Review: AnD's new album Social Decay expands on the Manchester duo's intense approach to techno, with nods to noise, industrial and drum & bass. This follows 2014's Cosmic Microwave Background, which also came out on Electric Deluxe. The production duo of Andrew Bowen and Dimitri Papoulidis excel at showing an aesthetic extremity and that it can be applied to any number of song forms. Here they present one of their most overwhelming and innovative efforts. The LP sidesteps current affairs in favour of broad concepts that could be applied to any point on the timeline of human struggle. From the jagged and angular power electronics of "Corrupt Structures' to the body bashing industrial noise of "Corrugated Windows" to the heroin grindcore of "Narcissism" or the deconstructed jungle of "Kepler" - this stuff certainly isn't for the faint of heart!
Review: One half of Irish duo Lakker goes solo again and presents us with an impressive long player spanning a variety of moods and styles for powerhouse label Electric Deluxe. Starting out with the unrestrained and pulverizing fury of "Planet Hunter" a late noughties style, 140 BPM monster, he then throws us a right curveball with "Yarmus Knee" the sort of deep house dancefloor drama that would make Adesse Versions stand up and notice. The glitchy and jagged Aphex Twin style IDM of "Milk & Shudder" or the gorgeously ethereal "Waveswimmer" are further evidence of the diversity on offer. The tough industrial techno of "Sliding Ladders" in balanced out by atonal and bleepy chimes and has definite dancefloor dynamic. Another great effort by Dara Smith.
In The Accursed Domain Of The Gatecrasher - (6:43) 90 BPM
Review: Clouds consolidate their relationship with Speedy J's label with the release of this second EP. So many techno producers are rinsing the noisy, industrial sound, but so few do it with as much panache as this Scottish pair. This is evident on "In The Accursed Domain of the Gatecrasher", where muffled vocals are mixed with rolling break beats, lunging bass and blasts of garbled noise. The title track sees them deliver a more dance floor-friendly version, with pounding drums driving the arrangement, but the same wild bass drops and frazzled, noisy interference push it into the red at every turn.
Review: HTID: Heaven-sent Tekno Impakting Dancefloors, or Hardcore Till I Die' is Calum Macleod and Liam Robertson's third record for Speedy J's respected Electric Deluxe imprint. The Perth Drug Legends throw down some gnarly analogue techno mayhem across the LP's dozen or so impressive track selection. Highlights on here not limited to: "Base Damage" where they go straight for the jugular on this screeching terrorizer, the harsh body-bash of "Dinner At Skinja's", the broken beat industrialism of "Floatation Advice" which reminded us of British Murder Boys or the pummelling "Panosonics".
Review: UK producer Dax J decamps from his Monnmon Black imprint to Speedy J's label to release his second album. In many ways, the Electric Deluxe founder must feel like things have come full circle; Illusions of Power crackles and tingles with the type of raw form energy that prevailed in techno when Speedy J himself was first rising to prominence. There are exceptions here like "Cartagena Square", a woozy ambient piece. However, it is sandwiched in between "Zulu Nation" and "Harry The Hatchet" which revisit Joey Beltram's dark pre-jungle bass and Jeff Mills artillery-powered percussion. Most impressive though are Dax's acid tracks; "The Quest" is a paean to vintage Plastikman and "Reign Of Terror" offers a towering shrine to the wild 303 abandon of Acid Junkies.
Review: It's a match made in underground techno heaven as Perc and Italian producer Giorgio Gigli team up for this release on Speedy J's label. All of the tracks are panning, hypnotic grooves, with the pumping "SG8" very much in the vein of Gigli's recent release on Zooloft. "Ehdc" confronts the listener with steely drums and a moody breakdown before arcing upwards, while "0165" is pure panel-beating madness. The label has also commissioned a series of 'tool' versions; in essence, these are beatless versions of the three tracks with the intensity levels intact, which allow DJs to get creative in the mix.
Review: After a stupendous first run of releases over the last few years, the enigmatic FAR is back on the excellent Electric Deluxe label with something far more wide-reaching that we'd expected. That's not to say that his previous work was one-dimensional; far from it, but this album signifies a notable shift in the artist's skills and ideas. Flash Point is a work of subtlety and minute sonic experimentations, a daring album that spans different sounds and styles of ideas. From harsh drones, to subtle noise, hints of electro and even a fair bit of power electronics, FAR has made a grand new statement. Recommended.
Review: Justin Broadrick once declared that the JK Flesh pseudonym was reserved for the 'angry, hateful, disenchanted side of what I do', and it sounds like he has unleashed a lot of these dark feelings on Rise Above. However, instead of creating a one-dimensional gloom fest, Broadrick has turned his hate into something constructive. The album's opening salvo, which includes "Tunnel", "Defector" and "Swarm", feels like the musical equivalent of being dragged backwards through a swamp by a giant snake, while "Conquered" and "Trinity" see him bash out primal mid-paced rhythms. On the title track, he combines these two elements to create a shit-kicking, bone-crushing rhythm that proves once used constructively, anger is indeed an energy.
Review: Jochem Paap shifts his focus from white noise-led minimalism for a deeper, more hypnotic diversion. The title is apposite; as the mysterious, dense textures recall the multi-layered approach of 90s bands like MBV, Ride and Slowdive. Of course there is one key difference: while the shoegazers focused their attention solely on their footwear, Paap has tailored his sound experiments for the dance floor. Paap's own dub and tool versions are powered by insistent dubby beats and rasping percussion. Meanwhile, the Dutch producer's frequent collaborator, Edit Select, contributes two excellent remixes that are based on crashing snares, rolling basslines and those dense swathes of electronic sound.