Review: Lopez began her musical journey on Modularz back in 2012 and following a series of Eps on Grey Report she now returns to Developer's label. Unlike the harder end of the Modularz spectrum Percepciones is an understated expertly weighted exercise in techno purism. It starts with the chugging chords and noisy interference of "Entre Lineas" before retreating to Sandwell/Sleeparchive ground courtesy of the sine-wave bleeps on the linear "Sin Sentido". "Intuiciones" remains in a similar place but is more mysterious and powerful and is propelled by dynamic percussion. Finally, there's the subtle whooshing feedback and steely rhythm of "En Ningun Lugar".
Review: The link between architecture and techno is long established (as is the connection between music journalism and building design) and on Portfolio One, Developer's label delivers diverse constructions from some of the finest new school techno practitioners. Eduardo de la Calle 's "The Promise" features chords that move from foreboding and menacing to spacey and tranced out, all over a rolling groove. Elyas' "Adiccion" is also designed for the dance floor, but more driving and percussive, while Takaaki Itoh's "Dusker" juxtaposes breathy vocals with pounding beats. Adriana Lopez also balances the demands of the dance floor with melodic elements and her 'Acta' sees chiming bells unfold over a lithe, steely rhythm.
Review: If anyone can knock out a techno LP of 25 quality big room club tools it's Developer. The Modularz boss is one of the few producers to reliably release a constant stream of booming 909 sounds without losing a sense of artistic character through oversaturation. For the DJ, In Pure Form is like a box of bullets: each track is deadly as the next. All productions vary between reverb-soaked drum patterns and distorted bell sequences to grittier productions flexing between music you'd expect from Sandwell District, LB Dub Corp and Oscar Mulero's Pole Group. Arm yourself with some Developer techno.
Review: The first track from this EP, "The Provoker", draws parallels with some of the genre's finest; namely Ben Klock's remix of Kerri Chandler's "Pong" and Marcel Fengler's string epic "Enigma". "Extension" is grubby, linear, and infinite techno that's slave to a four-four time signature, while "Alone" and "Frames" offer the dubby Berghain beats that he and Truncate do so well. Developer, take a bow.
Review: This is Developer's fourth outing for Modularz and it's clear that with each release, he sounds closer to the level of world-beaters like Fanon Flowers and Silent Servant who also release on the label. "Migrations" starts things off in loopy housey mode, the insistent, slightly detuned chords giving an offbeat feeling to the arrangement. "Space & Concrete" is more up tempo and denser, but the insistent bass licks are accompanied by skeletal percussion and dubby filter sweeps. The title track is a more intense proposition and the surging bass and chain mail hats are only matched in the intensity levels by Truncate's remix. There, reverberating claps and rattling snares provide the base for an intense, tunnelling bass that tries to drill its way to the earth's core - via the listener's cranium.
Review: Los Angeles' finest and Modularz main man Developer steps up for the fifth anniversary edition of his always reliable imprint for peak time techno weapons. "Catch My Flow" is a ferocious journey through dark side futurism and is just begging to be played at techno mecca Berghain. On the flip "Abnormal Mentality" is completely hysterical: with its mentasm style melodies dancing on top of a beastly bassline and belting rhythm: it's got all you need really. Finally it wouldn't be a Developer EP without one of his tunnelling and hypnotic epics would it? "The Charmer" satisfies such cravings, executed as brilliantly as always.
Review: Deep within the pores of techno you'll find Developer, an artist tirelessly producing techno like a motor-neuron being printed in 3D. This album, Sangre Por Oro, translates to that (and Blood For Gold in English) with a soundtrack that sends our consciousness spiralling into a new cosmological space. Flecked with sci-atmospheres, subtle industrialisms, trippy vocal snippets and touches of dub techno, Developer's tracks come together for full warehouse purpose. Thematic and melody can be found in numbers like "Over Cold Seas" alongside heavier tracks like "Headhunter" and "Boogie Down", with dubby touches in "Jive Keep Me Alive" and opener "Risky". Golden.
Review: Developer has many facets to his sound, but he starts Off Grid with its most visceral iteration. "He Was" features noisy kicks, snappy percussion and a somewhat disturbing vocal sample proclaiming 'he was a Londoner'. Vocal samples also feature on "Get Down Motive" but they murmur their way over a leaner, less visceral rhythm track peppered with eerie organs. However, it seems like the LA producer's default setting remains on the darker side for this release; "The Resistance" is led by urgent percussion and Sleeparchive-style lone bleeps as ghostly textures unravel in the background, while "Faded Nights" is another noisy, visceral workout.
Review: This split release on Developer's label brings together some of the finest names in modern techno. The label owner weighs in with two excellent tracks. "They Ring for Madness" is a tracky, moody affair, led by eerie textures and a functional rhythm. "More Matter" is more groovy, its rolling rhythm punctuated by big filter sweeps and hissing percussion. Adrian Lopez follows a similar route with "Estructura", with snappy percussion and up-building chords providing the basis for the rolling groove and concrete beats. Finally, the mysterious Spanish producer NX1 completes the package with "MZ2", its drum-heavy arrangement full of dramatic chord sweeps.
Review: Next up on Modularz, ever-prolific label boss Developer has invited former guest Ascion back to contribute to a new split EP. Of course with Developer you always know where you stand, and sure enough the techno comes focused and functional on "Power Dynamics" where a minimum of elements is needed to stamp out an instructive techno command. "Defined By Gravity" is a busier affair with its off-key synth lines, but the beats stay right on course. Ascion however has a fuller sound that embraces bigger dynamics, even on a track as carefully steered as "Wrth 2". "Exaline" makes for the deepest kind of acid techno you could wish for, drowning the 303 in reverb for a wonderfully psychedelic effect.
Heretic - "& We Are Left To Dance In The Ashes" - (7:51) 126 BPM
Review: Modularz marks 10 years at the forefront of underground club techno with a release that will surprise as much as it entertains. Label owner Developer sets out a ferocious agenda with the thundering "Rattle Bell", which forms around a repetitive, ringing tone, while on "Haunted Cave", Rhomb tunnels down the worm hole with a serving of mysterious throbbing rhythm. Surprisingly, there's a deeper dimension to this anniversary release; Heretic's "We Are Left To Dance In The Ashes" resounds to a dramatic, bleak synth-led melody, while a chord-heavy workout from Astronomical Telegram in the shape of "Saara" shows that Modularz isn't as singular as might have been imagined.
Review: US techno wizard Developer is back on his trusted Modularz imprint, this time alongside the lesser known DJ Surgeles, and the duo pack quite the punch with these five cold-hearted dance burners. Developer's "Infinite Numbers" opens on a bit of a cavernous tip, unleashing whole swarms of chilling bleeps over a stripped-back techno beat, and "Glimmer" ups the ante with yet more speed - and by that we mean velocity, not the powdered type! DJ Surgeles' "Hidden Places" follows with an echoing, hollow mass of drums and bass, while "Pulsating Orbs" bounces up and down with a distorted tone of voice, and "Out Of This World" steadies the ships by forming a thick, oozing layer of beatless ambience. A dish best served cold...
Review: Variations manages the rare feat of sounding suitably austere without resorting to the industrial-themed cliches that many techno producers are guilty of. Adrian Sandoval aka Developer's "Hexmode" is based on steely rhythms, but dank acid seeps through its metallic cover and later on, jarring riffs are sprayed over its framework. The title track is like Sleeparchive on downers as a series of insistent bleeps unfold over hissing percussion and ghostly synths loom in the background. There's an air of familiarity also on Eduardo de la Calle's "The Solution", where billowing dub techno chords are tempered by a nagging percussive underbelly, while Developer's combination of vocal snippets, cloudy percussion and dubbed out chords on "Under" keep the listener guessing right until the end.
Review: Creeping ever closer towards their third year of existence, Modularz have remained steadfast in their aesthetic approach, deftly combining the dynamism of straight up techno with an intricately textured approach that has proved enduringly rewarding. Label boss Developer once again features prominently on their tenth entry, contributing four cuts. The expansive bassline to the opening track "Sequence 85" practically consumes you, with "Sequence 88" markedly sparser, allowing the rigid percussion and booming kicks centre stage. "Mover Of The Mercury" meanwhile combines linear, tribal drumming and bleak, distant drones, while "Gaining" is imbued with a surprisingly funky character a la Gesloten Cirkel, as dark synth horns snake around precision drums. The producer's allies put in a fine showing too; last seen on Mote Evolver, Spaniard Psyk adds further balance with the subaqueous dub techno of "Transito", whilst the unknown quantity Rhomb is on electrifying form with the Mike Parker-esque "Reboot". Elyas' "Camberwell" may seem to take its name from one of South London's more picturesque locations, but the slamming techno stabs and granite drums are anything but polite, recalling Shed's Equalized material; Ascion rounds things off with the trippiest cut of the release, as savage waveforms twist themselves around abstract atonal beeps.
Review: US producer Fanon Flowers contributes the impressive "Prado Obscuro" to this release - its building, billowing chords are as good as his recent Sect and Mechanism Industries releases - but it's fair to say that this release is mainly about mystery artist Developer. From the ominous bass and clanging metallic chords of "Enhancer" to the darker, droning rhythms of "Climate", the artist behind the moniker demonstrates their mastery of the tougher end of techno. There is also a softer side to Developer's sound on display, as evidenced by the woozy melodies and housey rhythms of "Time Framer". Silent Servant completes this essential techno release with a brooding, dubby take on "Edificio".
Review: The fourth instalment in the Dead Architect series is a proper heads-down affair. It starts off with label owner Developer delivering "Utero", a visceral, pulsing groove encased in concrete kick drums. Rhomb, who has released a few EPs on Modularz, also keeps the focus on peak-time sounds with the rave stabs and subterranean bass of "Helix", which unfolds over a galloping groove. Rebekah maintains the intensity levels with the chain mail percussion and relentless rhythm of "Reflex", while CNCPT, another artist who has released before on the US imprint drops "Frazil". While it's not as fast-paced as other tracks, its dark tones and rasping hi-hats bring this split release to a close with a menacing undercurrent.
Review: Celebrating its tenth anniversary, Modularz delivers a split EP featuring label owner Developer and upcoming producer Roll Dann. "Ritual Master" is every bit what you would expect from a Developer track - ominous, streamlined and deadly effective as he loops a hypnotic electronic riff over a pounding kick. "Lone Mystic" reveals a different side to his canon, as he fuses a repetitive vocal sample with an eerie organ riff. On the flip side, Roll Dann immerses a tough techno track in colourful rave riffs to create an unusual hybrid, while "Soul Bag" is a more typical Modularz track, as eerie tones unfold over a lithe, rolling groove.
Review: With his Modularz label becoming a firm bastion of unfiltered techno machinations, Developer sets about bombarding our senses with his productions and curations across this eight track release. His own track "Heated" rattles through an industrial landscape devoid of colour, instead populated by reverb decays and distant clangs of metal, while "Dirty Drive" sees him stretching to work a melody into his machinery, coming out with a metallic dub chord drowning in its own echo, and "Dirty Drive 2" adds some complexity to the musicality and creates an utterly engrossing hook in the process. Shifted's remix meanwhile keeps a careful distance between the clean beat and the murky textures of the dubby elements. Handing over to Truncate, "Diffraction" flips the script with a central melodic hook and a thoroughly austere beat, while Jonas Kopp's remix beefs up that same theme by doubling up the phrase and edging towards a peak time monster, and Markus Suckut takes things deeper and into a more house compatible realm. For a real lesson in refined techno composition however, head straight to Stanislav Tokachev's "Building Peaks". Simplicity doesn't come more captivating than that synth line.
Review: Aside from his own Edit Select Records, Anthony MacKinnon aka Edit Select has been a big player in some very big labels like Prologue and Ostgut Ton throughout the years. The present Modularz has also been a core driver of the man's deep-minded techno frameworks, and this new EP feels like a return to form. Opening the skies is "The Drifter", a classic slice of headstrong techno spewing with bleeping atmospherics and propelled forwards by a sleek, tenebrous gust of ambience. "Last Seen Leaving" heads deeper into the whirlpool thanks to a hypnotic groove, and "Never Somewhere" offers a much needed dose of acid to inject a little nerves into the equation. That's us enjoying ourselves in case you hadn't understood...
Review: When it comes to Modularz you always know what you're gonna get: techno. This split Specifics In Realism EP is the first time Exium has appeared on Developer and Fanon Flowers' label, and it's the third time for Elyas, whose next step can only be a solo release after two VA appearances on Modularz. It's business as usual for Exuim who provide "Star Ancestors" and "Nebulae", the first, a drubby and booming chunk of big room techno, while the other leans towards something more spacey. Elyas then provides a hissing, clav-clucking "Surgery" and a dank, suspense-themed "Take Off". Killer club cuts.
Review: Apparently recorded near Mount Fuji in Japan, The Sword is a functional but atmospheric affair. It starts with the driving rhythm, razor sharp percussion and eerie synths of "Sword 1", which sounds like Terrence Dixon and Mike Parker jamming together. On "Sword 2", Hanzo focuses on pummelling tribal drums, which provide the backdrop for tone-shifting bleeps. "Sword 3" is deeper and dubbed out, and sounds like a slightly tougher, steely take on the house sound of labels like Sistrum, while on the fourth "Sword", Hanzo puts his focus back on a stripped back approach, with a lean rhythm providing the basis for otherworldly soundscapes.
Review: Mark Hawkins takes a break from his controversial house project Marquis Hawkes to deliver four purist techno cuts on Developer's label. In some ways, Singularity sees the UK producer return to his roots. After all, Hawkins originally released hard techno on labels like Djax and Uglyfunk in the early 00s, but this new approach is more linear and streamlined. "One Ten" sees him drop a firing percussive track that resounds to eerie riffs, while on "Entranced", he combines a mesmerising synth riff with a pulsing acid backing. "Mist" is slower and more murky, while "Alley Groove" is the rawest track on the release, combining a stripped back metallic rhythm with frequency shifting tones.
Review: Spanish producer Valentin Corujo knows how to get a groove on. On his latest release as Kessell - this time on Developer's label - he drops five killer dance floor tracks, each one as functional as the next. The first "Ecliptica" revolves around the kind of nocturnal bass that sounds inspired by Suburban Knight, while the second one is metallic and stripped back, but undercut with an acidic flavour. Number three is tough and pushing towards the edge of distortion thanks to its grainy kicks and noisy filters, while on the fourth version is slightly more reserved and sees Corujo draw on the spacey end of Sandwell District for inspiration. Closing the release is the fifth instalment, a rolling, hypnotic track that draws on loop techno's legacy but deploys these sensibilities in a visceral setting.
Review: The latest release on Developer's label contains the kind of detailed but functional tracks that are now inextricably linked to Modularz. The Italian pairing of Conrad Van Orton and VSK set the scene on "Sub Atomic", with its subtle off beats and intricate chords, before dropping the deep pulses of "Interaction". The tempo shifts considerably on "DP", where a tougher, acid-led groove prevails and "Entanglement" is a heads down, peak time banger. However, like many releases on Modularz, the release moves through a range of moods; "Angular Momentum" sees the pair do their best Sandwell District impression with a hypnotic, bleep-laden groove, while best of all, "Mystery of Time" is a beautiful ambient piece.
Review: Continuing his foray into the pitiless world of pitch-black techno, Oscar Mulero brings the pressure on this latest EP for Developer's Modularz imprint, stepping up to the label's remit for forward-thinking industrial styles. "Rotula" falls slow and heavy, somehow achieving grace even as the unforgiving bottom end thuds out and the hats shudder with nervous energy. Truncate brings a remix that plies a more compacted trade in cyclical techno, less booming but more pointed than the original. On the flip, Mulero's "Transversal" does the damage with a scant list of ingredients, largely dominated by a stuttering square wave bass stab bringing the doom to great effect, while Sleeparchive reacts with a version that brings everything you could want from a Sleeparchive cut; a bleak soundscape devoid of human warmth with a central bleep the only source of light.
Review: There's no info on the producers behind the latest missive for Modularz, but suffice to say that it'll appeal to fans of the label's heads-down sound. The title track starts the release in firing form, with oppressive kicks and a steely rhythm providing a basis for the pair to deliver a stinging, pulsating groove. On "Jack And Verge", Nurbak & Temudo follow a relatively similar approach, albeit with sharper drums and a searing bass to the fore. Rounding off this impressive release, on "Value Of Icons" the production pair put their focus on tribal drums and the kind of loopy approach that will appeal to fans of Ben Sims.
Review: Over the past 15 years, Paul Ritch has released music on some of techno's most respected labels, including Drumcode, 100% Pure and SCI + TEC. So it makes sense that he has hooked up with Developer's Modularz. In keeping with the imprint's style, "Nuit Blanche" is a looped, chord heavy affair, while on "Insomnie", Ritch opts for a similar approach, albeit this time with broken beats supporting the steely percussion. "Revelation" sees him deliver a straighter dance floor track, thanks to the use of monstrous kicks, while he keeps the audience guessing with the abstract, layered piece of electronica that is "Rixe".
Review: Swedish producer Petter B has been knocking about for a few years now, releasing music for labels like Drumcode, and more recently, his own Bond. For this split EP on Developer's Modularz, he really lets loose, delivering two huge steel slabs of warehouse techno. On the flip is Rhomb, a fledging producer who debuted on Modularz last year providing one production to a four-track EP featuring Psyk and Developer. For this EP he delivers a steamy and dub-driven "Output", while "Glitch" is militant with a horror-thematic break down that's silenced by more booming techno beats. This is a huge record.
Population One - "Code Of Conduct" - (5:09) 129 BPM
Population One - "Concrete Playground" - (4:33) 125 BPM
Terrence Dixon - "Touching Bass" - (4:07) 128 BPM
Terrence Dixon - "The Beholder" - (4:21) 120 BPM
Review: It's a good thing that Terrence Dixon wasn't being serious when he announced that he's stopped making music. In this day and age, he is the one true pioneer left in Detroit, and his utterly singular brand of techno is an essential part of our daily existence here at HQ. This time, Dixon returns under his own name and under his most successful alias, Population One, on one split EP for Developer's Modularz label. "Code Of Conduct" and "Concrete Playground" represent the Population One side, the first tune being a subdued kick filled with cavernous space above it while the latter is more classic Population One thanks to those bizarre melodic twists. Dixon serves up "Touching Bass" and "The Beholder" on the flip, two jazzy techno sculptures that are instantly recognizable as his own. Recommended, as always.
Review: This is Rhomb's third outing on Developer's label, but it's the first release that he hasn't shared with a peer. Listening to "Rebus", which unfolds to tense clicks and foreboding textures that linger over its bass-heavy rhythm, it sounds like this solo flight was well deserved. Rhomb's star quality is reinforced by "Worn Out Places", where he shifts styles to deliver a bleep heavy, nickel-plated percussive workout. "Run In Circles" sees a deeper departure into that sound, with the track's dubbed out, hypnotic groove recalling Silent Servant's contributions to Sandwell District. "Bullet Train" marks another change, but this time it's towards the dense, drum-heavy approach favoured by Modularz' owner.
Review: Apart from boasting one of the best ever names for a series, the second in the Dead Architect Series sees a wide range of sounds represented. Christian Wunsch's "Tilmun" is a killer peak time affair, its distorted beats and metal bar riffs sounding like it came from a horrific dystopia. Datura Dilema's "Illuminance" is less abrasive but just as hypnotic, with heavy dub beats underpinning a rolling, hypnotic groove. Wunsch's other contribution, "Marduk", sees him opt for a more considered approach, as he delivers a stripped back, stepping rhythm. Rounding out the release is Rhomb's excellent "System C01d", an understated but hypnotic deep techno late night groove.
Review: With releases on Balans, Field and Stockholm LTD to his credit, there is no doubting Staffan Linzatti's pedigree as a producer. What is surprising on this record for Modularz is his ability to create a wide palette of styles. There's the string-led, neo-classical "A Game of Guessing", followed by the complex, stepping rhythm of "Revoke". In line with the usual style of Modularz, "Mystery Man" is a tough, tribal affair that resounds to robust drums and ticking percussion. On "Induced Compliance" and "The Mind is Racing", Linzatti ventures into a sci-fi dimension, thanks to the use of eerie synth sequences and rolling, steely drums.
Review: Produced by Hector Sandoval, one half of Exium, Atlanticas is a hard-hitting techno affair. The first four tracks on this release - four installments of "Transmisiones" - follow a relatively similar route. Panning effects, acidic bleeps and churning filters all sweep and soar over distorted beats and hammering rhythms. It's intense, mesmerising material and on the first and third "Atlanticas", the Spanish producer goes even heavier and harder, as industrial drums, panel beating rhythms and nightmarish filters prevail. There is a more restrained side to Tensal's sound, and this is audible on the insistent pulses of "Atlanticas 2" and the deeper "Atlanticas 4", but at both of these tracks' core is the same relentlessness that defines the rest of the release.
Review: Coming up in the music scene of Kansas City and currently residing in Detroit, Ryan Maloney aka Uun is also involved in the label and event series Modern Cathedrals; known for their eerie broken beat techno and Eden events. He has released previously on Mord and Soma and makes a welcome return to production with this riveting EP for ever reliable Los Angeles-based imprint Modularz. Be captivated by his skillful sound design and surrender to the void, on the brooding atmosphere presented on the Disruption Phases EP. The deep mentalist trip of "The Vizier", to the full throttle peak time intensity of "Cenotaph" or the body bashing broken beats of "Veiled Union" - this is modern techno at its most austere.
Review: Developer's label drops a monster 18-track compilation that showcases a diverse range of modern techno styles. There's the drum-heavy loops of CNCPT's "New Science & Telekinesis Facility 10" and the buzzing, percussive grooves that define the contributions from Emitto Audio's "Mars Radiation Terminal 20" and Insolate's "Cern Research Center 35". Taking the compilation to a bleaker place is the eerie, oppressive mood on Patrik Carrera's "Mars Radiation Terminal 25", but there are also more esoteric contributions such as the hypnotic tones of Ryogo Yamamori's "Center For Cyborg Data & Control 75". If you are looking for a view of where dance floor techno is headed, WAV1095 offers a ringside seat.
Review: Having only just released an EP through Midgar, 2017 looks set to be a winning year for techno deviant Von Grall. The Semantica associate is up on Modularz this week, and from the tenebrous sounds of "Seeking Loyalty", it's clear that the producer is in absolutely no mood to stray outside of the techno framework. This is some pretty dark material. "Distinction" is another hefty roller of a tune, this time stripped-back to a hypnotic sequence of bleeps and airy pads while, "Next Form" bashes out a cacophonous flurry of electrifying tones, and "Obtain It" flutters its pulsating bass tones over a minimalistic array of 6am sonics. Nasty, unforgiving gear for the dancefloor.