Review: Agents of Time are one of Europe's most highly rated techno acts; they have released on Maceo Plex and Jennifer Cardini's labels, have launched their own label and are in-demand live performers. Now they debut on Curle with a potent big room affair. "20 Seconds to Mars" is a tranced out big room number, led by soaring hooks, while at the other end of the spectrum, the Italian pair delivers "Polarized". Led by tight claps and grimy acid squiggles, it's a raw, gritty affair, but still highly effective. However, it's on the title track where they really shine; its combination of shimmering, spine-tingling chords and soaring bass make it the kind of track that will be played by the underground and mainstream artists.
Review: Curle has had a long association with Efdemin; back in 2008, it released the German DJ's mix CD, Carry On - Pretend We Are Not In The Room, a benchmark mix for deep house and techno lovers. Fast forward a decade and the Belgian label is now releasing remixes of Efdemin's best material. First up is Terrence Dixon's take on "America" (which featured on the Carry On mix CD). Billed as a 'Minimal Detroit' mix, it's a slow-paced, head-nodding affair that features the vocal buried deep in the mix. Efdemin's best-known production, "Acid Bells" also gets the remix treatment. While the original was a blissful, tripped out affair, this take by DJ Koze is all grinding percussion and noisy drums.
Review: Efdemin's 2008 mix CD on Curle, Carry On - Pretend We're Not In The Room showed that he was as adept and inventive behind the decks as he was in the studio. A decade later, the same holds true for the follow-up mix, Naif, but this time the boundaries are more blurred. Consisting of 29 unreleased tracks - 10 from the German producer himself and 19 from like-minded artists - the selection runs the gamut, from the hazy, abstract tones of WaWuWe's "Beams" and DIN's noisy "Glide", into hypnotic dance floor techno such as "Laveline", Efdemin's bleep-y collaboration with Konrad Springer, the glorious mid-tempo minimal roller "Watte" - recorded as Sollmann & Gurtler and then 'versioned' by Efdemin and expansive dub tracks from Pom Pom and Marco Shuttle.
Beyond Omega System (original mix) - (11:32) 120 BPM
Hidden Truth (original mix) - (7:55) 120 BPM
Beyond Omega System (Hiver remix 2) - (7:38) 128 BPM
Beyond Omega System (Hiver remix 1) - (6:27) 126 BPM
Review: Belgian Martin Respaut is Foreign Material, also head of new imprint Norite. On the Omega System EP he throws down some pretty deep and majestic techno such as on "Beyond Omega System (original mix)" albeit in restrained fashion but "Hidden Truth (original mix)" gets more epic and mysterious with its rich transcendental pads and bleep melody which is definitely one for the Jeff Mills fans. The Milan based Dude Club residents Hiver throw down a couple of sick remixes of "Beyond Omega System" but it's the driving and adrenalised "Hiver Mix 2" which is really on the money if you ask us.
Review: Franklin De Costa has come a long way since the minimal days, and Tentacles shows that he is maturing as an artist. On "Needles", he delivers a much fuller sound, as a foghorn blares its way through rich chords and a dense rhythm. On the title track, De Costa opts for a far lighter and ultimately atmospheric sound, as a hypnotic, pulsing bass provides the backdrop for chiming, swirling melodies. Finally, "Silkworm" sees him make a return of sorts to his minimal roots; bleeps build and break over an insistent but reduced rhythm that thankfully has none of the hiccups and white noise blasts of old.
Review: "Deeper" was originally featured on Matthew Herbert's Part Two EP, way back in 1996. Since then, that particular 12" has become something of an in-demand item, with the lead cut naturally attracting the most attention. This issue of "Deeper" contains Herbert's original in all its glory - think loopy, low-slung, jazz-flecked hypo-house with woozy, early morning breakdowns - and a fresh remix from label-hopping producer Stuart Li under his familiar Basic Soul Unit alias. He subtly beefs up and speeds up the track, adding some Detroit-influenced keys and fizzing new percussion. The result is a tasty techno revision that pays due reverence to Herbert's thrilling original.