Review: Dutch techno producer Joop Junior might be new on the scene but he's already been a busy little bee; heralded by none other than Richie Hawtin in his 2012 New Horizons series as an artist to watch, his unique combination of erratic sampling and industrial beats make for a curiously satisfying listen. Meeting somewhere in the middle between experimental, progressive and minimal, there's something odd and intriguing about Joop Junior's style. Whether it's his sample choices, the way his percussion sounds simultaneously huge and flat or how each track feels cut-and-pressed and ready for the club, there's no denying that this little beauty is a definite worth a look.
Review: Richie Hawtin's label continues its reinvention from minimal mainstay to a more abrasive approach. Granted, in places on "The Monikker", there are reminders of Minus' recent past. In particular, the stripped back rhythm and big break down of "The Devil In White" are redolent of the mid 00s. In the main however, this is a contemporary affair: the shaking percussion and sullen acid lines of "Acid Shuffle" are a precursor for "In the Dark", which juggernauts its way into a 303-led, bassy climax. But the most intense cut, "Wise Guys With Ray Guns", sees Blakk deliver the kind of belching bass intensity and claustrophobic, corrosive groove as industrial producers like Orphx.
Review: France's Julian Jeweil returns to the iconic Minus with a rather unusual bag of tricks, and to be honest, we're really digging it down here at Juno HQ. "She's Hot" is rolling and tech-fuelled but slightly more joyful than many other releases on Richie Hawtin's legendary catalogue. "Green Room" is slightly more Minus-oriented with Jeweil's hypnotising groove is a classic floor stomper, but it's "Snake Dance" which takes all the attention with its meandering synths and precision-controlled percussion, making it a welcome addition to both Jeweil's catalogue and Hawtin's institution.
Review: A mystery for you - how have two newcomers to the techno scene risen from the Moscow underground to produce such an elegant work of pinpoint precision and grit, famously lauded by the mighty Richie Hawtin? Featuring the now notorious "Acid Village" demo, it seemingly chops effortlessly between hard minimal techno and something deeper with every beat. Looped crackles and pops flit between warmer percussion, oddly enticing samples and strings, creating perfect sound design from the grime. Atmospheric but never overindulgent, this has to be one of 2013's greatest hidden gems.
Review: Richie Hawtin's label goes back to the mid to late '90s for its latest excursion. The title track is a killer big room affair, its pounding drums and percussive slivers underscoring shimmering chords and spiraling 303s. It's like Jeweil has refined the force of late '90s loop techno using a contemporary touch. "Boom" marks a return of sorts to Minus' typical sound, with reduced beats providing the backing for great lugs of black noise, but it's only a temporary diversion. "Flexx" sees him mining the '90s path again, this time with a stripped back rhythm underscoring a series of blips, bleeps and clicks to rival vintage Dan Bell.
Review: Richie Hawtin's label has long been associated with the minimal sound, but this release frees itself from that aesthetic. The title track is stripped back, but it serves up a new take on classic electro thanks to its shuffling 808s and woozy, reflective synths. Tale of Us return to a more conventional approach on "Discochord" but they still avoid hiccupping mnml sounds and the squelchy acid line is accompanied by atmospheric synths. Finally, "Lost City" is more grimy and nocturnal, but again the menacing 808s and reflective synths make it sound a million miles away from the label's trademark sound.
Review: Two of the newest arrivals at Richie Hawtin's minimal empire deliver unexpected results. Matador's "Dusk Particals" suggests that we won't be treated to ping-pong beats, its austere textures and evil bleeps unfolding over an atonal rhythm. Hobo is also quick to champion the eerie and introverted and on "Not Even Looking", uses icy synths, menacing acid licks and sharp, broken beats to deliver a compelling abstract lesson. Hobo also knows how to squeeze emotive sounds from his machines, and "Approach" is a beautifully atmospheric synth scape replete with chiming bells. Doing his bit to keep Entergrooves in spacey mode , Matador drops the tonal drops and pulsing, out there acid of "Svinx".
Review: A duo from Sao Paulo, Click Box have become a firm fixture of Richie Hawtin's Minus label over the years and here comes their latest offering. The title track is a slice of throbbing stripped back techno, while the similar "Match 5" expands on the theme by adding some more propulsive hi-hats and seriously sinister analogue sounds and melodies. "Brutal Shore" goes weirder still, but it's the mighty "Doubt" that's the key track on this release - a driving kick drum is layered with otherworldly soundscapes creating a truly apocalyptic feel.