Review: Float is home to well-known names like Sleeparchive and Tensal, but the Dutch imprint also supports newer artists like Altinbas. Having previously appeared on one of the label's compilations, this upcoming artist is given free reign to deliver a full EP. "SZ01" is a lean, lithe techno stepper, like the steely resolve of vintage Frozen Border mixed with Regis' more playful style. On "Intonation", Altinbas switches to murky techno that packs a punch thanks to the dense kicks that underpin its grungy textures. "Emphasis" is a droning, abstract affair, while on the title track, Altinbas goes for the jugular with a psychedelic slice of club techno. It's an impressive debut release.
Review: Divide is part of Italy's EVOD crew and he makes his debut on Float with a fine purist techno EP that draws on some of the sound's most notable proponents. "Emersione" starts the release with the kind of pared back drums and subtle percussion that characterised Steve Bicknell's work during the 90s. "Turbolenza" is darker and sees this emerging producer layer eerie tonal sequences over a dubbed out groove. On "Sonar", Divide goes farther down the abstract route as dense offbeats underpin spaced out tones and bleeps, while he pivots back towards the dance floor for the visceral kicks of the Millsian closer, "Immersione".
Review: Flaws is a new name, but this release on Float shows that he has already developed a distinctive sound. "Humankind" and "Decedent" are both based on loose, tribal rhythms that sit somewhere between Oliver Ho's early work and original London tech-house. On "Peace", this emerging UK producer opts for a more mysterious approach that echoes Jeff Mill's style on the Something in the Sky series, while on "Unity", he weaves high-pitched vocal snatches into a similar pacey rhythm as "Humankind". Clearly, Flaws is a significant new talent and on "Prophet", the dubbed out closing track, once again demonstrates his skills.
The Mystery Of The Black Flamingo - (6:29) 134 BPM
Lamb In Lotus - (6:27) 135 BPM
Piranha Plant - (6:19) 134 BPM
Review: Hemka is part of France's resurgent techno scene and Flamingo makes for an impressive display of her talents. She draws on US and European minimalism to create a compelling and slickly executed sound over the course of three tracks. The release starts in frenetic mode with the title track's combination of firing, relentless rhythm and Terrence Dixon-esque repetitive, pointillist bleeps. There is a similar approach on "Lamb In Lotus". While not as intense, its rolling snares and building, crashing wave of drones sound like the bastard child of Oscar Mulero and P.God and result in a hugely effective workout. For the final track, "Piranha Plant", Hemka taps the stripped back, tripped out minimal house meets techno of Baby Ford and Dan Bell.
Review: In spite of his somewhat goofy sounding name, there is nothing cosmic about James Bong, and he delivers a superb purist release for Float. First up is "Shift", where a spiky metallic rhythm is powered by doubled-up claps and features high-pitched tonal bleeps. It sounds like early Robert Hood getting it on with Sleeparchive. The title track also resounds to jittery, metallic hi hats, but here the groove is more looped and rolling, with Bong dropping moody chord builds over the arrangement. Closing out the release is "Anrine", where this talented producer drops a grainy, reduced rhythm, full of twitchy percussion and reminiscent of early Lost Recordings material.
Review: Having released material before by Sleeparchive, Float welcomes another experimental producer, Leghau aka C?dric Rebagliato to the fold. The title track has a light but slightly eerie touch as a spacey loop plays out over loose drums, while there is a similar feeling on "Oppressive Environment", albeit with more intense percussion and tough drums. "In Order To" features a different dynamic. The arrangement is faster, more linear and robotic as cold bleeps that call to mind Sahko run riot over the rhythm. Rebagliato shifts approach once again with "Time", where an insistent minimal track provides the basis for abrasive, metallic riffs.
Review: Leghau aka C?dric Rebagliato has built up an impressive catalogue of releases on imprints like Dynamic Reflection, Knotweed and Trapez, and now brings his idiosyncratic craft to Float. "Collapse" starts the release with what sounds like a wall of angry electronic bees venting their frustration over a dense rhythm. In contrast, "Jazz 5000" is stripped back, with a Robert Hood-style approach to minimalism and microscopic, pared back beats. "Resist" sees him explore a more murky, shadowy approach, as dense drum patterns roll in like thunder, while he offers another surprise turn on closing track "Stars", where a more atmospheric version of the minimal style explored on "Jazz 5000" prevails.
Mike Parker - "Internalized Action" - (4:59) 108 BPM
Cirkle - "Oblate Spheroid" - (5:36) 130 BPM
Cirkle - "Cygnus" - (5:59) 132 BPM
Cirkle - "Pulses From Beyond" - (5:19) 135 BPM
Review: Float is the imprint for Dutch duo TWR72, and since its inception a few years ago, they have released material by underground acts like Tensal and Sleeparchive. However, this latest release is probably Float's biggest coup so far as it sees them secure the services of Mike Parker. On "Internalized Action", Parker surprises with a slowed down, teased out take on his hypnotic sound, but on the title track, he reverts to type. "Metamora" is an intense banger, centring on those woozy tones that the US producer has made his own. On the flip side, Cirkle contributes the rolling "Oblate Spheroid" and the atmospheric, tunnelling "Cygnus", but it's all about Parker here.
Review: Oisel returns to Float for a second volume of Multiverso. It's clear that the Italian producer is a diverse artist; the release starts with the pummelling, grainy kicks and heads-down rhythm of "RW05". It's the kind of no-nonsense workout you would expect to hear at Tresor or The Bunker. By contrast, "Cepheus" is a droning, eerie affair. There is still a groove, but it remains understated and in the background as Oisel conjures up layer upon layer of atmospheric textures. "Omicron" sits in the middle of these extremes; built on a wiry rhythm, its warbling bleeps and tones take influence from UR rather than European sources. The Lost-esque "Quasar" rounds off this excellent release.
Review: Roger Semsroth has been putting out purist techno since the mid-00s. Despite changing fads and fashions, he continues to excite audiences with his unflinching approach. On this release for Float, the Berlin artist merges his harder leanings with his hypnotic tonal material. "5x3 (i)" kick starts the release with rock-hard kicks and hypnotic bleeps, while the third and fourth versions are all about those tough, unflinching drums. On the second iteration of "5x3", Sleeparchive's trademark bleeps come to the fore to create a dramatic workout, while the fifth and final take has a touch of early 90s Jeff Mills due to its weird, wired analogue riffs. The title track sees him drop a coruscating, visceral banger - like early Hood meets Landstrumm at his most noisy - while "Solitary Drinker" is a dark riffing minimal affair. It's not for the faint-hearted.
Review: Hector Sandoval is one half of Exium, and he also makes music as Tensal. Following a series of releases on the self-titled label, he now spreads the project's wings with this four-tracker for Float. "Achievement 1" starts the release with the kind of drum-heavy, gloomy techno that Mulero specializes in, while the third "Achievement" goes farther down this route as hammering kicks and a sleek, pulsing rhythm prevail. The second installment is the most unexpected track and follows the Sleeparchive / Sahko school of bleepy minimalism, but Sandoval ends the release in visceral mode with the grating Lost/ Hood-style looped groove that is "Achievement 4".
Review: Circular Balance is Translate's debut on Dutch label Float, and it delivers four outstanding underground techno tracks. The insistent, hypnotic drums and organic-sounding percussion on "Arcnex" is redolent of Oliver Ho's early tribal techno releases. In sharp contrast, "Surface Radar' sees Translate up the tempo and intensity levels, with Sleeparchive-style tonal bleeps unfolding over bleak synths and busy hi-hats. "Inoculum" marks another change in direction and features a dubbed out groove underpinning shifting tonal sequences. Rounding off the release, Translate sets sail for more experimental territory with the frazzled bass and spooky effects of "Division Selectiva".
Review: The calibre of remixers that have been commissioned to rework "Lucid" is testament to the respect that Tom Doorschodt and Roger van der Zwan aka TWR72 enjoy in the techno community. Spanish producer Psyk is up first and delivers a deep, drum-heavy take on the track, while at the other end of the spectrum, Grounded Theory resident Henning Baer drops a spiky, percussive version, its hats and drums threatening to splinter at any moment into a million shards. The prolific Rod also opts for a minimal techno version, but his composition resounds to insistent clicks and bleeps rather than fractured percussion, while on their own take, TWR72 revive the aesthetic of mid-90s panel beaters like Neil Landstrumm and Tobias Schmidt.
Review: On the second instalment of the Error series, production pair TWR72 mine classic purist techno. "Liquid Blue", with its looped chord stabs, punchy kicks and thunder clap bursts, comes across like a particularly functional take on Rob Hood's early Floorplan releases. "Juicy Grey" on the other hand, mines a more intense minimal techno path, with hypnotic, one-note riffs tied to dense, rolling drum loops. It's a linear, relentless sound, but still alluring and hypnotic. On "Mellow Black", the Dutch duo remain focused on minimal techno; the hi-hats rasp incessantly in the background over a looped tonal bleep and understated kicks - proof that when it comes to purist techno, few modern acts come close to TWR72 .