Review: Ste Roberts is a key part of the Hypercolour operation. After a succession of records on his own Set imprint, he now makes a debut on the renowned UK label. The title track opens his account in mesmerising fashion, as frazzled tones unravel over a shuffling, swung rhythm. On "Victor's Mezcal", Roberts goes deeper, with a pulsating, throbbing groove and dense bass underpinning blips, tones and metallic groans. It sounds like a modern, slightly more menacing version of Eddie Richards' late 90s/early 00s vision for tech-house. Roberts then proceeds to bring the house down with the hoover sirens and rolling drums of "The Hiding Spot".
Review: A confirmed presence within the landscape of UK dance music for the best part of 15 years, Hypercolour has cultivated its own constellation of artists while becoming a port of call for those hitting their peak within pseudo-mainstream house music. It's Patterns compilation series has always offered rare cuts and remixes from its roster of artists and from the get go here a lesser known Zodiac impresses out of the blocks with a banging dub techno joint "GhostNet". Sebastian Mullaert & Boelja go hardcore Swedish bleeptronic in "Who Are You Really?" with FRAK also included with an old school and lo-fi 909 workout "Berga Magic". Roman Flugel hits a sweetspot as usual next to some lowly jackin tracks by London Modular Alliance, a vocal breakbeat number of classical drum and bass refrain by Mathew Herbert to some tongue cheek rave by Luke Vibert and much much more! Approved.
Review: Eliphino is a pseudonym for Tom Wrankmore, who has put put music under this guise on Secretsundaze and Meda Fury. He also released on Hypercolour back in 2013, and Maelstrom sees him make a timely re-appearance on the label. The title track is an unusual affair, with a swinging rhythm and glitchy percussion underpinning dreamy melodies. On "Bubbling Glass", the focus shifts to a more electro-based sound, with rolling 808s supporting fuzzy soundscapes, while on "Eddy", he raises the tempo to deliver a frenetic break beat track. Rounding off this distinctive release is the vocal-sampling broken beats of "One Day".
Review: It's been raining Luke Vibert in 2020 with the legendary producer teaming up with Hypercolour for a trilogy of LPs, bringing with it new and neo genres like Modern Rave, and now Rave Hop. restoring some credibility to the lost art of breakbeat and sample culture, Vibert's productions are on point here while exploring different eras of dance music history in the process. Crafted with unique, original and refreshed vintage samples, each track, depending on its element, will transport you across a classic timeline; be it straight up old school hip hop, 90s drum and bass and early chicago house, to soul, disco and jazz before that; all cut up and repackaged in a contemporary and referential approach to rave and its continued legacy.
Review: As ever, we have been delivered a real education in future-breakbeat flavours from the Hypercolour team as they invite the wonderful sounds of Luke Vibert inside for a full length, 13 track LP from the wonderful Luke Vibert. The tracklisting is jam packed with goodies, exploring the more experimental side of the breaks genre circle, with the post-rave chord plucks of 'Sky's The Limit' and 90's style bounce of 'Feel One' being two perfect examples. There's variation throughout as well, with the more punchy drum arrangements of 'Ecstacy' and scatty chord progressions of 'Beef' also hitting home well. Overall, it's a great look into the musical mind of Luke Vibert who has put together a very impressive body of work.
Review: Spawning the 96 Back project with a surge of EPs for Central Processing Unit, Evan Majumdar-Swift's emerging talents make the leap to Hypercolour! Keeping hope alive with cuts like "Fe Symbolic" and "Party Animal" - going great lengths in perpetuating the legacy of Aphex Twin, Warp and other bleep-era sounds - the EP also touches on elements of deeper dubstep and minimalism in "Cosied By" to other melodic club tracks in "TBQFH". It sees the 96-name added to a fresh cast of labelmates including HVL, Gary Gritness, Asquith and Carlton Doom. Believe the Hypercolour!
Review: Gary Gritness returns to his regular haunt, Hypercolour, for this highly conceptual long player. In essence, The Legend is a soundtrack to a 'cyber-funk' tale of street hustling, and unsurprisingly, Gritness has found a way to respires this through the medium of electro funk on "Back with a Vengeance" and "Bent Cop Hustle". On "Big Marcus Knows the Score", he shows hitherto unimagined levels of depth with a mournful, synth-laden piece that's not radically dissimilar from Carl Craig around the time of Landcruising. "Laser-Sighted Smoke" reveals another string to his repertoire as he drops a subtle, Drexciyan workout, while the delectable "Fishnets and a Nine" sees him end up in an electro-tinged easy listening world.
Review: With releases on labels like Hotflush and Drumcode to their credit, Dense & Pika bring it back home with Amber: after all, Hypercolour was set up by Alex Jones, one half of the act. The title track focuses on dreamy hooks and blissed out vocal samples, before the pair's insistent, stepping beats kick in. It's atmospheric, but also tailor made for the dance floor. On "Hard Light", they opt for a somewhat different approach: here, the tempo is faster and the rhythm more percussive, but the pair leave enough room in the arrangement for cosmic laser stabs that sound like they were taken straight from a sci-fi thriller.
Review: Following up a couple of great releases for Matthew Herbert's Accidental Jnr, Sydney producer Cassius Select debuts on Hypercolour with a fresh batch of crooked beats and twisted rave experiments. From the jagged and angular dub of "They Shook", the moody knackered house jam "Loose Pursuit" or the brooding grey area groove of "Yut" which calls to mind the crossover experiments of London's Autonomic crew nearly a decade ago. This collection bass heavy and highly urbanised jams all feature a truly UK influence and make a welcome addition to the Hypercolour catalogue.
Review: Israeli tech house heroine Mor Elian continues on with her winning streak with another killer on Hypercolour, her second release for them since 2016's wicked Drum Vortex EP. The Fever A.M. co-head launches a terrific new missive in the form of Persona Non Grata: four servings of killer grooves for any occasion. From the dirty electro funk of the title track and "Xeric Zula" to the tunnelling acid express of "Dysmorphia" and the basic trance induction of "Feral Chime". These sonic weapons truly compliment the Los Angeles/Berlin based producer's great old-school influenced releases of late, on Radio Matrix and Delft.
Review: The legendary Peter Kremier returns with another distinct take on deep house. The Frankfurt native constantly reinvents his sound and can never be pinned down to one particular style - but he's always impressive. Although closely affiliated with local institution Playhouse, his long awaited fourth album (his first in nearly a decade) comes courtesy of British label Hypercolour. Island Time features a bunch of understated house grooves for discerning dancefloors and the afterhours alike. From the glitching minimal funk of "Boppin Lower", the lo-fi jazz of "Gold Tooth", the sunny and hypnotic deepness of "There We Were" that's reminiscent of sounds on his tremendous Another Picture imprint. There's also the moody late night mysteriousness of "Square Down Smoother" that's classic Kremier all the way. All killer no filler from one of the modern masters - you all need this!
Review: Stellar vocal cut here from Alphonse Rozel, who has had previous releases for Klasse Wrecks, Emotional Especial and Black Orpheus. Described by Hypercolour as 'spacey and dusty deepness' and that's pretty on point. Vocals are provided by one Rev Be, which Rozel utilises across these three versions. The deep bleep techno of "Better Weather" in its original version calls to mind the sounds of northern UK sounds from the early '90s, the trippy dub version - or Phazed version - is vaguely reminiscent of Derrick May's studio expriements around the same time with its funked up, flanged out and reversed elements galore. Finally is the more straight ahead and dancefloor friendly bounce of the Abyss version.
Review: Taraval aka Ryan Smith already has two releases to hie name onText, and in places on No Coast, you can hear why his work fits in so well on Four Tet's label. The most apparent example of this style is "Stan's Loon", where a busy percussive track plays host to a cacophony of electro-acoustic tones. It's off the wall, but still manages to maintain its sense of groove. A similar aesthetic is audible on "Kima Jima". Detuned tones and frequencies flit about over a swung rhythm. On other occasions however, the Californian artist goes down a tough techno route, evident on the creaking, noisy workout that is "Topaz's Way" and the droning, tunnelling title track.
Review: Within DJ culture, there's been plenty of discussion over the years about particularly tracks and EPs being more suitable for dancefloor spaces of different sizes. On this EP, Falty DL has decided to take the bull by the horns and serve up a trio of tracks tailor-made for different rooms. Thus, he begins with the throbbing, warehouse-friendly techno hum of "Big Room", where swirling, rave-era riffs ride a bombastic, kick-drum heavy techno beat, before dipping the tempo, breaking up the beats and reaching for the early hardcore samples on "Medium Room". Fittingly, he finishes with "Small Room", a dreamy, drowsy and more intimate affair rich in lilting flute-style melodies, eyes-closed vintage house vocal samples and gentle, dub-influenced hardcore-era breakbeats.
Review: Yaleesa Hall teams with Oscillat Music owner Malin for an EP that draws heavily on classic techno tropes. "Artin" is a dense, chugging groove that draws on the cavernous dub chords of Basic Channel and Fachwerk's tight rhythms to create a dark track. On "Cahen", the pair opt for a more reflective sound; although the rhythm track is percussive, the chords are sub-aquatic and deeper. The Zenker Brothers do a fine job turning "Artin" into a tough, lean roller, but as the pared back, tracky rhythm and outer space sounds of "Brown" so eloquently demonstrates, this release is all about Hall and Malin's combined skills.
Review: Quickly! Hide the USB sticks: The Analogue Cops are here! Marieu and Lucretio are the Italian merchants of hardware focused underground house that have long been affiliated with vinyl only imprints: namely their own Restoration imprint. This will however be their second outing on British label Hypercolour following a run of well received EPs on Memento, Moondance and the Sabotage label. Here it's more of the quality that you have come to expect from this duo. Lucretio offers up two jams and our pick would have to be the super soulful deepness of "Give Out" with its familiar vocals over a dusty groove. Next up Marieu serves up a couple of wicked tracks also, and we were pretty keen on on "Xa Swing" because it reminded us of the funky, boompty and jackin' loops of early DJ Sneak: and that ain't a bad thing at all!
When We All Break Down (feat Joni) - (8:04) 135 BPM
Mirrors (feat Tanaya Harper) - (4:33) 120 BPM
Sapa Inca Delirium - (7:47) 131 BPM
Review: Since first bursting onto the scene back in 2011, The Cyclist (AKA Derry producer Andrew Morrison) has gone from making dusty, dystopian techno to delivering intriguing albums that defy easy categorization. He's at it again on Sapa Inca Delirium, his fourth full-length in total and first since 2014. Beginning with the dark, feverish ambience of "Go Back" and spiraling, acid-fired, tribal-tinged throb of "Inhale/Exhale", Morrison saunters between impressively atmospheric cuts that variously touch on drowsy early Krautrock ("Inti"), braindance style insanity ("Forest Surge"), Balearic broken beat ("Skateboarding in the Jungle", "When We All Break Down"), lo-fi soundscape jazz-house ("Sapa Inca Delirium") and drowsy downtempo beats ("Antiexist"). It's a gently trippy and imaginative fusion of sounds and styles that's not only expertly executed, but also extremely impressive.
Review: Having spent the best part of a decade producing and releasing music at a furious rate, Tom Demac took a step back in 2015. Two years on, he returned earlier this year with Sink Or Swim, a two-track missive on regular home Hypercolour. Six months later, he's decided to repeat the exercise with Bark Or Bite. The title track, a typically Germanic chunk of loose late night techno that layers a hushed and hypnotic groove with spacey synthesizer motifs and effects-laden vocal hits, is particularly strong. That said, we're particularly enjoying the bustling, intergalactic electro vibes of "205 GTI", where fizzing electronics and yearning synth lines cluster around punchy drum machine hits and an elastic analogue bassline.
Review: Since first pitching up on Hypercolour late last year, hardware fetishists London Modular Alliance has continued to deliver some of the most exciting electro around. Famously, the trio construct their cuts entirely using modular synthesizers, jamming live until they settle on a groove or riff to explore further. That guarantees that their machine funk sits somewhere between the pulsating hypnotism of classic Kraftwerk, the intergalactic moodiness of Drexciya and the harder-edged fodder popular in places like Rotterdam and the Hague. It goes without saying that this EP is packed with killer cuts from start to finish, something that makes picking highlights truly tricky. Really, all you need to know is that it's a must-have.
Review: A new DMX Krew album is exactly what we needed to hear on this fine Friday morning. Needless to say, we've been big fans of this guy since his days on Rephlex, and he's clearly respected not just by us, but by certain influential figures in the enlarged techno game. DMX has also invariably represented the UK when it comes to all things 4/4 and, moreover, he's pushed the limits of what that formula can do. This new LP for the excellent Hypercolour, Strange Directions, is a wild and diverse piece of work which feels impossible to boil down to one genre of style. Its fourteen tracks span a range of styles, speeds and vibes, but the crucial thing is that DMX Krew maintains a certain air of mysticism throughout - a lingering sense of psychedelia represents each and every one of these endlessly deep slabs of techno-not-techno. Explore and drift...
Review: Following a release on its sub-label, Nick Harris brings his A Sagittariun project to Hypercolour. The title track resounds to cinematic orchestral flourishes and moves rather skilfully from rolling break beats into dance floor friendly kicks. "The Pathway" offers no such musical distraction and centres on tough, insistent kicks, a succession of filtered breakdowns and splintered percussion. To mark his appearance on the label, Hypercolour have commissioned US producer Matrixxman to rework "The Pathway". Taking the tempo down, his version has a cavernous, spacious feel. The kicks feel like they are submerged, but Matrixxman keeps the dance floor focus thanks to the use of rickety percussion and wild horn stabs.
Review: Since making his debut back in 2015, J. Albert (real name Jiovanni Nadal) has gleefully drifted between labels, making appearances on 1080p, Cult Trip and Black Opal along the way. Given this track record, it's perhaps unsurprising that Hypercolour have snapped up this on-point three-tracker. There's much to admire throughout, from the punchy, broken house rhythms, lilting deep house chords, hardcore style breakbeat fills and eyes-closed vocal samples of "Don't Hide It", to the Derrick Carter-goes-bleep analogue funk of closer "Vista". Sandwiched in between you'll find the superb "Xtra Sauce", an early Basement Jaxx style fusion of crunchy, U.S garage-influenced beats, fizzing chords and warehouse-friendly late night aesthetics.
Review: Demac has been releasing music on high-profile labels like Aus, Drumcode and Hypercolour for the past decade. As Sink or Swim shows, this is because the UK producer is adept at creating highly distinctive electronic music. The title track is a case in point; it features skipping drums, lithe percussion and frosty melodies, but underpinning these elements is a brutal, oppressive bass. It's the contrast between these two elements that makes "Sink.." so impressive. On "Mayfield Road", Demac moves in a radically different direction. Gone are the straight kicks, replaced by razor-sharp 808s, spacey pads and the kind of futuristic undercurrent that Detroit producers normally lay claim to.
Review: Three men, no computers and many patch cables: That's London Modular Alliance who follow up last year's wicked Out Of Sync EP on Brokntoys with this new one for tech house heroes Hypercolour: who really seem to be broadening their horizons as a label and good on them we say. The Homegrown EP starts out with the rusty boom and snap of "Civic Society", a deep and moody electro number that treads the same territory as Anthony Rother. "Lucid" hits harder but this is exactly the kind of electro-funk we like; dark, bass-driven and minimal. Finally their ode to the North Devon coast "Saunton" is, in a surprise turn; more on the deep dubstep tip. You can almost hear the lighter going off in the background on this advanced experiment in reefer madness.
Review: Keytar-sporting hero Gary Gritness made his name via a couple of fine EPs for Clone's Crown series, before popping up Hypercolour last year with the similarly cheery, synth-heavy Sugar Cane Chronicles Volume 1. This follow-up picks up where its' predecessor left off, with Gritness delivering a quartet of jaunty, jammed-out synth-funk workouts. Opener "Steady Choosin" feels like Dam Funk after a fist full of happy pills, while "Countin' Up With Starr" pairs a chunkier, tougher electrofunk groove with delightfully spacey synthesizer motifs. The space funk theme continues on "Runner Joe's Revenge", where densely layered electronic melodies create a dreamy but floor-friendly vibe, while closer "Pool Shark Loot" is a supremely Balearic chunk of pitched-down analogue bliss.