Review: What happens when one of techno's harder proponents teams up with a champion of its most esoteric sounds? On the evidence of Theme, it sounds like seduction has prevailed over force. "Machine Theme" is based on robust, dubby drums, but it's the synths that move from mellow and understated to dark and forceful that really impress. That's not to say that Sims isn't represented here: his dub take on "Machine Theme" features dark, tonal bleeps and a ravey climax, while "Metal Works" is an ideal compromise. The rhythm is stripped back, the percussion hissing and insistent, but at its heart there's a sense of musicality that could only come from Degiorgio's hand.
Review: Sims and Degiorgio's Machine parties have reinvigorated London's techno scene and it's fair to say that the label is having a similar effect. At a time when their peers have either fallen into a minimal hole or are rediscovering their hastily assembled Goth pasts, the duo keep their heads down and focused on making deadly techno. The title track comes from Sims' studio and is a driving, filtered beast fuelled by razor sharp percussion. On "Strike 2", Sims notches up the pressure, with dark droning pulses joining the rhythmic heaviness. Degiorgio also acquits himself well; "Dark Fire" is like a distant cousin to "Strike 2", covered in splurging acid lines and ticking percussion, while "Dread" is led by tough drums and a brooding hoover bassline.