Review: This is the first in a series of remixes from Paul Boex and Dave Miller's recent double pack under the Abstract Division alias - and bodes well for any subsequent remix releases. It starts with the Tensal version of "The Hunt" where a clanging Birmingham-inspired rhythm opens up to reveal a cascading spaced out filter. By contrast the Deepbass & Ness take on "Passenger" is a deep and dark tunneling dub techno groove its hissing ticking percussion and echoing drum patterns providing a soundtrack to accompany the listener to the depths. On Lewis Fautzi's remix of "Encounter" a similar mood prevails while the Stefan Vincent take on "Glide" nestles in soft-focus synths. That said Abstract Division don't spend too much time from the dance floor and the Haeken take on "The Hunt" is a mesmerizing minimal techno affair.
Review: It's hard to imagine how any producer would countenance taking on "Deformation". Apart from the scraping metallic riffs at its centre, the original track is powered by a bass so oppressive and pummelling that it makes the drums sound tinny by comparison. Despite this, Dynamic Reflection has chosen the remixers well; Mike Parker shoehorns his trademark bleepy sound into a skipping rhythm, while Norman Nodge focuses on sparse, rolling drums and understated droning bass on his treatment. But it's Area Forty One who offers the most radical interpretation. As the dreamy chords provide a feather-soft backdrop, only the occasional burst of spiky percussion reminds the listener of the original's intensity.
Review: It sounds like Abstract Division is interested in the darker side of electronic music. This becomes clear on "Shifted Reality", where noisy, jarring riffs are fused with wiry percussion to create a more intense take on droning techno. Milton Bradley's take on "Reality" favours the panning, pumping approach, but his remix is also full of eerie string sequences and stands out thanks to its muddy, murky riffs. Dasha Rush pushes "Reality" to the edge of dance floor techno with reverberated broken beats competing with stomping bass drums. But even this cannot compete with "Fluctuations", where what sounds like a witch scratching her nails to be heard over chilling chords make for a truly scary soundtrack.
Review: The latest collaboration between Paul Boex and Dave Miller opts for a more spaced out approach than previously. "Modal Realism" may be deep but it's also dance floor friendly, its trippy pulses and lithe percussive slivers prefacing a big drop into a dramatic chord sequence that is guided by reverberating claps. "Solitude" is even deeper and more refllective, with dreamy pads and a head-nodding tempo prevailing. But Abstract Division are also mindful of the need to appeal to the dance floor and Psyk's remix of "Realism" achieves this. The Spanish producer lays down a nagging groove, which provides the basis for insistent chords and chiming bells.
Review: Hard techno's Germanic beginnings may have given the genre it's unforgivingly industrial edge, but it soon spread across the globe faster than a HAARP electrical storm. Stepping up to the mantle with the likes of Presk and Blawan, Abstract Division have built a monolithic slab of near-impenetrable beats from their home in the Netherlands. It's as challenging as it is beguiling; the minimal sounds of "Collision" break through the colossal build and washed-out claps of "Comprehend", pulsing like the techno nights worth remembering. When the house revival begins to crumble, you know where we'll be.
Review: Abstract Division is a collaboration between Dynamic Reflection owner Paul Boex and Dave Miller. Known to date for their tough, no-nonsense techno on the label, this debut allows them the platform to cover a wider musical range. "Glide " and "Fade Away", which book-end the release, are chilling ambient sound scapes, "Prime Radiant" sees the pair deliver acid-fried minimal house, while "Encounter" is a deep, filter-heavy groove. There is no shortage of tough club tracks on Spaces - check the brilliant, big-room drones of "Compulsive Disorder" - but this format does allow them to explore compelling alternatives, as the combination of solemn sirens, inspired by F.U.S.E's "Substance Abuse" and nocturnal filters of "Future Existence" so ably demonstrates.
Review: Dutch label Dynamic reflection continues to go from strength to strength with power duo Abstract Division comprised of label boss Paul Boex and Dave Miller. The original of Metropolis is a nice slice of soulful melodic techno that fans of Heiko laux or Vince Watson will be all over. The first thing you may think then listening to the Trolley Route mix is it sounds like Oscar Mulero; and it is! Things start getting hectic when they big guns Function and Marcel Fengler are called in for remix duties. Dave Sumner's pounding yet atmospheric version is all you'd expect. But he keeps the lush melody of the original intact and it works well. Fengler's rendition delivers exactly what he's renowned for in the form of energised, peak time minimal; just the way it should be!
Review: Abstract Division is the brainchild of Paul Boex and Dave Miller. For this remix series Boex, who also runs Dynamic Reflection, has drafted in some high-profile remixers. Perc is more tempered than usual as he steers "Glide" in a deep, atmospheric direction. The same cannot be said about Matrixxman's 'Biohazard' take on "Future Existence" which features the kind of speaker-levelling frequencies one would expect to hear on a Mike Parker record. Matrixxman clearly has an interest in late 90s techno as he also delivers the rolling drums and steely Plastikman-inspired percussion on his reshape of "Immersion". The package also features a brooding acid-heavy remix of "The Hunt" by SHD & Obscure Shape, while Ben Buitendijk's take on "Future Existence" is in a similar vein to Matrixxman's remix.
Review: The second instalment of Form provides accurate snapshots from contemporary techno sounds and styles. In its original format, "Floating Point" is an austere, bleepy Sleeparchive-style groove, its sonic blips lent additional weight thanks to snappy, Klock-style percussion. Dutch producer Delta Funktionen brings a dubby approach on his rework, fusing it with a tunnelling, hypnotic riff, for a darker sound than is his wont, while "Magnetic Field" is a dark, industrial-tinged sound scape. There is also a look to the past as Ben Sims drops an acid-coated, loop techno take on "Shifted Reality" - but in the main this second volume is a forward-facing collection.
Review: Abstract Division aka Paul Boex and Dave Miller return to their own label with this alluringly moody EP. "Keyboard Warriors" is a menacing affair, led by an ominous bass that twists and turns its way through the low-slung groove. In contrast, "Fear of Loneliness" is more dance floor friendly but has a similar mood, as eerie soundscapes unfold over a hypnotic groove. The pair pick up the pace on "Lost Souls"; over a jacking, steely rhythm, filtered chords are layered and layered, while the title track marks another shift in style.
Retaining the same hypnotic flair as the previous tracks, it lacks any kick drums and floats away into an ambient dusk.
Review: The last we heard of Australian producer Advanced Human, he was remixing other people's productions - so what does it sound like when his own work gets remixed? Damon Wild's take on "Eternal Loneliness" is tracky, stripped back and stepping, while the Black Hats version of the title track traces a pattern of subsonic bleeps over dubbed out drums. Cassegrain's take on "Grinding" is darker and more corrosive with noisy interference set to a fierce rhythm. However, the most impressive contributions here are the dubbed out original version of "Grinding" and "Eternal Loneliness", a cold, bleepy techno track to rival Sleeparchive's frosty sound.
Review: The Dynamic Reflection team deliver another storming release of pounding techno with "Hate is Love." This time it comes from none other than label boss, Paul Boex and his biggest influence, the ever active Oscar Mulero.
Recent releases for his own Warm Up Recordings label have seen Mulero kill dancefloors the world over.
Now, he comes to Paul Boex's imprint to open this release with a remix of the Dutchman's "Hate is Love." His version flies straight off the mark with a pounding beat and frantic, high pitched synth stabs. It effortlessly builds tension and drama as it progresses before a breakdown lures all the sound beneath a still driving 4/4 beat. Inevitably though, Mulero reinstates the noise, turning "Hate is Love" into a true, peak time smasher. I suppose we can expect nothing less from this man by now. Following the Spaniard?s remix is Paul Boex?s original. Still a thumping techno track, the original effort feels more reserved than the remix due to in no small part, a beautiful soundscape that lingers in the background throughout the entire tune. It gives the track an epic feel, taking you on a wonderful, dream-like journey of moods and atmospheres. Returning to some highly energised techno, Boex delivers the jacking "Cybersluts" next on the schedule. Synth jabs, FX, jaunting basslines and the customary driving beat make this a full body shaking, sub-human alien. "Iron Curtain" is even more alien, spacing wailing synths far out into the depths as high end percussion snaps in the foreground. A truly futuristic sound palette emerges on this techno wig out, proving that Boex can go blow for blow with his inspiration, Oscar Mulero.
Review: Conrad Van Orton delivers an eerie take on broken beat techno on the title track; ghostly synth lines are conjured up over the fuzzy, fractured rhythms as the producer evokes the spirit - if not the intensity - of Inigo Kennedy. Unbalance's version further advances this approach, with eerie riffs wrapped around harder, more robust breaks. Dynamo's remix meanwhile opts for a more direct dance floor approach, with an evil, nagging acid line insinuating itself through a wiry 4/4 rhythm. It's not all darkness however, and Van Orton's "Staphylo" is a deep, dubby techno groove, its warm, loose groove supporting ethereal vocals.
Review: With a booming release on Ann Aimee earlier this year, Yan Cook has proved he knows how to make sleek but industrial-strength techno. Here for Dynamic Reflection he pulls out more of the same with three cavernous club tracks of no-nonsense 4/4 energy. No prizes for guessing why the title-track is called "Melter", a production which Knotweed founder Phillipe Petit strips back in his remix, while on the flipside "Bell" is only drums and metallic percussion (or bells), leaving a hi-energy "Chaser" to suitably finish things off.
Review: This upcoming producer has made a name for his innovative approach and the Abuse of Distortion EP is no exception. The title track starts with shuffling, lead-weight drums and gradually builds, through the use of abrasive filters and heavy beats into a distorted monster of a climax. The Go Hiyama version is based on a fractured rhythm, with some of original track's distortion and a haunting vocal thrown in. However, this release is really all about Carbone's ability to test the techno framework and on "Abnormal Distortion" he reaches the form's outer limits, with waves of droning white noise and a stepping, malevolent rhythm.
Review: The pan-European techno duo delve into a paranoid alternative universe with their latest release. "Flight 101" is a dark, rolling groove, its spacey chords and eerie synths building to a heady climax, while "Chemtrails" advances a more menacing approach. Based on a rumbling bassline, its slamming rhythms and hammering, steely drums make for a foreboding sound. But the duo sound most impressive on "Haarp". Forsaking the tunelling, hypnotic approach of the preceding tracks, its broken, splintered rhythms and spacey pads make it sound like a contemporary abstract/industrial take on Detroit electro at its most esoteric - always an interesting combination.
Review: "Proximity" provides the prequel for an EP punctuated by dense, dubby sounds and clattering industrial rhythms. More linear than the title track, it nonetheless canters effectively thanks to its droning textures and always filtering groove. The title track is heavier and denser, with a murderous bass at the centre of an arrangement littered with dank acid and dark chords. The remixers do a fine job of heightening the menacing mood. Van Orton's version is built on a juddering broken beat arrangement, made all the more loose and unpredictable by a bubbling bass and hissing hats, Ascion lends a more linear techno sound and Zooloft's Obtane delivers a stepping take that's soaked in acrid 303 tones.
Review: Dutch label Dynamic Reflection has secured the services of heavyweight remixers, but that shouldn't overshadow the original material from Marco Rane & Paul Boex. "Better Days" is an irresistible old school melodic techno track, its melancholic, floaty keys capturing that time when trance and techno seamlessly dovetailed. Fittingly, "Berlin" is darker and more hypnotic, its repetitive chords and chain mail percussion heavily indebted to the Chain Reaction/Basic Channel sound. Peter Van Hoesen strips "Berlin" back and focuses on a ballsy, bass-heavy groove, while Samuli Kemppi shows why his stock keeps rising: deeper and more haunting than Van Hoesen's version, it retains its drive thanks to some rasping percussion.
Review: Dutch label Dynamic Reflection has always excelled at releasing tough club techno - and Transient Response is no exception. Hertz Collision, who impressed last year with the Nowhere EP on the label, kick starts this split release with the raw drums and insistent riffs of "Loaded". A Thousand Details, who runs Reaktivate Records, delivers the heads-down, pumping "Apollo 12", while US producer Uun opts for a more atmospheric approach as he delves into Detroit techno for the hypnotic "Chrysalis". Finally, Stratum re-focus the release on harder sounds with the clicking percussion and gnarly bass of "A Fraction of Time". As Transient Response demonstrates, few labels do banging techno better than Dynamic Reflection.