Review: Hot on the heels of his Storytellers release with DJ Bone earlier this year, Deetron returns to his regular label, Music Man. Like the Swiss DJ's flawless DJ sets, this two-tracker effortlessly straddles the house/techno divide. The tile track resounds to rolling grooves, dramatic chord surges and repetitive vocal snatches. It builds and drops seamlessly, making for a cut that will work equally well in peak time or warm up situations. On the AM version, piano keys are integrated into the groove, breaking down to create the kind of wide-eyed euphoria that will work everywhere from Panorama Bar to Ibiza clubs. Deetron does it again.
Review: As the temperatures get warmer, you can rest assured that Petar Dundov will release new music. The Croatian producer has been releasing deeply melodic techno for the best part of two decades, but his latest missive for Music Man is among his most impressive work. "Dalmatina" sounds like a low-slung, techy take on "Sueno Latino", with Dundov laying down evocative melodies over a tight, techy rhythm. On "Once We Were Here", he ups the tempo, but the mood remains the same as ponderous piano lines flow over tight back beats. It's the perfect, atmospheric sound track for those dramatic Dalmatian sunsets.
Review: "Lattice" is taken from Petar Dundov's fourth artist album, At The Turn Of Equilibrium, and it in some ways it is indicative of his sound. The Croatian's penchant for catchy, tranced out melodies are present, but the overall mood is subdued and even the synths have a less melancholic sound than usual, replaced by a somewhat frosty sensibility. It's left up to remixer Frank Wiedemann to raise the mood. The German producer, who is one half of Ame has considerable experience in this area - who can forget Rej? - and he combines powerful bass pulses with euphoric trance riffs to create a memorable, bubbling remix.
Review: Croatia's Petar Dundov, as those in the know well know: is one of the original proponents of the 'hypnotic techno' sound and why he's such a favourite at events such as the iconic Labyrinth Festival in Japan. In a career that's spanned over 16 years, At The Turn Of The Equilibrium LP marks his fifth album. Half the tracks are some of the most captivating and immersive ambient soundscapes that will inspire you with awe; such as on "Then Life" and "Everlasting Love" but rest assured there's some sweet trance inducing grooves also, like "The Lattice", the positive and uplifting "Before It All Ends" and the sombre and mysterious "Midnight Orchestra" which have you tunnelling down the abyss gloriously.
Dancing Sun (Forever Sound remix) - (6:54) 123 BPM
Review: You know that summer isn't too far away when Petar Dundov re-appears. Every year, the Croatian producer delivers a sun-kissed , tranced out groove that captures the beauty of his home country. "Dancing Sun" is no exception - what begins as an understated, bleep-laden track builds and builds with subtle melody changes until it reaches a gentle but hypnotic climax. Remixer Forever Sound faces a tough task to rise to the occasion, but he achieves it by adding in some bleeping bass and shimmering synths that sound like they were designed to be played at an open air party on the Dalmatian coast.
Review: Is Seth Troxler a romantic at heart? It's hard to say, but he does go off on an unexpected rant about 'this thing called love' for his contribution to Love Song. The fact that his vocals are surrounded by a Deetron's cool, trance synths and throbbing, bassy groove, make his utterances sound all the more convincing. Steve Bug has been put in charge of the remixes and does a fine job. Working under his Traffic Signs guise - a project that Bug started some time ago for his Chicago-style experiments - both versions see the German DJ/producer push the track into the kind of grinding, jacking sound that exudes pure carnal appeal.
Review: One of Europe's biggest electronic music parties sets out an impressive taster for this year's event. Mixed by French DJ/producer Brodinski, it moves from the deranged, siren-led "Slope" by Joe, through the swinging techno of Randomer's "Bring" and the chord-heavy groove of Brendon Moeller's take on Appleblim & Peverelist's "Over Here" before moving into more raw forms. This is articulated by the rough analogue jack of Marquis Hawkes' "Outta This Hood" and the firing, lean techno of Robert Hood's "Protein Valve (Edit 1). Brodinski also deserves kudos for dropping the grainy, surging bass and crisp drums of Claro Intelecto's rumbling electro killer, "Tone"
Review: Every year, Petar Dundov puts out a release that effortlessly captures the sun-kissed coastline of his native Croatia. This year, his knack of producing summer grooves is articulated on "Origins". Hollowed out drums and a rolling groove provide the basis for a swirling, trancey synth riffs that are just the right side of cheesiness, while Dundov - or one of his collaborators - strums a Balearic guitar in the background. "Rise" is darker and more moody, but here too the synths glisten and shimmer like stars flickering on a midnight surf in the Adriatic. This is techno at its most atmospheric and infectious.
Review: Music Over Matter is the album that Sami Geiser's previous releases had hinted that he was capable of. Featuring a long list of collaborators, it varies in style but does not lose the Swiss DJ's love of house and techno. The somewhat unpredictable pairing of Ripperton and Cooly G guest on "Thinking", a bleepy torch song covered in layers of electronic static, while Fritz Kalkbrenner sings evoactively on the piano-led "Bright City Lights". On a more dance floor tip is "Crave" with Hercules & Love Affair, where smooth piano tinkling and dulcet tones play out over a primal rhythm, while "Sing" is possibly Deetron's finest moment to date, a conga-led disco affair bathed in soft-focus Moogy weirdness.
Review: Given Deetron's penchant for mining the sounds of classic Detroit techno, his ear for melody, and the presence of Ben Westbeech on vocals, it's perhaps unsurprising that "Rhythm" has the air of a classic tech-soul anthem. It comes backed with some stellar remixes, too. Chief among these are the two rubs from Will Saul and October (vocal and instrumental), which sound like a cross between Laurent Garnier's "Crispy Bacon", Ken Ishii and Jeff Mills' more melodic, electro-centric efforts - all murky bass, heavy rhythms and intergalactic melodies. If those are a little too tough for your tastes, there's also a classic deep US house interpretation from Karizma which is similarly sublime.
Review: Petar Dundov delivers the Music Man label his third album, Sailing Off The Grid. Similarly to last year's Ideas From The Pond LP, his latest full length sees Dundov squeeze the richest of synthesised colours from his music machines. Tracks like "Moving", "Yesterday Is Tomorrow" and "White Spring" focus on strong, nightdrive arpeggios, while others like "Enter The Vortex", "Spheres" and "Sur La Mer Avec Mon Ami" look to ambient textures cast in a classical arrangement. Petar Dundov may not necessarily be breaking new ground with this LP, but his sound is certainly off the grid.
Review: For whatever reason, until now crossover success has evaded the supremely talented Swiss DJ Deetron aka Sami Geiser. However, that could all change with the release of "Character". Seen on the most superficial level, it's a rolling techno groove, but that basic description does it a disservice. Epic melody lines flit in and out of rich, sumptuous strings, and the purring, building bass is reminiscent of that other great melodic techno track, "Diabla" by Funk D'Void. That's not all; the release also features "Can't Love You More". With its rolling, tribal groove and aching vocal that states 'can't love you more', it could be Deetron's answer to Octave One's "Blackwater".
Review: Hood has been focusing his efforts of late on the Floorplan project, but on Technician, he provides listeners with a glimpse of his techno past. A stripped back, streamlined rhythm is at the heart of the title track. Augmented by squelchy acid lines, breathy synths and the jazzy flourishes of Nighttime World, it is one of the best recent examples of Hood's ability to balance dance floor functionality with atmospheric musicality. The remix by Mad Mike sees another Detroit icon enjoying a return to form. Dramatic strings and a pitched down vocal provide the intro, while a niggly acid line recalls the heights of UR's Final Frontier.
Review: By now, we should all know what to expect from Sam 'Deetron' Geiser, namely quietly uplifting, Detroit techno influenced deep house with lashings of soul. "Out of My Head", featuring the silky smooth vocals of Ovasoul 7, certainly ticks all the right boxes - sharp synth-strings, gorgeous melodies, great space in the mix and spacey synths - making it a summer anthem in the making. The remixes, too, are rather stellar, with George Fitzgerald in particular impressing with his rising, building, floor-friendly take. KiNK steps up to the plate, too, delivering superb vocal and dub versions that add some shaker-driven shuffle and old skool sassiness to proceedings. Impressive stuff, as expected.
Review: One of the more driving cuts from Robert Hood's epic Motor: Nighttime World 3 from last year, "Drive (The Age Of Automation)" finds itself getting a welcome single release. The original is about as Detroit as you can get, where a moody motorik bassline gives way to suitably sci-fi synths, combining a musical take on Detroit's automotive history with a Blade Runner aesthetic. Token artist Phase obviously revels in the opportunity to provide two brilliant reworks of the track; the "Nocturnal Mix", which isolates the original's bass stabs and incorporates them into a rolling juggernaut rhythm tailor made for the warehouse, while the "C-Box Mix" opts to keep the melodic elements but pare them back with the producer's trademark sharpness.
Review: Croatia's Petar Dundov is one the few artists who makes techno sound both evocative and organic. Unlike post-Kompakt mush or fist-pumping stadium trance, Dundov's work evokes a sense of melancholia that is absent from electronic music - and this release is no exception. On the title track, dramatic synths and strings well up against the backdrop of an amazingly fluid acid line. It's the musical strings that impress most, sounding purer and more vital than the turquoise waters of the Adriatic. "Triton", as its name suggests, is more austere and darker, as a pacy bassline guides eerie synth lines, but the reflective piano keys show yet again that Dundov is a master of melody.
Review: Robert Hood is techno's undisputed minimal master, but previous instalments of Nighttime World - especially the jazz-fuelled inaugural release in 1995 on Cheap - have afforded him the opportunity to go off script and indulge his conceptual whims. Will he do the same again on Motor? The answer is a resounding yes. Inspired by Julien Temple's 2010 documentary Requiem For Detroit?, which charts the fall and decline of America's former car manufacturing hub, the album is full of references to the effects of man's interaction with technology. If Kraftwerk's shimmering Man Machine was a testament to the benefits of humans harnessing technology, then Motor is the gloomy riposte, emerging from the rubble of a shattered metropolis to tell this sad but compelling tale and crucially, to offer some hope for the future.
Review: While Petar Dundov's latest album is certainly more laid-back than the storming intensity of his Brother's Yard releases, he hasn't sacrificed creativity, ideas or imagination in the process. Admittedly, the Croatian's 2010 single for Music Man, "Distant Shores", also included here, did edge close to mainstream Ibiza dance music, but it did so with an irresistible flair and panache and an understanding of what used to be popular on the White Isle, its pulsing electronic bassline supporting synth solos that verge on the psychedelic. Although it largely eschews the dance floor, the rest of Ideas From The Pond resonates with a similar sense of history. The title track is a perfectly weighted, sun-kissed ambient affair, its melody swirling gently over lazy mid-tempo beats that were made for Cafe Del Mar. "Together" provides the missing link between Leftfield at their most introspective - think the alternate versions of "Song of Life" - and Vangelis, as synths swell and ebb majestically and it's crying out to soundtrack a movie. "Around One" and "Tetra Float" are wonderfully atmospheric compositions, with spine-tingling keys and spacey melodies realised with a warm, soft-focus production touch. Unlike many of his peers, Ideas From The Pond shows that Dundov is not treading water and has grown older, wiser and more creative.
Review: Over the past few years there has been some great new talent coming out of Croatia, and Zagreb based Peter Dundov is one of those leading the way. He returns to Belgium based Music Man with a typically experimental and dynamic EP that sits itself (un-pigeon holed) somewhere between techno, progressive, and psy trance. Quite a melting pot of styles there and plenty going on in the mix to keep the listener interested, and twisted. Lead track is 'Stairway' full of blistering synth lines and washy atmospherics, while met with simplistic sharp percussion and a solid rolling b-line. 'The Arch' on the flip is a little lighter and melodic, whilst maintaining all of Petar's standout qualities.. Try something new and give these a go!
Review: Deep and moody techno from Humano here. Out on Belgian label, Music Man, the two tracks "Life" and "Death" have a classic techno feel, building and growing with every single snyth stab. The release has a shaking groove throughout, leaving you hypnotised every single time.