Review: Usually, De:tuned puts out reissues, so Communion marks something of a departure for the label. It's Kirk Degiorgio's first studio album in 15 years under the As One project, and as befits its heritage, it's a gloriously widescreen affair. There's the dreamy ambience of "Absorption Spectra" and both "Downburst" and "Irimias" fuse similar sound scapes with brittle electro back beats. "The Ladder" sees Degiorgio push farther in the Detroit techno direction, guided on the way by out space blips, while the serene "Aimpoint" is redolent of the deeper than deep ambient-techno sound he explored on the classic As One album, Reflections. It's a timeless work.
Review: Three despatches from the outer limits of the jazz spectrum make up an EP that defies easy categorisation. As One's 'Elsewhere' is up first, and comes on like a free jazz excusion underpinned by the intriguing combination of a live double bass line and an almost jungle tempo breakbeat. As One are then back again to take on Sensurreal's 'NewBrandDesign', which again has Reece/Bukem-ish drums but married in this instance to long, lingering pads, disco stabs, shimmering keys and more. And then there's Jedi Knights' 'Solina', again remixed by As One into a head-fried slice that draws on Detroit techno for inspiration. An interesting package that rewards repeat listening.
Scanner - "Eros" (Bitten By The Black Dog) - (5:54) 122 BPM
The Future Sound Of London - "Monolith" - (3:59) 93 BPM
Review: There's no doubt that 90s UK techno is popular again - just look at Discogs prices for confirmation of the renewed interest in this form. But what do those revered acts sound like now? The exhaustive 2016 compilation, Brainbox, did much to shine a light on those artists' current trajectory and this follow up remix package also does a fine job. The Black Dog deliver an atmospheric ambient take on Scanner's "Eros", while on Future Sound of London's "Monolith", a somewhat bleaker, dystopian take on ambience is audible. That said, classic UK techno also had a place on the dance floor; Kirk Degiorgio's tunneling take of B12's "World's End" - remixed under his Future/Past name - and Mark Broom's skeletal electro version of the same track show that nearly 25 years later, that this remains the case.
Review: Here's a reissue that stands tall and proud above most re-releases. Belgian label De:tuned has worked with UK producer Kirk Degiorgio to unearth some UK techno gems from his Future/Past DATs. First up is a melancholic break beat take on "Hyperspace", which Degiorgio has dubbed the ultimate version of the track. "TRY 2004 Funk Mix 2", a wiry techno funk affair that leans on Detroit influences, is also made available here, alongside the busy, bleepy "Locator", which also only appeared on a CD compilation. Rounding off this excellent reissue is 'Cosmos'; previously unreleased, its crunchy, hyper-speed break beats and low slung tones define the wild, weird and wonderful sensibilities that prevailed during early 90s UK techno.
Review: The mood on the eighth volume of Eps dedicated to celebrating De:tuned's 10th birthday is darker than previous editions. It begins with a new, full-on version of Humanoid's "Stakker" - renamed here as "ST8818r" - replete with coruscating acid lines and stomping break beats. Mike Dred aka Kosmik Kommando's timeless rave track "Biosurvival" also gets an airing, before Luke Vibert slows the pace down with the grinding "The Banter Notes". DE:10.08 also gets extra kudos for including a track from the brilliant - and underrated act - Air Liquide. In keeping with the overall acid-fried theme, they contribute the mind-bending "Strunkelpotz".
Review: Moth is John Beltran's follow-up album to his 90s long player Ten Days of Blue, and proves to be a worthy successor. There's the jittery rhythms of "Wet With Rain" and the Detroit techno "Flight", while on "The Returning Dance" and "Nineteen Eighty Nine", the US producer looks to Larry Heard for inspiration as he drops emotive deep house tracks that centre on bleeding basslines and vivid melodies. Beltran's trademark ambient sounds are also present, with "Whatever The Road Brings" delivering chiming melodies over subtle rhythms, while the ethereal "Street Lights" and "My Robot" represents Beltran at his esoteric best.
Review: De:tuned's tenth anniversary series continues with another rock solid EP packed with previously unheard treats. John Beltran steals the show with inspired opener "Juliette", an outer space Detroit techno number that underpins melancholic chords and dreamy electronics with a bustling, futurist rhythm track. Elsewhere, Altern8 man Mark Archer wraps dreamy, mood-enhancing riffs around crunchy machine drums on the luxurious "Depth From Within", Future Beat Alliance doffs a cap to vintage ambient techno and IDM on the shuffling bliss of "Reflected Notes" and Max404 gets busy with pots-and-pans drum hits, smooth acid bass and elongated organ chords on excellent EP closer "Butterflying".
Review: Belgian label De:tuned delivers another cracking release after trawling through Luke Vibert's archives. "Balath" sees the maverick UK producer fuse mind-bending acid lines with crisp, up-tempo electro rhythms, while a similar, but somewhat noisier approach applies on "Worry Ledge". There, eerie tones and buzzing acid unfold over a fast, rolling 808-driven groove. "pHIacid" sees Vibert slow down the tempo and introduce what sounds like a mixture between an easy listening arrangement and funfair music, with this unusual fusion daubed in layers of acid. Finally, "Arcadia" resounds to noisy drums and twisted 303 lines. Irrespective of its provenance, the material on Arcadia makes for a fascinating release
Spacetime Continuum - "Only One Sky" - (6:02) 125 BPM
Scanner - "Mothlit" - (6:42) 117 BPM
Ross 154 - "Eath To Our Freinds" - (8:03) 134 BPM
Leo Anibaldi - "Crion" - (5:08) 139 BPM
Review: While a cynic might argue that De:tuned's tenth anniversary celebrations have been more prolonged than Liberace's last party, it has nonetheless resulted in some truly unforgettable electronic music being issued. Here, the selection moves from Spacetime Continuum's atmospheric ambient techno on "Only One Sky" and the dreamy textures of Ross 154's "Eath To Our Freinds" [sic] before a slightly darker and more ominous approach prevails on the slow, nightmarish beats of Scanner's "Mothlit". Closing out this seventh instalment of De:tuned's tenth anniversary celebrations is a more mellow piece - the loose drums and dreamy melodies of Leo Anibaldi's "Crion".
Review: Celebrating its tenth anniversary, the De:tuned label digs deep into the world of 90s ambient to mark the occasion with three sublime cuts. "Every Now And Then", courtesy of Thomas Fehlmann's Sun Electric project, is a wispy, ethereal affair, while on "Shift", the brilliant - and often overlooked - Higher Intelligence Agency deliver a glorious slice of acid-soaked electro. It's the kind of track that inspired the current penchant for the glitchy end of electronic music. However, the real highlight here is Deepchord's "Garden". Led by breathy, textured synths and a gentle, rolling groove, it's the definition of deep music for the head and feet.
Review: Initially a party organisation from Belgium, De:tuned has become a record label for reanimating the sounds from electronic music's early days. Run by Ruben Boons and Bert Hermans, it continues with the cherry-picked selections for its 10th anniversary with volume 5 in the celebratory series. Terrace (aka Stefan Robbers) and Nu Era (aka Marc Mac, best known as a founding member of 4 Hero) channel the timeless spirit of Detroit styled hi-tech soul and Jupiter jazz with their stellar contributions. While electro is the order of the day elsewhere, courtesy of legend Carl Finlow on the dystopian electro bass of "Photo Array" and new school heroes London Modular Alliance going further into dystopian and sci-fi aesthetics on the powerful "D6".
Review: Most box-set releases tend to focus on reissues and re-releases, but on Brainbox De:tuned opts for a different approach. The compilation features artists who defined European techno and electronica's golden age during the 90s, but the Belgian label has commissioned new or unreleased material from these acts. Fans of that era will be thrilled by B12's moody electro, the raw, analogue warmth of John Beltran's "Nineteen Eighty Nine" and the resonating bass-y techno of In:Sync's "Crack in the World". While not every track impresses - Move D's contribution sounds tepid - there are enough jaw-dropping piece of music on this compilation, witness the autumnal majesty of as One's "Where Did He Go & Why" to make Brainbox an essential release.