the beat in "They Are The Same" with its narrative vocal and storytelling, with a burning rhythm-track and warehouse groove sealing the deal in "Ebb & Flow". It's ARTS, it's techno.
Review: Following a series of well-received releases on Par Avion and Glass Talk, Henry Greenleaf debuts on ARTS. Caught is sure to turn a lot of heads; the title track is a Detroit-influenced stepper that uses tripped out samples - is it a voice or a synth? - while on "Pass Up", Greenleaf focuses on a similar approach, but this time puts expansive textures at the heart of his broken beats. On "Sign Replacement", he heads towards the dance floor, but his approach is unconventional, with a wall of glitchy bleeps fused with his relentless breaks. "Formula" is another rich amalgamation of sound, with slowed down sirens and gloopy tones unravelling over tight drums.
Review: This may be MRD's debut release, but it's still an unforgettable EP. The title track is a pumping, pulsating affair that resounds to a lean electronic bass and hushed vocal samples - the overall track sounds like a pumped up, techno take on electroclash. On "Oslo", this emerging producer channels the spirit of classic trance, overlaying dreamy melodies against the backdrop of pounding kicks, while on "Lost Friends" he utilises a different proposition and drops pounding tribal drums as the basis for tranced out hooks. "Full Clip" sees an even darker approach, as a breakneck rhythm underpins dark riffs that burn with dark intent.
Review: After a series of releases for labels like Apotek and Knotweed, Non Reversible debuts on Arts with a stunning EP. The title track is based on pounding drums and resounds to a mixture of sweeping, epic filters and surging acid lines, like Mark Williams meets Emanuel Top. On "Transcendence", a similar rhythmic approach applies, with the fast-rising artist dropping a looped vocal sample against the backdrop of tranced out synths that shimmer and cascade their way to a fitting climax. "Hypnotism" is set to a similar pace, with Non Reversible delivering a fast-paced roller that is redolent of the more frenetic end of loop techno labels like Primate.
Review: Having impressed with releases on Developer's Modularz label, Yan Cook now brings his Rhomb project to the ARTS imprint. "Artefact" is a hypnotic roller, featuring high-frequency electronic blips exploding over a robust, menacing rhythm. "21" sees Cook venture farther down this direction, with jagged string stabs fired like arrows over tough drums and a relentless, looped groove. The title track marks a shift in direction: while it is also primed for club use, it has a less intense feeling thanks to its tranced out melodies and acidic undercurrents. Consolidating this shift towards a deeper sound is "Lima", where the sublime synths and lean rhythm sound similar to Petar Dundov's reflective techno.