Review: Code Is Law chief Moerbeck is back with more austere expressions in greyscale techno. His last release on the label was four years ago so he certainly gets straight down to business on this one. It begins with the 12 minute long track "Think In Waves" which means a lot to the artist as he claims to have produced it last summer on an Akai MPC live on the beach! You can even hear the crashing waves and seagulls in the background. Indeed it is not as brooding as his previous work and is instead full of soul and emotion. "Mint" is definitely something more familiar of the artist - a menacing rave monster which will pummel you into submission, and ending with the greyscale warehouse belter "Tesla" to hammer the message home.
Review: Code is Law has been instrumental in showcasing some fine new producers, and the latest one to appear on the label is Lithuanian artist Specta. On "Empire", it's possible to discern his roots in dub step and jungle as militaristic No U-Turn bass and cold robotic vocal roll over pummelling drums. For the most part though, he is happy to explore peak time techno. Both "Disperse" and "Obscure Surface" are tough, rolling tribal workouts, with the latter impressing more with its Sims-style beats. The title track is the stand out cut though, its screeching siren and hammering rhythm sounding like a modern take on classic Robert Armani.
Review: Stefano Moretti has been active as a DJ and producer since the early 00s, but Tell A Vision is only his second solo release to date. Issued on Moerbeck's label, it starts off in formidable form within "Eyes Wide Shut". The rolling, chugging rhythm houses vocal snatches and a dramatic siren riff that builds and builds. As its title suggests, "Acid TV" is influenced by the 303, with Moretti dropping a bleeding, squelching banger that may be inspired by the gritty sounds of Emmanuel Top. "Tell A Vision" sees Moretti return to the kind of loopy techno territory that "Eyes Wide Shut" inhabits, while rounding off this release is the downtempo "One Eye Open".
Review: Julius Laura?onis aka Under Black Helmet first appeared on the techno radar back in 2015 with Mute. Now Code is Law has commissioned four new remixes of that debut track. First up is label owner M?rbeck, with an interpretation that sees swirling, acrid chords unfold over tough, kicking beats. Fast-rising Dutch producer Remco Beekwilder is next offering up a frenetic, buzz-saw bass and eerie, string-laden reshape of the track. Farrago opts for a more subdued version, stripping the track back to a dubbed out groove featuring hypnotic vocal samples and acid belches. Rounding off this fine remix package is Vril's stepping, electro-funk reshape, which resounds to crisp 808s and powerful snare builds.
Under Black Helmet - "Mutant Beats" - (6:38) 123 BPM
Sawlin - "Sense Of Deepness" - (4:12) 126 BPM
Stefano Moretti - "Let There Be Light" - (5:50) 140 BPM
Review: According to Berlin imprint Code Is Law "every decade a discourse between futuristic movements and retro aesthetics is taking place". And we couldn't think of a more perfect way to describe their meeting of the city's old school versus new school on this brilliant label compilation. Highlights not limited to WYAD's mysterious and arpeggio driven intro "The Lost Tape", the buzzing, broken beat industrial of Marnyc's "Electric Dogs" or the fierce dark side electro of Specta's "Common Talk" (a real highlight). There's some more established names appearing too as we mentioned earlier, such as the Vault Series affiliated Morbeck with the loopy and cyclical "Husky" and Stuttgart legend Janzon with the acid infused peak time stormer "Poetry In Motion". This is fierce!
Review: It's time to batten down the hatches and lock up your daughters as the third Golden Circle compilation lands on Code Is Law. SDB's moody, building banger, "Dissociate" sets the tone, while label regular Stefan Moretti keeps the pace going with "CK", a low-slung, droning affair. Although End Train's "The Whisperer" is more spacious, it still resonates to a clanging metallic rhythm and deranged vocals. It's only a temporary reprieve however, and soon enough, Rommwick, who featured on the first two Golden Circle compilations, blazes through with the distorted kicks and nightmarish synths of "Kolloq". Despite being hard-edged, Golden Circle 003 is never senselessly so, and Irregular Synth's "Multiple Personalities" is a master class in acid techno.
Stefano Moretti & Under Black Helmet - "Break Bitch" - (7:02) 134 BPM
Sawlin - "Ausrasten" - (7:20) 128 BPM
Review: Following on from the first instalment of Golden Circle, issued earlier this year, Moerbeck's label returns with a second volume. Some of the same artists feature again, and
Antonello Teora kicks off this new compilation with the break beat-led deep techno of "I Feel You". There's also a 90s techno style workout from Hadone and a pulsating, electronic disco collaboration, "Break Bitch", from Stefano Moretti and Under Black Helmet, all of who featured on the first instalment. In what is clearly a family affair, label regular Sawlin delivers the noisy broken beat techno of "Ausrasten" and WYAD drops the droning, visceral rhythm of "Authority".
Matt Morra - "Resort To Violence" - (6:40) 136 BPM
Stefano Moretti - "UNT1" - (5:41) 136 BPM
End Train & Burden - "The Poem" (Burden remix) - (6:27) 130 BPM
Pablo Wesler - "Lobos 11-c" - (5:28) 130 BPM
SDB - "SB" - (7:13) 133 BPM
Review: Berlin's Code Is Law label bring us a 10-track collection that explores several different shades of techno. Antonello Teora's 'Mental Wealth' starts us off in melodic, proggy territory, things take a turn for the more glitchy and experimental with End Train's 'The Poem' and Aviron's 'AV112', Glos's 'Post Patch 1.1.2 Arrow Far' is pure Detroit, while Kill Ref's 'Square Rhum' brings a dose of acid and sets us up for the second half, where pounding dark room cuts from Matt Morra, Stefano Moretti, End Train & Burden and SDB go straight for the jugular, only Pablo Weser's 'Lobos 11c' offering brief respite from the madness.
Review: Thirteen is not unlucky for Code is Law, as its owner Moerbeck teams up with newcomer Wyad. The title track sees Moerbeck deliver a deep, electronic groove, while Wyad opts for a similar approach on "Unborn". There, mysterious chants and a chiming groove prevail. In contrast to this style is the sound on Wyad's "Planetary Rituals". The claps are crisp, the kicks tough and both elements provide a backdrop against which eerie chords and synths can unravel. Moerbeck also opts for a mysterious approach on "Black Magic Night", where crunchy drums and a mid-tempo rhythm prevails, while Wyad's "Moonchild" is led by a pulsing groove and relentless chain mail percussion. It makes for a musical but moody release.