Review: After a few years' hiatus, Alek S returns to Made of Concrete with a fine EP that explores techno's deeper side. "Fastbreak" is led by a lean, linear rhythm and steely percussion, which provide the basis for billowing synths. At the other end of the tempo spectrum on "Sunrise", he drops an understated, downtempo track that resounds to layered textures. The title track marks another shift, while still focusing on depth, as cavernous chords and frozen synths unfold over a dub techno backdrop. On his version of "Nightdrive", Alex Bau delivers a tight, steely groove, peppered with rolling snares, closing out a classy release.
Voices In My Head (Rebar's 3210 remix) - (6:38) 131 BPM
Review: Marcus Suckut recently debuted on Odd Even and the title track on this new EP for Made Of Concrete has a similar flavour. Centred on a rolling groove, Suckut deploys a jazzy, looped sample to create a hypnotic, house DJ tool. The approach is similar but the mood changes radically on "8", where Suckut uses lead-weight kicks and conjures up swirling chords, while "Drift" is a firing, percussive techno affair that resounds to tantalisingly textured drones. Label owners Rebar also provide a remix of "Voices..." with layer upon layer of synths and white noise blasts unfolding over delicate broken beats.
Reject (Myles Serge full Blast remix) - (7:13) 128 BPM
Karat - (7:50) 114 BPM
Review: Israel producer in Berlin Danny Kotz (previously known for his work as Dekay on Dirt Crew) is back under his birth name and trying his hand at techno with the next release on Dresden based Made Of concrete. First track "Reject" is a droning hypnotic techno journey that is reminiscent of the work of Italian legends Giorgio Gigli & Obtane, while "Canopy" shows more restraint, relying simply on a jittery arpeggio and a stripped back groove: a great DJ tool. Ann Arbor's finest Myles Serge gets onboard to remix the previously mentioned "Reject" giving it a solid injection of hi-tech soul like only he can! Finally "Karat" is a slow burning and moody track that gradually builds in drama and suspense.
Gathaspar - "The Lover Of Ursa Major" - (9:22) 127 BPM
Review: Little is known of rising trippy-tech dude Gathaspar but he claims to hail from "Gathsoland". This latest EP is a homage to his homeland, wherever that may be. Geographically we couldn't say, but musically we know where he's at. The title track starts with long, hypnotic grooves fused with raw B-Boy beats. "The Lover of Ursa Major" is more straight up, with brooding synths looming ominously over a jittery shuffle. Things then get positively subterranean-deep on the space-trance epic "The Vision", a collaboration with Echologist.