Review: Hypercolour reaches its one hundredth release. To celebrate this milestone, Jamie Russell and Alex Jones' label enlists the services of KiNK. The title track is a high-paced banger, featuring a dramatic vocal loop and rousing rave synth lines. It sounds like KiNK has distilled the energy of early 90s dance music into "People". "Ta" isn't as dramatic, but still hits hard, thanks to the interplay between a rough bass and airy melodies. In contrast, "Kazan" sees the storied artist go down a more considered route, with glitchy percussion melded with a dubby groove. Rounding off this 100th release is another dance floor banger, in the form of the heavy stabs and dense kicks of "Vacation"
Review: With a background in running record stores, Jerome Hill is also the brains behind the Don't and Super Rhythm Trax labels and one of the UK's finest techno DJs. Hill brings all of these influences to bear on his debut album, Flow Mechanics. There are wild acid excursions on "Walk The Plank" and "The Doctor Will See You Now". On "Deafening Lull", he fuses noisy bass and ticking percussion with an irresistible electro swagger, while in contrast, "Afterlife" resounds to raucous break beats and a funk bassline. "Stax Had The Funk" and "More Chicken" sees Hill take Chicago jack as a starting point. He proceeds to integrate clanging rhythms and dark bass pulses with dreamy chords and trippy 303s - realised seamlessly by a proper underground hero.
Review: Following his 'Telepathy' outing last year, Hypercolour boss Minder returns with another rave homage - 'Sanctuary'. Living up to its name in all possible connotations, across the set we're taken on a journey through hardcore, jungle, breaks, acid house and all the many beautiful mutations in between. Get loose to the classic 91 breakbeats on 'Service', keep your head down and swagger your life away to the twisted two-step of 'Pomeroy', skank your little jacksy off to the proto jungle licks and kicks of 'Simulated' and close your eyes and pretend you're at Virus or Renegade night circa 2001 to the pummelling kicks of 'Sharded'. These are just some of the lifestyle options and coping strategies Minder is providing on this remarkable body of work.
Review: Following acclaimed releases on Dekmantel, Aus Music and Ninja Tune, Jack Hamill aka Space Dimension Controller is back this week with a fantastic new release of London's Hypercolour. The Cro2ma EP is a three-tracker featuring Detroit elements and bleepy bass that you've come to know and love from the Irish producer. From the contemplative electro of the title track, to the minimal hi-tech funk of "IG00158" and the deep, acid-tinged techno of "Highborne" which closes it out on an emotive tip - it's altogether highly accessible yet intricate in design.
Review: Ukrainian DJ & producer Roman Kurhan aka Monotronique follows up impressive efforts on Livity Sound, Banoffee Pies and Opal Tapes with a debut on Hypercolour. There's four tracks by the Kharkiv-based artist on the Uh Oooh EP, serving up modern electro beats in the face of the devastating effects of war on his city and country. We particularly enjoyed the bouncy martian breaks of "I Want That", the deep computer funk of "Magic Bliss" and the bass-heavy the title track with its Detroit sci-fi vibes.
Review: Luke Vibert follows 2020's Rave Hop long player with another fine album. Ground in the sound of the 303 but characterised by a series of twists and turns throughout, GRIT. moves from the easy listening "Surrounded By Neighbours" and "Decay Hole" into the electro swagger of "Gas Logs" and the title track's wild, woozy techno. "Swingeing Cuts" shows that Vibert is not averse to Chicago jack - once it's delivered in his own playful way - and "Disco Derriere" is the UK veteran's own acid-fried vision of lush, string-filled French house. In true Vibert form, the album concludes with the bonkers 303-led "Screwfix Typeface".
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.