Review: As anyone with even a casual interest in techno will know, Scottish producer Stephen Brown has been pushing the boundaries of electronic music for nearly two decades. On this release on fledgling Dutch label Indigo Area, Brown shows flashes of his old magic: "Like That" and "Spaces" are wonderfully melodic and mournful jerky groove-led Detroit tracks, while "Nedds Fixed" sounds like a more considered version of his output for Djax Up Beats and even features a soulful vocal sample. Indeed, it sounds like Brown has progressed and matured, and ample evidence of this can be found on "Bodywork", where a dubby groove is fused with a catchy 'work your body to the beat' vocal sample.
Review: Mark Williams was one of the unsung heroes of late 90s techno - can he finally gain the recognition he deserves? Certainly on the evidence of Zero, Williams hasn't lost his knack of crafting powerful yet musical tribal techno. "Full Circle Chapter 3" is an upfront affair, powered by storming beats and firing percussion, yet it breaks down to the sound of warm, filtered melodies. "Remembrance Of Things Past" follows a similar path: while the same pounding beats prevail, the percussive licks are lighter and give way to dreamy melodies and an atmospheric vocal sample. In an age of chiseled-jaw seriousness, Williams is more relevant than ever.
Review: Holland's Indigo Area have been quietly dishing out techno gems since 2011 with the help of artists like Jonas Kopp, Skudge, Stephen Brown and Mark Williams. Number ten in the series sees Jasper Wolff and Maarten Mittendorff team up for another collaborative two-tracker consisting of bleeping 4/4 rhythms and ultra-stripped grooves. "Ante 303", as the name suggests, is a squelching, old-school rave number with limited elements and a hypnotic bassline; "Trica" is dubbier and reminiscent of the Basic Channel school of techno, while "Stellar Cult" heads back to the dark realms of kick-heavy Berghain techno. The kinda stuff DVS1, Anrthony Parasole and Sigha would vibe on.