Review: Following on from the re-release of his debut album, The Electric Funk Machine as Planetary Assault Systems, Luke Slater releases the first new material under the project's name since 2017. As always, Straight Shooting is a mesmerising affair: "Beam Riders" kicks off the release with a pulsating, driving groove, while on "Born Anchors", the storied UK artist delivers a pile-driving rhythm that resounds to ticking, clicking percussion. "Humans Use Concrete" sees Slater revert to the 90s sound of Planetary Assault Systems, featuring a dense, looped arrangement, while "Engage Now" is a gargantuan roller that plays out against a backdrop of layered noise and insane frequency shifts.
Review: Despite being a new artist, Rene Wise captures the spirit of Mote Evolver perfectly. On "Wolf", he drops tough tribal drums and a visceral riff that climaxes and dips in intensity. "Broken Motor" is cut from similar cloth, as a rough, pulsating groove underpins noisy electronic riffs. "Loud Colours" sounds inspired by the 90s works of minimal house and techno artists like Baby Ford, with wired bleeps and doubled up claps sitting over a throbbing, heads down track. Rounding off this impressive debut is "Sprit Molecule", where Wise drops a tracky groove that supports warbling, indistinct vocals and hazy textures.
Review: When he's not re-wiring the techno blueprint under his own name or as Planetary Assault Systems, Luke Slater indulges in a house-based side project, LB Dub Corp. Side Effects is his first output under this alias since the 2013 debut LB Dub Corp album. "Reel One" sees him draw on Chicago house to create a deep, churning bass-led groove, while on "Night Time Hawk", he delivers a slower, dubbed out take on the Planetary Assault Systems sound. While Side Effects showcases Slater's less full-on style, there is a steely intensity present even on vocal sampling tracks like "Edge 7", and more laid back arrangements like "Float When You Can" still resound to a deep-seated trippiness.
Review: Psyk aka Manuel Anos has been a regular feature on Mote-Evolver over the past five years. Listening to Silent Witness, it's not hard to hear why Luke Slater rates him so highly. While the Spanish producer's music is full of character and intensity, it doesn't stray into senselessly banging territory. "Disorder" is a rolling, tribal affair, but it is delivered with great finesse and restraint, with hollowed out drums supporting a droning, frazzled bass. There is a similar aesthetic at play on the title track, where bleak acid signatures are combined with a stepping, understated rhythm. While Psyk ups the ante on the rolling snares and warbling tonal frequencies of "Apart", it is only a temporary divergence and soon enough he is back to the heads-down approach with the frazzled "Surrender".
Review: UK don Luke Slater returns with the fourth instalment of Deep Heet. The last edition released in 2012 on his esteemed Mote Evolver imprint is recognised by those that know as some of the most reliable techno tools in recent years: who can forget the sinister hypnotism of "Flat Tire": what a classic! You can bet there's yet more austere and ergonomic tracks for serious DJ use on offer here. Starting off with the driving and cyclical grunt of "Desert Races", then the tunnelling and trance inducing bell melody of "Life Rhythm". Then the full throttle intergalactic charge of Random Kingdom and the dystopian minimalism of "Lazer Organical" which would make even Mike Parker stand up and notice! Slater is still without doubt one of the most singular talents in techno, respect!
Review: Here's a match made in techno heaven - Mote Evolver boss and veteran producer Luke Slater has teamed up with O [Phase], who is best known for his releases on Token. Between them, they have come up with a killer EP. The title track fuses Phase's abstract sound design with Slater's intuitive understanding of what works on the dance floor, as waves of abstract sound unravel over a firing, futuristic rhythm. On balance, "Bugeye" is more about Slater's signatures, with a pulsating electronic riff and repetitive bleeps combined with stripped back but tough drums. Closing the release is "The Chains"; a ten-minute epic, with a ponderous vocal set to a lean, acid-soaked arrangement.
Review: British techno stalwart Luke Slater is now two decades into his ongoing Planetary Assault Systems adventures. To celebrate, he's handed over tracks recorded over the last 20 years to a hand picked group of remixers. It's a faultlessly floor-focused affair, with Lucy, Steve Bicknell, Function and Slam - whose acid-fired re-make of "Temporary Suspension" is an album highlight - all delivering typically no-nonsense interpretations of Slater's tracks. The producer himself delivers a handful of 'live edits' - versions created for his live shows - while Detroit legends Octave One smother "Booster" in classic Motor City melodies and the most positive of synthesizer refrains.
Review: Launched back in 2011, Mote Evolver's Parallel Series has been home to familiar names, including Luke Slater - under his LB Dub Corp guise - ASC and Shifted as well as newer talent like Bas Mooy and Chris Finke. For this fifth instalment, the label has decided to focus on emerging artists. Sev Dah's "Svarog" is a rave-influenced, peak time affair led by firing percussion and insistent bleeps, while on "Morana", the beats are dustier and the rhythm looser and more free-flowing. On the flip, Dutch producer Jeff Rushin opts for a tough approach; "Solex" centres on hard kicks and a distorted, grinding rhythm, while "Obsolete" closes out the release with a droning riff and heads-down drum patterns.
Review: This is Psyk's third release on Luke Slater's label and sees the Spanish producer pursue a softer approach than before. Both the title track and its '2nd mix' are built on subtle electronic pulses and gradually building chords that have more in common with Lil' Louis than Jeff Mills. Despite this, Pysk's love of repetitive arrangements is still audible and both versions are linear and unchanging. In contrast, "Powder" has a tougher electronic sound and is led by insistent tonal bleeps. "Aumento" is set to a similar tempo, but it isn't as abrasive thanks to its sleek pulses and rasping percussion.
Review: The title of this release could sum up Steve Rachmad's diverse career. From the deep techno of the early Sterac releases through the widescreen electro of Sterac Electronics and the tougher projects like Scorp, he has brought his expertise and finesse to a range of styles. For this outing on Luke Slater's label, the Dutch artist remains in harder territory. "Stroke 1" sees clipped drums underpin a dark, EBM bass, while "Stroke 2" explores this sound in more depth, as a grinding low end is fused with hissing percussive ticks. "Stroke 3" and "Stroke 4" return to more typical Sterac territory, with swaggering rhythms unfolding to the sound of bubbly bass tones and dubbed out drums.
Review: Luke Slater's label celebrates the big four-o with this unconventional release courtesy of Chris Jarman. "The Bailiff" is the most functional track on offer, a peak-time affair full of stomping beats, trippy sound effects and snare rolls crashing in for maximum impact. "Death to the Valley" is also geared for the dance floor, but here the bass bursts into big puddles of fuzzy viscosity. It's the sonic equivalent of a blister being lanced as a jackhammer bashes away in the background. "Network Rail" sees Jarman opt for a different approach as hammering, stepping drums replicate the sound of chattering train, while "Radio" rounds out this unusual release with a stepping rhythm shot through with searing, noisy riffs.
Review: Spanish producer Psyk first made a splash on Mote-Evolver with the Distane EP, with the Shed-like title track proving to be a big hit, while the Arcade follow up was equally impressive, and indeed popular. So it makes sense then that Psyk's debut album lands on Luke Slater's seminal techno label. If you combine all of your favourite elements from producers like Robert Hood, Shed, Jeff Mills, and of course Luke Slater - think intricate and bubbling micro-synths, phat house chords, linear bleep sequences, and a course a lot of 909 action - you've got a bonafide techno album that is Pysk's Time Foundation.
Review: If there's someone you can count on for excellence in minimalism when it comes to techno, it's Mike Parker. This time it's Mote-Evolver he's doing the business for, turning out three po-faced slices of tough and stealthy tackle for the dance. "Spitting Electricity" uses neat and tidy polyrhythms to create a slip-sliding effect as the titular electricity undulates through a filter. "Polar Vortex" is more obtuse with its bubbling synth tone that comes straight out of the textbook of freaky sound effects in techno tracks. "Ice Fissure" too turns to canny sound design to make its point, not to mention audibly crafting the crack of the title over a slow marching kick.
Review: While Luke Slater is busy as always, his Planetary Assault Systems output has slowed since the release of the all conquering Messenger LP for Ostgut Ton in 2011. For Future Modular, Slater is less visceral and more arpeggiated than previous releases, harking back to a '90s-early-2000s PAS-sound, specifically the title-track. On the B-sides there's the deep, trippy and linear "Serc", but before that there's a sinister "Riot In Silo" that's showered in 909-hi-hats to get through first.
Review: After the recent announcement of a forthcoming L.B Dub Corp album, Luke Slater's other alias, Planetary Assault Systems, provides its first transmission of 2013. Fans of "Bell Blocker" from PAS' stellar The Messenger album from 2011 will instantly warm to the cold chimes of "No Exit", while pink noise cushions the brooding, pitch-dark groove of "Undertow". Slater then introduces agitated mind games on the EPs inner B-side with "Nanendi", which sounds like a school of crickets trapped in a haunted cathedral of distant Gregorian chant.
Review: US producer Developer aka Adrian Sandoval has released a staggering 20 EPs in the past three years, but as Parallel Series 4 shows, there has been no fall-off in quality. Indeed, "Random Attractions" is the perfect example of what he does best; over a pulsing, heavy groove, metallic snares rattle in, ominous chords bubble to the surface and a screeching, abstract noise filters in and out. "Drive Themes" is just as effective; here, an evil chord sequence builds and drops over a hard-hitting percussive backing. "Forty Four" sees Sandoval deliver more bass-heavy pressure and jacking, metallic percussion, but there is another side to Developer, as the minimal house groove and breathy vocals of "Is it Skinny" demonstrate.
Review: Following Psyk's excellent label debut for Mote Evolver in the shape of Distane, the producer returns for another EP of robust, yet minimalistic techno. The title track is as tripped back as they come, utilising simply a stomping kick drum and metallic bell tones to create a devastating techno tool; "Surface" is similarly sparse, but trades earth shaking qualities for an idiosyncratic combination of irregular claps which are thrown into the mix alongside slender synth stabs. "Intern" meanwhile takes things on a funkier tip, where distant snare rolls and marimba-like tones combine to create a deceptively simple techno tool; it's a stark contrast to "Somewhere" which is significantly brighter in its approach, accenting Psyk's fierce rhythms and dub chords with a colourful cluster of house-inspired stabs.
Review: The latest Mote Evolver release sees a collaboration so obviously perfect its amazing its taken this long, as Stroboscopic Artefacts boss Lucy and Sandwell District alumnus Silent Servant team up for two tracks of precision techno which supposedly sees the pair using digital and analogue elements together to combine Lucy's ability to tell a story with Silent Servant's mastery of noise and distortion. "Dormancy Survivors" sees a steadily rolling rhythm slowly layered up with bright dub chords and echoing chimes, while white hot noise swells in the background. "Victors History" takes a much moodier approach from the off, as a dubby bass deflects bouncing stabs while clockwork percussion drifts in and out of range, before progressing into full blown cinematic techno towards the finish.
Review: If you were to find yourself late one Sunday afternoon jostling for position in a reconditioned power station, surrounded by ubermensch males, it's likely you're in Deep Heet. Techno music doesn't get much more self explanatory than this. "Voltan" is the most club-indulgent of the four track EP. A wall of undulating PAS noise shifts in and around a thrumming bassline. and the only audible deviation of instrumentation comes via pattering snares. Pent tensions encircle "Pygar" which gradually cools, as Slater reduces the track back to its original framework. "Turn" sheds the low end and fizzle of the aforementioned tracks, focusing on hypnotic and bleeping loops and disturbing Hitchcock-like insignia, while Slater reintroduces his fearsome hiss on "Flat Tire" with gargantuan war horns.
Review: The legendary Mote Evolver is back with another ferocious slab of UK techno. Label favourite Psyk gives us a blow to the head as soon as the needle touches down on title track, "Distane". Repetitive keys swing back and forth with mighty force; followed by "Isolate", another triumphant techno bomb filled with muffled static and a feverishly hissed percussion. For the (digital) B Side, Psyk takes us further down the bouncing rabbit hole on "Rdmn", and completes his rave injection with "Main", an almighty, stripped number worthy only of a gigantic dark room filled with bass bins.
Review: Luke Slater's label proves yet again that it's an indispensable filter for those seeking out hard-edged techno. "Howl" by Bas Mooy sets the pace, with a dense groove and pounding beats underpinned by a growling, predatory bass and rivulets of stainless steel percussion. Mooy's "Wesp" is derived from similar sources, but on this occasion the malevolent drums and shrieking riffs are paired up with a raw, growling bassline. Chris Finke's "Sleep When You're Dead" explores a new dimension, with a menacing bassline derived from the extreme end of ebm and industrial. But soon afterwards, Finke reverts to a purer sound and the clanking metallic rhythms of "Euphemism" complete the release.
Review: Shifted's identity remains a mystery, but crucially, he does not come from the small coterie that has dominated UK techno over the past twenty years. Like the signature image he uses, a grey, shadowy creature creeping through a snowy forest, his infiltration of the sound has been stealthy and understated. In many ways, his lack of connection with techno, his automatic outsider status, has allowed him to effect an entrance into a hitherto new terrain. Like his releases on Mote Evolver and his own Avian imprint, Crossed Paths tingles and fizzes with an atmospheric sensibility that monochrome techno often lacks. All of this is made possible by his distinctive sound design; intricate and subtle, yet at the same time both functional and multi-faceted, where all of these divergent paths cross, you'll find Shifted.
Review: Having become something of a regular fixture in the Mote Evolver camp, Shifted is back once again to head up Side A of the second Parallel Series 12". As you might expect, the techno comes bleak and throbbing from the Shifty one, although avoiding excessive heaviness over immersive progression and dubby FX. On the flip Samuli Kemppi plies his quirkier trade, using offbeat synth mess to counteract the steady rhythm of the bottom end on "Trans Neptunian". "Detached Object" meanwhile fires off streams of interlocking sounds which spiral around the relentless kick for a classy exercise in techno restraint. Highly recommended.
Review: Now this is a bit special. Luke Slater's Mote Evolver launches the Parallel series, the concept being that two contrasting but complementing artists drop a brace of tracks each on the one release.First up, US based Englishman ASC (real name James Clements), known primarily for his forward thinking D&B excursions, turns in two whopping techno cuts. The relentless guttural throb of "Slow Burn" is offset by some slapping synths and barely there vocal snippets, kind of what we'd expect a studio jam between Levon Vincent and Boddika to sound like. This is complemented by the more liquid tones of "Transit", a reverb-laden throbber with menacing sonar bleeps piercing the swampy atmospherics. Up next, Slater adopts his seldom seen L.B.Dub Corp guise for "Lurcher's Dub" and "Native Dub", with the cavernous sub-bass and twinkling keys of the former demanding play on an implausibly large soundsytem.
Review: Luke Slater brings Berghain resident and Ostgut Ton label mate Marcel Fengler to his own Mote Evolver imprint to administer some of the heavy, driving techno that has brought the German techno success. "Thwack" sees a myriad of raw beats and mechanical sounds exploring Fengler's often abrasive style. Ploughing unstoppably forward, this is techno at its most purposeful. "Sculptures" is intensely hypnotic, twisting a wonky yet funky groove from heavy industrial atmospherics. Mote Evolver is on a roll at the moment - long may it continue.
Review: Submerge lands a new two track EP on Luke Slater's Mote-Evolver imprint. The "Black Mamba" EP introduces two of the dark and tweaky tracks that have brought the Chi town native to the attention of today's techno scene.
Mote-Evolver has been on a fine run of form of late. Recent releases from the likes of Cari Lekebusch, Ortin Cam and Samuli Kemppi's excellent "Dark Matter" EP are still fresh in the memory and have subsequently raised the expectation levels for every release that follows on the label. Those levels increase even more when the producer is one of the most exciting to come out of the USA in recent years. Having built a reputation as an eclectic and innovative producer, and fresh from the success of his "2012" EP on his own Impact Mechanics label, Submerge now pushes his fresh techno sound further with "Black Mamba."
The title track is an adrenalin fuelled, full throttled techno jauggernaught that gets the release underway with a bang. Bristling with energy and intensity, the track builds amid pounding beats, pulsing acid stabs and manic phaser FX from outer space. It is heads down stuff for peak time sets, sure to blow the heads off anyone who hears it. B Side, "J-XX" is not as emphatic but every bit as powerful. Crunching beats and swashing FX create a rawness that compliments the groove to perfection. Constantly building, the track grows and grows with each bar, mutating itself into an angry and fierceful climax.
Another stand out release from Mote-Evolver, "Black Mama" proves that the label can keep the quality of their output consistently high, rather than just staying noticed through an occasional track that grabs attention. The EP also shows that its creator, Submerge, is more than capable of keeping his quality at the same level too.
Review: Luke Slater's impressive Mote ? Evolver label continues it rich vein of form with veteran Finnish producer Samuli Kemppi?s "Dark Matter EP." An intensely hypnotic EP, he uses a driving beat and echoed FX to create a futuristic landscape for this pulsating, minimal-edged techno beast. The talented producer continues to push things in the right direction with this one.