Review: Representing the evergreen acid sound is Lorenz Audio with this superb two-tracker for Clone's Basement imprint. The title track sounds like it was inspired by Plastikman's seminal remix of System 7's "Alphawave", with 303s gurgling their way over an insistent, tight rhythm. Lorenz Audio adds in some bleak synth stabs to create an even greater sense of drama. "Scanline" inhabits a similar space: this time, it feels like Lorenz Audio is inspired by more recent acid pioneers, such as Lost Trax, and the track's surging 303s and doubled-up thunderclaps are not too far removed from that mysterious act's productions.
Review: Following last year's Face Me release, Ryan James Ford returns to Clone's Basement Series offshoot with a no-nonsense affair. The title track is a peak-time banger led by ominous, chiming bells and stomping kicks, while on "Love Child (Wood Mix)", he opts for a similar albeit not as intense approach, with layered bells unravelling over an acid-tinged tribal rhythm. "Chelmsford (Live Mix)" sees Ford opt for a grittier approach, with the visceral kicks inspired by Jeff Mills' gritty take on techno. Meanwhile, on "Ban This", he delivers nightmarish synth lines over a pummelling drum track, a rousing finale for this hard-hitting EP.
Review: Based on the concept of 'repetitive variation', the ever-prolific Aleksi Perala's latest long player is a wonderfully vivid affair. It moves from the high-pitched melodic tones and breezy rhythm of "NLL561908690" and the beautiful, expansive deep techno of "NLL561908692" into more morose, acid-tweaked tracks like "NLL561908691 and the jerky groove of "NLL561908693". Apart from the somewhat unwieldy track titles, the Finnish producer's lovingly-crafted analogue tracks stand out from 99% of contemporary techno - even when he goes down a more stripped back route, as is audible on "NLL561908694", the resulting clanging groove could only be the work of Aleksi Perala.
Review: While Alden Tyrell initially rose to prominence with Italo and electro-influenced work on Clone during the early 00s, the Vorm Variaties series has seen him explore a tougher, more techno-oriented sound. This approach is audible from the get-go on this compilation: "Lash Out" sees him loop a vocal sample over punishing kick drums and a steely rhythm, while on "Game Theory", he deploys shimmering synths and vocal snatches over a Levon Vincent-style groove. Meanwhile, on tracks like "Angular' and "Sherman Paradox", Tyrell goes tougher, with its lean percussion and corrosive chords calling to mind the work of Mike Denhert. It's an impressive artistic shift.
Review: Alden Tyrell continues his voyage into the heart of techno purism on this fourth instalment of the Vorm Variaties series. "Interceptor", with its gated chord stabs and relentless steely percussion, sounds like it was the byproduct of Berlin basements rather than the Dutch West Coast. On a similar tip is "Poly Zes", which sees Tyrell occupy the same kind of heads-down, stepping techno style that was pioneered by Mike Dehnert and his Fachwerk label. The biggest surprise however occurs on "Covert"; clearly influenced by the raw 90s techno of Rob Hood and Jeff Mills, it's an inspired, somewhat analogue rhythmic workout.
Review: The third instalment of Alden Tyrell's 909-centred, techno-basedVorm Variaties series gets a digital release. "Payload", with its clanging metallic bass and pumping rhythm, is a proper warehouse techno affair, similar in style and execution to the type of cavernous but deft approach that you would expect to hear on a Peter Van Hoesen record. On "Take it Slow", Tyrell heeds his own advice; the groove is less insistent, but a similar clanging bass and high-pitched tonal loops are still audible. This combination ensures that the Dutch producer will keep his audience focused on these effortlessly crafted dance floor techno tracks.
Review: Alden Tyrell keeps the pressure up with the second instalment in his Vorm Variaties series. "Sherman Paradox", with its heads down rhythm and soaring but sinister dub chords, is redolent of Fachwerk at its most utilitarian and has more in common with Berlin than the Dutch west coast. On "Angular", he continues to explore this approach; the percussion is razor sharp and the chords sweep in like dark storm clouds over a city skyline. It contains no trace of Tyrell's Italo-inspired past, but if you're looking for heads-down basement techno, then you have come to the right place.
Review: Vorm Variaties (sic) is a new series from Alden Tyrell, which is due to yield a total of five records. In contrast to his Italo-inspired records, this first instalment is pure warehouse techno mayhem. The aptly-named "Lash Out" is built on concrete kicks and a sledgehammer rhythm, with Tyrell deploying a stuttering vocal sample to great effect. "Game Theory" isn't quite as visceral, but it does uses similar tactics: the backing track is tough and jacking and there's also a looped vocal sample, but his love for melodies resurfaces in the form of an infectious, churning chord sequence.
Review: Known primarily for his work on Marcel Dettmann's MDR and his own Shut imprint, Ryan James Ford now spreads his wings with this EP on Clone's Basement spin-off. "Face Me (Inside Mix)" resounds to a tranced out, frosty melody and a rolling tribal rhythm, while on "BX 19 GTX", he opts for a tougher approach; static crackles over grayscale synths as he lays down a hammering rhythm. There's a similar aesthetic at play on "Amethyst (Tri dub)", which comprises a driving, wiry techno rhythm that's shot through with crackling electronic riffs. However, Ford is nothing if not diverse, and "Dames Shmedt" is an acid-heavy groove, while on "M21 Junction 20W" he drops a dreamy slice of 90s techno-trance.
Review: Cadans AKA Jeroen Snik has released on labels like Tripeo and Balans in the past, but it's Clone's Basement Series that has been his most constant platform. Returning to CBS after 2017's 1 Bar FU, the local Dutch producer drops a four track EP that sits somewhere between house, techno and broken beat. Jarring, detuned noises and disorientating vocals are at the heart of No Connection, whilst on Uncuttable he drops a rolling percussive groove that is shot through with mesmerising bells and powered by tinny drums. It makes for an individualistic style, one that reaches an intense climax on the visceral kicks and half-heard vocals of Clocked.
Review: Cadans aka Jeroen Snik returns to Clone Basement,having made his debut or that label back in 2015. Since then, the Dutch artist in London has released on Tripeo and Wolfskuil, but the Clone empire seems like his most natural environment. The title track is a raucous affair, with drums rolling over a jittery, shaky rhythm as a repetitive vocal plays away in the background. It's raw, noisy and extremely funky. On "Dominion", he opts for a straighter approach, as a murky jacking rhythm and cheese-wire percussion prevail. Cadans completes his second release with a looped, tool version of the title track, where the vocal sounds more high-pitched.
Review: Rohan Walder clocks in for this third Randomer outing on Clone's Basement Series in as many years, with Concierge arriving as the Londoner's first 12" transmission of 2016. The template is pretty much laid down now for the Basement series and there is always some real gratifying techno to be found from those who step up to contribute. Title cut "Concierge" finds Walder's well-documented talent for crafting unique drum patterns really come to the fore on a dramatic, meaty production and sits well next to the more bugged out B-side. "Woodwork" is, in a word, trippy, leading out like Felix Da Housecat's "Kickdrum" before veering off down a wormhole of crazed percussive notes and mangled samples that gets increasingly crazier as it progresses - we really need to hear this one on a big system wow.
Review: Some years back, Aleksi Perala joined forces with Rephlex co-founder Grant Wilson-Claridge to invent a custom musical scale, The Colundi Sequence, which boasts 128 frequencies "chosen via experimentation and philosophy". Perala has been using this as the basis of his attractive electronic work for some time, self-releasing 15 EPs of tracks since 2014. This epic, triple-vinyl album gathers together highlights from the previously download-only series - all with deliberately obtuse titles, made up of letters and numbers - and accurately showcases the depth and diversity of Perala's work. Clone is calling it "spiritual techno", and that's an excellent catch-all description for a set that variously touches on Motor City futurism, IDM, electro, dub techno, ambient and Rephlex-esque "braindance".
Review: Back in 2009, Fachwerker Mike Denhert was employed by Clone to launch their robust, no-nonsense Basement Series with the Umlaut2 12" which packed a memorable Levon remix. Denhert's entered the Clone Basement several times since then, this 12" is his fourth for the series! The title track sets the tone, with steely percussive hits and razor-sharp stabs riding a swinging, funk-fuelled groove. "Wokabeat" is deeper, darker and more obviously bass-heavy, with Denhert adding skipping cymbals as a neat contrast. Arguably best of all, though, is closer "Say How", whose cut-up vocal samples and sweaty rave stabs perfectly compliment his tracky, locked-in, snare-heavy techno groove. There are few surprises, but all four tracks hit home hard.
Review: In which the acclaimed UK producer Rohan 'Randomer' Walder gets together with Cadans. Despite only having one previous release to his credit, we can assume that the division of labour is equal on this joint venture. "Angry Fiddle" sees the pair drop cavernous, pounding drum patterns, riffs so abrasive they could bleach a mould-encrusted bathroom and a high-pitched sample that could be the fiddle referred to in the title. "Lottarump" isn't quite as forceful and its buzzing riffs and cut-up vocal sample suggest that the pair like to walk on the lighter side of the bass-techno spectrum.
Review: Dave '2562' Huismans returns to Clone Basement Series for the first time since 2012, with another installment of the ongoing Archive series. As usual, there's plenty to enjoy, with opener "Cheater VIP" - much sought-after since he dropped it in his Boiler Room set last year - providing the near perfect fusion of funk-fuelled techno rhythms, metallic percussion and industrial textures. "Funkstation" is an altogether creepier, deeper proposition, with sinewy strings and discordant horn samples complimenting a sludgy groove. The rolling intensity of "Us" ups the creepy stakes even further, helped, in no small part, by some particularly ghostly cymbals.
Review: Tripeo is the pseudonym for Dutch producer Darko Esser and the project focuses on heads down, stripped back techno. Certainly, this release for the Clone mini-empire pulls no punches. "Kuebiko" is a deranged affair; its analogue howls and squeals spiral to the surface and threaten to rage out on control but for the sinewy sub-bass that holds the arrangement together. On the title track, Esser deploys a buzz-saw bass over a relentless, pumping rhythm, while "Qwerty" offers an even more thrilling interpretation of dance floor functionality. Claps roll in like thunder, heavy drums crash and grind and a pulsing, punishing bass drives the arrangement.
Review: Having struggled to find his niche during the early part of his career, things started looking up for Randomer when he popped up on Numbers back in 2011 with the bombastic blends of acid house and techno that made up his impressive Real Talk EP. Since then, he's impressively flitted between techno and bass music, and here delivers an all-out techno assault for Clone's occasional Basement Series. There's a real no-nonsese feel to the relentless kick-drums and cut-up vocal samples of "Stupid Things I Do", which comes in "New School" and "Old School" mix formats (the latter including some looser techno breakbeats, and thus being our pick). The EP also includes two formidable percussion workouts, which deliver driving drums and booming basslines.
Review: Gerd dons his Literon guise for some hard-hitting, no-nonsense techno. As anyone who is familiar with the insane Machines release on Fortek is aware, the Dutch producer is just as adept at creating tough rhythm tracks as he is at making sensuous deep house. On the title track, he delivers a hammering, relentless groove, the dense drums and driving arrangement opening up to reveal an insistent, looped vocal snatch. "Freak Function" is redolent of late '90s techno, its tribal, steely drums riding an incessant filter. But while Exploitation sees Gerd pursue a tougher approach than usual, he can't escape his house background and "Function" also contains a breathy vocal sample.
Review: Recent editions of the Jack For Daze series from producers such as Roman Flugel or L-Vis 1990 have demonstrated Clone are more than willing to work with producers outside of their usual remit if the figurative shoe fits. The label's Basement Series has however remained resolute in its focus on gnarly, mind warping techno from the underground. Thus, a debut on the Clone Basement Series for Najem Sworb makes perfect sense; the intriguingly named producer from Strasbourg is hardly an established name, yet this is rendered somewhat irrelevant when you come into contact with the four tracks on this Renow EP. Sworb's production style is best described an overwhelmingly rugged take on techno that feels like Mike Parker's Geophone explorations transported to outer space.
Review: Dave Huismans swiftly follows on from that incendiary 50 Weapons 12" with an equally explosive return to the Clone Basement Series. One of the first names to contribute to the series back in 2009, both "Hang Up" and "Sweetback" find Huismans eschewing the jagged, garage flecked drill techno dynamism of last year's "Take The Plunge" for some of his "most banging, straight-forward club material to date". The lead track is bristling with uneasy liquid funk, heavily diced Hancock vibes cascading around the buccaneering drum patterns with glee. "Sweetback," meanwhile, creeps out from the murky depths, driven by dust battered kicks and gnarly, sinewy analogue twists - there's no greater philosophy at work here, it's simply dark techno for dark rooms.
Review: The name Alden Tyrell will be more familiar to long term advocates of the Clone Empire rather than those who might have been introduced to the myriad of Dutch labels in recent times by EPs from Untold and Blawan. That's mostly because the Dutch legend hasn't exactly been active of late in the old releasing records game, preferring to slip out the odd remix or concentrate on mammoth tasks like remastering the back catalogue of Drexciya for Clone. Those not so familiar with Tyrell could do worse than change that by starting with the two heaving slabs of monolithic techno that make up this mammoth contribution to the Clone Basement Series! There's a touch of Fachwerk to the growling tunnel-like groove of "Rush" which is offset by the rising key stabs which no doubt helped influence the title, while the excellently named "Tntus" sounds like it would consume your every last sense in the perfect environment - a dark, cramped basement with little light and plenty of speaker racks.
Review: After the conceptual nature of Escapism, the recent Delsin album from the perma-brilliant Conforce, Mr Bunnik returns to the Clone Basement Series with the totally essential 24 EP. Recently the focus of a must read feature on the new breed of Dutch techno via our sister site Juno Plus, this release finds Conforce in deadly form approaching the art of the genre from different, equally sharp angles with precision results. Opening with "Grain" Bunnik pounds spectrally charged vocal groans with unrelenting layers of percussive intent and the increasing gurgle of analogue malfunction, whilst "Be There At Night" is looser in feeling, as jacking rhythms threaten to slip out of time amidst the intermittent granite thick rave stabs. On the flip recent Moustache Techno signee Gesloten Cirkel remixes the title track "24" shifting the dubby wormhole shuffle down a gear or two and introducing some delightful string plucked sensuousness.
Review: For those with no concept of the studio intricacies that go into producing music, there are certain artists whose traits ensure their productions constantly fascinate. Mr kick drum Blawan certainly falls into that category. The London based Barnsley lad has enjoyed what some people might call a rip roaring 2011, scoring success after success on whatever label is lucky enough to house his music as well as starting his own label initiative with Pariah in the shape of Works The Long Nights. Given the increasingly bezerk techno nature of Blawan's material, it seems natural that one of this year's most consistent imprints in Clone would seek him out for some magic. And Peaches is up there with Blawan's finest work, smartly following Untold's debut on the Basement Series with four track based variations on the fruit every bit as devastating as the Hemlock boss's 12". Those trademark burrowing rhythms and indescribable drums sounds are present throughout each track and you get the feeling Blawan has as much fun making this sort of music as we do listening to it.
Review: Hemlock boss Untold surfaces on the evergreen Clone imprint with this absolutely blinding EP for their Basement Series. Much like Trago and Bok Bok collaborating, the sight of one of the UK's premier producers on one of our favourite Dutch label makes for exciting times. "Little Things Like That" is resolutely booming techno music, effortlessly stepping up the gears of dancefloor menace towards a subway sized juggernaut of rasping, finely sculpted pressure. Up next, "Bachelors Delight" merges the bassier excesses of Untold's background with a 4/4 flex, dipping the expertly syncopated drums in a sub bass swamp lifted from the harsher end of 2step. This is music that was made for the Basement Series and naturally gets a BIG TIP from us!
Review: Clone stalwart Dexter maintains his sumptuous run of form this year with the Great Northern Driver EP. The title track's booming bass drum and chirruping sonic elements draw a line between vintage electro and modern UK bass ala Julio Bashmore. Those of you with inferior soundsystems can indulge in the less throbbing delights of the 'no bass' version. Although the world probably doesn't need another Amerie sampling track, Dexter's deep, dusty revision is probably the best we've heard - indeed we'd go as far as to say it's downright excellent. Finally, the droning low frequencies of "Bo-Dyned" round off an essential release.
Review: Dutch producer Gert-Jan Bijl aka Gerd's Time & Space is one of those 90s techno tracks that manages to evoke feelings of euphoria and foreboding. Unearthed by Gerd on a DAT tape during a spring clean, its mixture of turbo-powered hoover bass and the lost innocence of the vocal samples casts it in the same mould as Suburban Knight's classic "The Art Of Stalking". The 2011 remix is more jacking and makes a play of eerie, nightmarish chords instead of the purring bass, while Dutch colleague Duplex opts for a different approach. Remaining true to the original version, both his Southside and Northside remixes are powered by the kind of pre-hardcore nocturnal bass that will give you nightmares. The latter just about shades it in the spooky stakes with Duplex messing with the original vocal sample.
Review: Clone and Conforce seem like such a perfect fit and the latter's debut on the former's Basement Series does not disappoint, delivering some of his darkest sweatbox rattlers to date! "Spoiled" drips with jerky acid menace, with heavy strains of synthesized horror filling the spaces between dizzying bouts of percussive rain. It's this staccato approach to rhythmic execution that proves utterly thrilling. "Vulcan" twists itself inside out, beginning in stripped down fashion with rasping hi-hats providing the rhythmic thrust which is gradually strangled by the death grip of the raw emotive machine funk narcosis that steadily rises to the fore. Finally XDB comes through with two variants on "Spoiled" with the relentless percussive shower of the first remix a nice contrast with the more guttural acid poise of the second.