Dekmantel is a Dutch label, events company, festival and DJ collective that’s been providing the good vibes since 2009. Co-founded by Thomas Martojo and Casper Tielrooij, Dekmantel is now one of Amsterdam’s ‘most respected sources of forward-thinking house and techno’ music. The label has an abundance of peak time heaters, including Palms Trax’s ‘To Paradise’, Fatima Yamaha’s ‘Araya’ and Jex Opolis’ ‘Earth Boy’. Other artists to release on Dekmantel include: Tom Trago, Randomer, Space Dimension Controller, Young Marco, Juju & Jordash, Joey Anderson, Bufiman, Peaking Lights, Robert Hood, upsammy and many more.
Review: Dekmantel introduces the solo sounds of Phillip Jondo - one half of the Gardland duo (Lullabies For Insomniacs), Spa Recordings label boss, and Salon des Amateurs resident DJ. Having given Dekmantel a podcast back in 2017 - and contributed to Lena Wilikens Selectors 005 compilation, - Jondo secures a full debut opus with the Little Princess EP. Full of weirdo drum patterns, subtle rave influences and plenty of new age motifs, the EP also features collaborations with one Maxwell Sterling (Ecstatic and AD 93) and Boomkat and Livity Sound associate, DJ Plead. Full of blooming spirals of hypercolour and positive synth to broken beats, jungle rhythms, grime melodies and falling 808s - there's a fair dose of tribal, south London deconstructed dance, and new school electronica too.
Review: Primo Dutch streetwear store Patta and choice selectors Dekmantel hook up once more for their 2021 collection, bringing the world of positive chance the opportunity to delve through a new range of wardrobes, prints, catch phrases and accessories. On the music side of things, this year's collection commissions the likes of Nous'klaer recording artist Nadia Struiwigh with a blustery epic "PIEEC" that finds its place in association with Mary Lake's familiar synth trope "Back From Crete". DJ Corridor fills in the middle section with a lo-fi jungle explosion of warehouse IDM, electro and leftfield house next to Alberta Balsam's very synthy and tonal "Pyramids". Cinnaman makes an appearance with a lo-fi rhythm section plus touches of acid in "Duck", while the artist Jasmin turns it up with experimental and broken beat driven "Purl Stitch Knitting". Introducing Nathan Kofi with an extra expressive synth tip, Unknown To The Unknown affiliate Naone goes low, industrial and electro on "Beamd".
Review: A few years back, Jacco Gardner and Nic Mauskovic joined forces to release a handful of rather good EPs inspired by -in their words - "a psychedelic journey into the tropics". Muscle Memory, the pair's first full-length as Bruxas, continues this approach, combining Mauscovic's love of infectious global rhythms and spaced-out dub disco effects with Gardner's alternately warming and out-there synth sounds. It's undoubtedly a winning formula, with highlights including the cheery synth-tropicala of 'Bodywarmer', the Italo-goes-tropical happiness of 'Cogelo, Rapido', the slow-motion eccentricity of 'Minitrip' and the accurately titled Afro-syth/space disco fusion of 'Crazy Spacey'.
Review: With leaps and bounds the meteoric rise of Dutch producer Upsammy sees no end. Following the release of her Zoom LP that Dekmantel put out last year, she follows it up with a fresh selection of clicks and cuts teeming with her now trademark modular glockenspiel sound, bringing back memories of Schiller's classic trance anthem (and Tiesto's remix!). From the outset "Worm" takes charge as this EP's most direct number with its reinforced kick drum, whereas something like "Spat" revels in the syncopation of its groove, glitchy percussion and atonal musicality - next to some sweet minimal piano. Find something softer and more dreamlike in "Metallic" while "Flutter" takes the scenic route through a heavy field of harpsichord expressionism and broken beat rhythms.
Review: By and large known for his work at Will & Ink and Bonny Donny to other labels like Royal Oak, Heist and Wolf Music, Frits Wentink brings to Dekmantel a very personal concept album that takes in the inspiration of American visual artist Erik Madigan Heck to the whispered guest vocals of Hollywood actress Tilda Swinton. A largely ambient, choral and classical experience graced by poetic passages of the forlorn, a bridge into techno is crossed by the radical and deconstructed grooves of tracks like "A Fracture In The Vapor" next to Frits Wentink's 'Garden' mix of "Safe Passages". Find walls of noise in BvDub's remix next to the hype DnB sounds of "Delusion Of Safety" in an album that Dekmantel calls a soundtrack in which many people will find solace in those they remember. Find extra digital only remixes from Matthew Herbert and The Soft Pink too!
Review: While 2020 has not been plain sailing for much-loved Dutch label Dekmantel, the imprint has continued to release some superb music - as this sampler style round-up of their best moments of the last 12 months proves. It begins with a rare (and inspired) outing from Jan Schulte's more dancefloor-focused Bufiman project ('Sara Sara') and ends with the gently unfurling ambient brilliance of Laura Agnusdei's 'Fuga'; in between, you'll find such sumptuous treats as Upsammy's sparkling, warm and dizzyingly up-tempo 'Extra Warm', the toasty, quietly colourful brilliance of Space Dimension Controller's 'Planete contraire', the thrillingly-percussive heaviness of Mauskovich Dance Band's 'Extra Ventura' and the clandestine creepiness of Max Abysmal's 'Quod Libet'.
Review: An artist to rise up through the ranks of Rotterdam's Pinkman label (with a split sojourn on Brokntoys too) Identified Patient's returns to Dekmantel UFO with Nerve Deposit. Finding a new home on the Dekmanel sub-label that's pushing an experimental, futuristic and harder edged techno, electro and electronica sound, Nerve Depsoit finds it self steeped in something breakbeat, deeper and hardcore. Touching on chop & screwed drum & bass in tracks like "Secretary" alongside heavier industrial electro in "Territory Doubt" to the EBM and gothic sounds in "Visualize It", Identified Patient verges into dubstep with "Low Kust" while turning up the sleazy and rave aesthetics in "Lust Mountain".
Review: A less is more approach from the post-mixdown mind of the venerable Jan Schulte, aka Wolf Muller, operating here under his Bufiman alias! Schulte first debuted the project via Versatile Records back in 2015 and with this three-track maxi he delivers a stripped back, bonus mixdown of the Albumsi LP Dekmantel released earlier this year. Described as a release for world peace and dance music for frogs, this follow up is largely inspired by a sleeping Dutch classic called Jive Rhythm Trax, with Bufiman turning in some downbeat, slo-mo rave vibes in "Under Control Now' - serious warehouse heat - to the solidly warped tropical tones and percussive drum machine mainframes of "Apo-Calypso". Find the EP's ultimate rhythm number in "Hoolock Rock". Bufiman goes Drumsi.
Review: Since Upsammy emerged in mysterious fashion for Die Orakel in 2018 the producer has established herself as a fresh entity breaking new ground in abstract and experimental dance music. With a split release on Whities and a debut album for Nous'klaer Audio adding to the hype surrounding Upsammy's music too, this Zoom LP adds yet another shade of sound to her growing discography, in this case for Dekmantel something metallic, bit-graded, and tropicana. With bleep culture, jungle and future sub-pop influences meeting higher tempo percussion and Afro-centric rhythms, these inspirations are woven together furthermore by dub, some nerdy synthesis, broken beats and syncopation. Zoom in, Sammyup!
Review: Hello Wisconsin! Say Dekmantel who at the moment pour their interests into the electric folk, pop and synthwave of American husband and wife duo Peaking Lights. With their indie sound familiar to labels like Mexican Summer, City Slang and Not Not Fun, this E S C A P E album follows up the Sea of Sand maxi-EP released by Dekmantel in 2018. A stand out studio work, this 2020 release sees the duo go dubby in "Dreams", industrial and synthwave in "Innerterrestrial" to beatdown, psychedelic NY breaks in "Silver Clouds". Indra Dunis' sultry, breathy and playful vocals are a force in Peaking Lights' music, spare the odd instrumental tracks like "The Caves" and "Enchanted Sea", with a world of psychedelic inspirations, experimental dub, ambient and dance grooves caught up in eastern-themed motifs of E S C A P E. Be Free!
Review: For a second time Dekmantel team up with The Netherlands Sound and Vision Institute RE:VIVE to bring together and commision a suite of artists to help showcase 30 years of Dutch experimental filmmaking. Sampling, splicing, manipulating and reinterpreting soundtracks from the Academy Award winning Nico Crama and amateur Dutch filmmaker, Otto Laan, soundscapes come in the form of retroactive experimental techno (Identified Patient) to the undulating cavern rhythms of Max Abysmal's "Quod Libet " There's Lamellan's bizarro cut ups and foley sound in "De Stuiter", leaving Laura Agnusdei to lead the EP with a journeysome drone, synth and whistle piece in excess of 10-minutes. New age cinema.
Review: With the Dekmantel machine growing by the week the label has come to a point over the last 10 years where it's happy to stand up and represent the otherside of dance music, bands. That now includes The Mauskovic Dance Band, a five piece group outta Amsterdam sending some tropical cosmo flavours for the silly summer season. The album delivers a lo-fi and almighty analogue sound of disco and psychedelica next to the bells and whistles of percussion music, 60s dub ethics and a chic 70s cosmiq.
Review: Following on from last year's Cryonauts album, Jack Hamill aka Space Dimension Controller returns to Dekmantel to deliver his second EP for the Dutch collective. The title track revolves around a low-slung electronic disco groove underpinned by spaced out melodies and cosmic sounds, subtle but still delightfully trippy. On "2 Synths & An 808", Hamill chooses a different route though the outer reaches of electronic music. Inspired by Detroit electro and its 80s, funk-based precursor, he fuses tight drums with a fuzzy, sleazy bass to deliver a slinky but impactful workout that's appeal to Cameo and Aux 88 fans alike.
Review: With the Dekmantel machine growing by the week the label has come to a point over the last 10 years where it's happy to stand up and represent the otherside of dance music, bands. That now includes The Mauskovic Dance Band, a five piece group outta Amsterdam setting new tropical and Latin inspired flavours for our forthcoming hawaaian t-shirt summer season especially brought to you by the best merry makers in the business. It brings with it a diggers vibe of disco and percussion music with slights of '70s cosmique and exotica. Lo-fi, funky and chic.
Review: Wishy-washy surfer lo-fi italo-punk surfaces on Dekmantel via Peaking Lights, a Californian duo pushing sounds whose influences here range as wide as Ladytron and Black Sabbath ("Planet Caravan") to cosmic disco and DIY electronic indie. The pairing are probably more known to fans of the Mexican Summer label than those who enjoy Kangding Ray and Sigha's music - the two who produced Dekmantel's previous release - which goes some distance to express the musical range Dekmantel are covering these days. For their label debut expect two floating, breathy, chilled out sub pop numbers to bliss out your next mix.
Review: Jan Schulte aka Bufiman drops his debut album on Dekmantel, and it's a thing of cosmic beauty. There's the odd ball groove of "Galaxy", on "Sara Sara", he tackles electronic boogie with great flair and "Hoolock Rock" is a superb slice of spaced out disco. However, Schulte's project is not just concerned with revisiting existing styles, and he seems to be just as content when teasing out weird and wonderful new hybrids. These are articulated most impressively on the frazzled acid and steely drums of "Blow Your Mind", the dreamy down tempo drums and tropical sounds of "News From The Treetops" and the sludgy electro funk on "Langsam Aber Slowly".
Review: Its festival operation may have enjoyed its most successful year so far, but Dekmantel remains true to its underground roots on this look back at 2019. There's the off beat disco of Freedom Engine, Mathew Jonson's new project, as well as left of centre curveballs from Lamellen and Epsilove. That said, the Dutch collective also understand what's needed to rock a dance floor. Fittingly, 2019 includes the electronic disco of Jex Opolis "Earth Boy" and Betonkust & Palmbomen II's acrid acid workout "Underground Dance Floor", which both appeared on the label earlier this year- as well as the timeless icy techno classic of Terrace's "Bewitched".
Review: After breaking through in 2013 to a fanfare of applause and reviews thanks to a string of releases on the all encompassing RVNG Intl label, SOS's place within its catalogue presents a foundry of synthy analogue jams. With a penchant for huge vamps and startling crescendos, Dutch powerhouse Dekmantel welcome SOS back to the mainstage, lifting off with the massive "Lost Codes" - a track impersonating what a launch into trans dimensional hyperspace might sound like. Descending further into the cosmos with "Night Alone", it brings with it a small capsule of 80s-sounding New York club and pop influences. Deeper house sentimentalities find their way into the skipping rhythms of "Wild Palms", with "White Echoes" throwing down a gauntlet of acidic bass stabs and pitch-shifting rhodes for a bouncing session of warehouse blues.
Review: Dekmantel up in this bizz with a new release from the freshly emblazoned Neon Chambers, a collaboration between Sigha & Kangding Ray. Both artists come from different but adjacent backgrounds of techno and here they combine with snapping raster effects and IDM philosophies to create and sound and rhythm that's made to fit an industrial, colourful and contemporary club context. Strands of Roly Porter epicness can be felt in "Cascade" that are underpinned by the heavy weight clak of nail gun kicks, with "Helles" and "Apollo" crafting wild rhythms and melodies from vox. Some deconstructed UK vibes in "What It Takes" too that might even turn the head of Soundman Chronicles 'headhoncho' Parris.
Review: Isabelle Maitre aka Epsilove follows her 2017 debut on Dekmantel with this weird and wonderful EP. "Time Is The Longest Distance" is a mid-tempo affair that warbles to the sound of cosmic synths, hushed vocals and slow, dubbed out drums. It makes for a wonderfully woozy piece. On "Sea Snakes", Maitre picks up the pace to deliver a rickety electro track that resounds to stop-start drums and deep acid lines. Dekmantel has also commissioned remixes of this singular artist; Ali Bobo & Shelter turn "Time..." into a teased out groove, while on their version of "Sea Snakes", HAJJ & Lastrack deliver a glitchy, stripped back techno stepper, replete with cosmic keys.
Review: Turin-based duo Stump Valley are no strangers to Dekmantel, having played at their renowned yearly festival in Amsterdam, in addition to the Selectors and Lente Kabinet events. Releasing across a whole spectrum of lauded Dutch labels, their material has been heard on Dopeness Galore and Off Minor Recordings. "Natural Race" features Berlin's Wayne Snow on vocals and is a smooth and sensual expression in late night deepness reminiscent of legends Virgo Four, the neon-lit imaginary score of "Marimbamba Isle De Joie" is something you could imagine Axel Foley cruising around L.A. to, while on the darker side of the spectrum there's the moody and slow burning grit of "Proletarians In Space" or the trippy and hypnotic power of "Ritmo Atomico".
Review: Djax-Re-Up is an invaluable slice of European techno history. Issued on Dekmantel as an accompaniment to the recent documentary about Djax-Up-Beats, it brings together music from the Dutch label's 90s catalogue. Featuring obscure artists like Ismistik - whose early 90s house track "Flow Chart" still sounds fresh - alongside respected producers like Glenn Underground, with the frenetic techno of "101 Dolmations" and "Real Space' and Felix Da Housecat's throbbing "Freakadelica", it serves as a reminder of the huge range of music that the label released. It also shines a light on the hugely fertile Dutch scene of the time, with Planet Gong's fragile ambience and Terrace's jacking techno-house "916 Buena Avenue (Influenza Mix)" also featuring.
Review: After a series of Eps on Pinkman and Brokntoys, Identified Patient aka Job Veerman makes his debut on Dekmantel. Drawing on industrial, ebm and electro influences, it's a tantalising affair that starts with the low-slung rhythm of "The Drip" featuring Sophie Du Palais' seductive tones. On "Let Me Do It", Veerman maintains a similar pace, but delivers a stripped back, menacing groove that resounds to an ominous bass, while "Chantals Chant" sees the Dutch producer draw on the acrid 303 sound of Bunker to decorate his industrial rhythm. On the final track, Veerman delivers the most dance floor arrangement, with "Lucy's Comeback" throbbing along to a bleak ebm drum track.
Review: Next up on Dekmantel is Jered Phillip aka Jex Opolis with this highly engaging EP. One of the brains behind the Good Timin' label, Phillip's music takes inspiration from 80s boogie, electro and Italo Disco. Those elements all come together seamlessly on the title track, where crashing drums and a pulsating bass provide the basis for irresistible synth melodies. It makes for a vivid, expansive track. Meanwhile, "Desolation" sees Phillip focus his efforts more closely on updating the sounds of late 70s Italy, fusing staccato snares with irresistible melodic flourishes. The vocal version, with its nasal drawl, sees Jex Opolis edge closer to Fred Ventura territory.
Review: Territroy is a collaboration between Panagiotis Melidis, who produces as Larry Gus, and Stathis Kalatzis, who used to work as Mr. Statik. Issued on Dekmantel's UFO spin-off, it's a dubbed out masterpiece. "Delirium Vivens" is a rolling, vocal-sample heavy groove, while "Wax Smiles" sees the pair drop a more abstract piece, with dead-paced drums supporting the swirling voices. On "Sleeping Fury", there's a more dramatic approach with plucked strings prevailing while "Instar" is a deeper affair, pushing the project closer to what could be deemed to be conventional techno. It's only a temporary dalliance however, and "Upside Down Sinner" marks a return to the kind of swirling, psychedelic dub that makes this album so enthralling.
Review: Following releases on labels like Kalahari Oyster Cult and collaborations with D.Tiffany over the past year, Roza Terenzi takes a few steps up with this debut on Dekmantel. Eschewing a straight dance floor approach, the Australian artist delivers the teased out, atmospheric soundscapes of "Bricks" and the trippy broken beats of "Freak N Tweak". Even when she puts a greater focus on the dance floor, the sound is still understated and subtle: "3.I.Y." is a breaking electro affair where cosmic undercurrents are mixed with searing bass and "Open M" is a widescreen slice of deep techno, making for an accomplished release.
Review: It's been two years since we last heard from Jay Donaldson AKA Palms Trax, so it's little surprise to find that his trademark sound has evolved a little in that time. The three tracks on "To Paradise" have more in common with vintage, left-of-centre 1980s synth-pop than contemporary deep house. As a result, all three cuts ripple with glistening lead lines, colourful chords, lo-fi drum machine rhythms and thickset synth basslines. The pick of the bunch for us is opener "To Paradise", which sounds an instrumental take on the Pet Shop Boys most picturesque tracks mixed with Italo-disco circa 1986. Elsewhere, "Love In Space" is a little deeper and breezier in tone with plenty of chiming melodies, while "Heron" is gloriously poignant, melancholic and life affirming.
Review: Fans of the likes of Yellow Magic Orchestra will find much to enjoy on this five-track downtempo/leftfield EP from Dutch duo Lamellen - there's something distinctly 'Forbidden Colours'-like about the delicate synths that lead the ambient-not-ambient 'Horse Massage', for starters. 'Spider' leans more towards angular, new wave-y Italo-disco, 'Oyster' is an experimental slo-mo/Balearic oddity with little fluttery sounds that seem to mimic birdsong or animal noises, 'Railrunner' comes on like early 80s synth-funk via Music From Ceefax, while closer 'Pippo Denemarken' has a quirky, circus-like feel and features a lovely nagging, lolloping Hammond riff.
Review: Dutchmen Betonkust and Palmbomen II are back on local institution Dekmantel, following up last year's well received Center Parcs LP - which was recorded in the bunker of an abandoned theme park. The retro, grainy and lo-fi qualities that characterise each others work is evident again here on Parallel B EP. This time recorded in a bungalow somewhere in the Dutch countryside, it finds a distinct middle ground between Kal Hugo's lo-fi classic house aesthetics and Swiere Westveen's taste for gritty electro, acid and Italo sounds. It pays fictional homage to a now deceased famous TV star, who instead on working on the screen, took up a new direction in making music.
Review: Dekmantel rounds off a hugely successful year with a compilation that reflects the organisation's multi-faceted approach. At one end of the spectrum there's the dubbed out groove and spacey vocals of Peaking Light's "Blind Corner" and tropical act Bruxas' left of centre beats, while at the other end Robert Hood delivers the blistering techno of "Red Machine". In between these extremes, there are Dekmantel-supported artists such as Betonkust & Palmbomen II - impressing here with the Legowelt-esque "Renaat Egypte" - and zeitgeist-defining names like Lena Willikens and Matrixxman. Add in some Dutch scene veterans such as Tom Trago, on fine form with the epic but understated "Working Machines", and it's not hard to see why 2018 was a great year for the Dutch collective.
The Blob, Imaginary Trip To A Desolate New York - (4:26) 57 BPM
Do Easy - (5:37) 60 BPM
Review: The film What A World celebrates the continuing partnership between Dekmantel and fashion label Patta, by telling a story about contrasting worlds that come together in a dream-like atmosphere. The visuals are underscored by a slowly building musical piece from the hands of Rimer London. The Dutch producer and DJ behind projects such as Bas Bron and Le Le returns under his original production alias for this Dekmantel debut - with a set of chromatic disco tracks, progressive in texture and full of character. From the glistening synthscapes of "Quantum Internet Alliance", the late night slo-mo disco of "The Blob, Imaginary Trip To A Desolate New York" or the emotive classic house of "Do Easy" awash in celestial FM synthesis aesthetics.
Review: Los Angeles based Palmbomen II makes an appearance for the next edition in famed Amsterdam festival Dekmantel's collaboration with the fashion label Patta. The Dutch protagonist of lo-fi, synth ambience - hooked on 90s nostalgia and retrofitted synthesisers and drum modules - delves deep into a colourful world of one par acid house, one par abstract electronic score. From the haunting ambience of "Theme" (original version) which creates tension and suspense in an early '80's VHS aesthetic, while the celestial new age soundscape "Study B" explores the wonders of FM synthesis, "Study E" likewise carries a grainy and saturated aesthetic in its elaborate chord progression.
Review: Dekmantel scores a coup by signing US psychedelic pair Peaking Lights. Sea of Sand is a taster for an imminent album on the Dutch label, and it provides an intoxicating taste of what's to come. "Blind Corner" resounds to a throbbing groove, with Indra Dunis' vocals unravelling over the blissed out, textures, while on "Shift Your Mind", they trip the light fantastic with a percussive, bongo-heavy backing. "Hypnotized" sees the pair delver a slower, dubbed out arrangement. Keeping the listener guessing, "I Can Read Your Mind" is a wonderfully hypnotic, spaced out Italo Disco affair and "Noise of Life" sees Peaking Lights delve into dreamy electronic pop.
Review: A true staple of the Amsterdam scene, the Rush Hour affiliated Yuri Boselie aka Cinnaman takes up the reins for local institution Dekmantel's extended tenth birthday celebrations with this mastermix. It takes in the entirety of the 10 volume edition - what an effort. What may seem as an outrageous challenge - what with the compilation's genre diversity and wide rage of tempos - it's a success, for they've certainly found the right candidate. Cinnaman plays a wide range of styles anyway, and is never afraid to mix the known with the unknown - he has a reputation for his remarkable combinations and transitions. From moments of sublime ambience (Italian ambient legend Gigi Masin with the utterly evocative "Maja") to bass heavy electro bounce (courtesy of Egyptian Lover or Syracuse & Epsilove), right through to techno bangers of the cerebral variety (by Donato Dozzy & Peter Van Hoesen or local hero Talismann) and stuff by Bufiman or Tony Allen - it's a solid effort here by one of Holland's finest selectors.
Review: Parrish Smith is a relatively new addition to the extended techno world, but the producer is undoubtedly one of our favourite recent additions, particularly for his sensibility to the core of EBM and industrial music. His previous EP, out through Ron Morelli's LIES, was one of the best 12"s to come in 2017 (in our humble opinion), so this new EP for Holland's Dekmantel crew is nothing but vibes for us! The title track, "Sex, Suicide & Speed Metal", blasts out heavy bass-kicks amid swarms of washed out guitars and doom metal references, leaving "Mute" to provide some comfort to the bone-heads, thanks to its noxious bass and drum-machine centricity. "Fall Into Sin" is yet more death and destruction, driven by a blasting wave of detuned electronics and metallic percussion, while "Skins" bangs out a dubwise slice of post-industrial nuttiness - large up, Parrish.
Review: The work of Dutch producers Betonkust and Palmbomen II, Center Parcs was recorded in an ageing holiday park, from whence its name is derived. Like the slowly decaying surroundings that became the pair's de facto studio, there is a degraded sensibility throughout Parcs. It starts with the dreamy, frazzled "24 x 33" and "Smerig Eiland" and continues on the easy listening "De rust die Je Zocht". There is also a slightly more sinister edge to the album, audible on the pair's exploration of raw techno on "Renaat Egypte" as well as the warped acid of "Skytronic Cola". But overall, a longing for better times and the faded glory of their surroundings win through, audible on the serene "Troostprijs" and the blissed out "Nintendo Pantera".
Review: Randomer follows his 2016 debut release on this Dekmantel offshoot label with the musically diverse Slicing. Like the stage at the festival that it is named after, it moves through the musical spectrum. "Van Pelt" is a dense, stepping affair, its cavernous rhythm providing the back drop for hypnotic, gamelan percussion and half-heard ethnic samples. By contrast, "Shadow Harp" is a utilitarian slice of break beat techno, shot through with razor sharp riffs, while on "Dissolve", he pivots towards a tough but pulsating rhythm track, underpinned by tribal drums. Rounding off this across the board but dance floor friendly EP is the title track's droning, clattering arrangement, tingling like a live electricity wire.
Review: Just a year shy of 20 years old, "Asiko (In A Silent Mix)" from Tony Allen's perennial Black Voices album enjoys a timely revision as part of Dekmantel's 10 year anniversary celebrations. This one comes from Motor City Drum Ensemble who maintains the dubby washes and pure spaciousness of Allen's original while refocussing the drums for more of a deeper dancefloor drive. Not quite as extensive as Villalobos's half hour remix but sometimes is a sweet seven minutes is the perfect punch. Jump on this.
Review: The celebration of Dekmantel's tenth anniversary draws to a close with a memorable release. Originally released almost twenty years ago, Ricardo Villalobos' interpretations of Tony Allen's "Asiko (In A Silent Mix)" have not lost their lustre. Taking the Afrobeat pioneer's organic drums and uplifting horns down a hollowed out pathway, Villalobos throws in rickety percussion, reverberating effects and warm washes of guitar over a lopsided, lazy rhythm to give Allen's sound a magical, voodoo sensibility. It says a lot about Villalobos' abilities that he can make these free-flowing psychedelic grooves work in his DJ sets - for us mere mortals, hearing this release in its full 29-minute glory is a spiritual experience in itself.
Review: Lena Willikens is not only the first female DJ to curate a compilation for Dekmantel's Selectors series, but also the first to put the emphasis on previously unreleased music rather than dusty-fingered crate-digging gems. That's not to say there aren't excellent older cuts present - see the decidedly psychedelic brilliance of Sandoz's ambient dub earworm "Morning Star (Dubmix)" and the trippy 2001 industrial dub techno of Vromb's "Amalgame" - just that there are a few more previously unheard killers. These include, but aren't limited too, the drowsy broken techno of Jasss's "Little Lines", Parrish Smith's jacking industrial house shuffler "Minima" and the druggy, mind-altering synthesizer soundtrack throb of Borusiade's intoxicating "Night Drive (An Exercise in Indulgence)".
Review: This is Amsterdam scene stalwart Tom Trago's fourth album, coming five years after The Light Fantastic. Trago set up a new studio at his family home, in the coastal town of Bergen in the northern Netherlands. The album was made with the purpose of creating a global sound, along with the music that has influenced him throughout his life in a new yet natural environment. That is evident throughout the album, because it's a rather diverse affair which demonstrates his expertise in the studio and the impressive variety in his repertoire. From the chill, blunted urban ode of "Bergen", the classic Detroit electro influence of "Zeeweg" or "Morph" to moments of sultry, late night deepness on the emotive "Faith Belongs To Us" or the (hi-tech) soulful closer "Working Machines" - this sees Trago at the absolute top of his game.