Review: This release has nothing to do with the track most likely to be sampled by a hip-hop producer, but don't let that put you off. "Apache" is a gloriously woozy techno affair, revolving around robust broken beats and the most frazzled synths since Juju & Jordash's last joint. The rest of this release follows a similarly offbeat approach. "Modus" sees Alis use a straighter techno groove, but here too the spiky beats are enveloped by spacey pads and splurging acid. The remixes of the title track - from Ital and Matrixxman - also follow a tripped out approach, with plunging basslines and broken beats prevailing.
Review: If you're looking for relentless techno, then you've come to the right place. On Man Out of Dubs, Clouds take skewed, metallic rhythms and fashion them into something darker and more disturbing. Muffled vocals and swathes of background noise are audible on "Drone Function", while deranged vocals - this time pitch-bent and tripped out - feature on the grinding, riff-heavy "Tropical F**k". Clouds take a break on the sinewy broken beats of "T-AO-192" - although muffled vocals are still audible - but soon enough it's back to banging techno territory on the Hound Scales She Goat remix of "Tropical F**k", where heavy industrial beats and a searing bassline prevail.
Review: The grey area between house, techno and bass gets even more blurred than usual on this release. "Wander 7" marries a menacing low end throb with swirling deep house keys to create a seductive hybrid. Meanwhile, "Roquentin's Release" pushes closer to techno thanks to its crushing drums, killer subs and icy synths. The Physical Therapy version of "Release" slows the tempo down and welcomes ghostly, flickering synths to the arrangement and makes the results more atmospheric. Finally, there's the Unklone take on "Anny". Favouring a straight dance floor approach, the dubby drums and mysterious melodies make for a groovy but slightly eerie take on house.
Review: Dualit only have the one release to their name and that was a self-titled debut on the Earwiggle label last year. It seems Fifth Wall is a fan of the Irish hard techno imprint, inviting the duo to the label with this solid five-track missive. Fifth Wall employ DJ Ford Foster and POI to tackle "Rant"; POI's mix is heavy and worn down while Foster's is straight-up club music made to sweat to. As for the originals, again, it's "Rant" which is a standout, while "Stirm" is linear and bleepy and "Metis" is disjointed Detroit-styled techno to the max.
Review: The latest release on NY imprint Fifth Wall comes from Hound Scales, one of its owners. Pinky Violence is everything one would expect from Hound Scales and more; both "Princip (Rubble Dub 1)" and "Spahnners (Rubble Dub 2)" are dense, drummy workouts, the latter favouring a stepping rhythm and the former's tough, tracky rhythm underscored by dense , tribal beats. The other tracks favour a more disparate approach; "Youth Series (Rayon Dub 1)" is more subtle, the groove sounding brittle and muffled vocals making their way into the arrangement, while "Superior Headwraps (Rayon Dub 2)" pushes in the opposite direction, a grimy swampy affair littered with scratchy rhythms and tinny drums. Tuff Sherm also supplies a bleepy disco take on "Spahnners".
Review: New school techno outfit Hound Scales impresses with this second outing for Fifth Wall. "A Clique Of Tough Women" is all jarring industrial rhythms and grubby beats, a framework that Hound Scales uses to conjure up dark drones and eerie motifs. "Throated" is more direct; while similar dark drones prevail, they are underscored by a throbbing, dance floor-focused sub-bass. The remixes offer radically different visions; Yuji Kondo's take on "Clique" lends that track a skewed dance floor bias thanks to its splintered rhythms, while Bleaching Agent's take on "Throated" goes in a different direction. In contrast to his recent EP for Komisch, this is deep, shimmering house music, shot through with razor sharp percussion.
Review: Whatever happened to minimal's experimental sound? There was a period during the mid-00s when labels like Sender explored an interesting alternative to hiccuping beats and ping-pong percussion, and this Metrist release takes its cue from that time. With the passage of time however, this approach has beome more abstract and noisy, as scuffled, stop-start rhythm and noisy bass of "Third Law" demonstrates. Elsewhere, "Leviathanks" and "Dragen Tract" deliver a more stepping take on the minimal glitch sound, while "Lofstrom" goes back in time to the yelping analogue techno of G-Man. Eomac's strident take on "Third Law", which flits from ambient textures into dark stepping rhythms, completes the package.
Review: The brooding Physical Therapy moniker touch down on the wonderfully scalding, Brooklyn-based Fifth Wall imprint. Yes - gritty, analogue bypass in the road here. "Yes, I'm Elastic", "World On Fire" and "I Did" all fuse around a similarly excellent rhythmic pattern, with the artist's own voice sampled cleverly in the mix amidst rampant kicks and snares, whilst the latter sees a violent remix by Pennyroyal's, J.Tijn - another romper-stomper of a tune. Full support from the likes of Norman Nodge and the rest of the B-town mob...
Review: It's techno of the banging, industrial variety here from Unklone. The most intense track is "Grit 555", a murky mix of dense, grainy rhythms, gained drums with a militaristic feeling and an acid undercurrent. Clouds rise to the challenge of matching the original version, with a prowling bass combined with firing percussive bursts to create a version that is more club-friendly but just as sinister. By contrast, "Sleep" sounds subdued, mainly thanks to its bongo drums, but it is hardly mellow and nightmarish chords are mixed with heavy beats and rasping percussive licks. "Tetsuo" also contains glassy percussion but at its centre is a pounding drum whose intensity sums up this release.