Originally established in Sweden in the early '90s by Glenn Wilson, Planet Rhythm is now based in The Netherlands since it changed ownership in the mid '00s. Now part of the Triple Vision Music Group alongside cult favourites such as Fokuz and Yellow Stripe Recordings, this techno powerhouse has gone from strength to strength ever since with its relentless output. Key artists include the likes of Scalameriya, Alfredo Mazilli and Woo York, alongside legends such as Axel Karakasis, Tom Hades and Developer. Key releases which define the label are: A.Paul's Amalgamation (2010), Bas Mooy's Dolls And Decadence (2014) and Yan Cook's XX (2016).
Review: Brian Gibbs aka Gunjack has been releasing techno music for over 20 years. This experience and depth of knowledge is audible throughout Detroit Tango. The title track resounds to a rolling groove and bursts of dense percussion. "Rocket Surgery" sees Gunjack explore similar territory, albeit with heavier kicks and insistent, doubled up claps. In contrast, "Broken Adjectives" is a big room Detroit techno track, led by epic synth builds. Keeping the listener guessing, "Pachinko 24h"is like a halfway house between these styles. A looped melody plays out over a driving rhythm that drops and builds to dramatic effect.
Review: Following last year's S-101 release, Muzmin makes a return to Planet Rhythm. Comprising four tracks, Repsyched is a hard-edged, peak-time affair. "Chasing None" resounds to tough kicks and razor-sharp percussion, with Muzmin layering in eerie chord sequences. The title track is focused on a linear groove and a pulsating bass, with similar otherworldly tones peppered throughout the arrangement. "Gryphon" has a grainier sound, as Muzmin deploys dense, visceral drums and a jarring groove for maximum impact. Rounding out the release, "Bare Attention" marks another shift in style. With a focus on atmospheric textures, it is powered by a stepping rhythm.
Review: Planet Rhythm regular Red Rooms returns to the label with this dance floor focused four-tracker. The title track revolves around layered, building chords and a relentless percussive backdrop. Changing direction, the driving rhythm of "2B110BE" is filled with insistent bleeps. "On The Level" offers a more insistent take on this approach. Red Rooms ups the tempo, makes the drums more visceral, resulting in a frazzled but hypnotic looped techno track. "Prometheus" sees him go down a minimal route; powered by an angular Rob Hood-style groove, peppered with bleak synth stabs, it makes for a compelling finale to this fine, hard-hitting record.
Review: Following his debut on Planet Rhythm earlier this year, William Arist returns with a release that is heavily inspired by the 303. "Stickman" sets the tone for this EP, as gurgling acid lines unravel over a rolling rhythm. "The Dream Book" also has a strong 303 focus. This time, it's fused with a harder, percussive rhythm that provides a relentless backdrop for a succession of tonal tweaks and turns. The title track sees Arist channel the energy of 90s techno, with distorted kicks and a pounding groove fused with wild acid builds and drops. "Unmentionable" has the same focus, where a swarm of noisy 303s are combined with a pummelling drum track.
Review: Over the past few years, Deas has built up a catalogue of impressive releases on CLR, Second State and Planet Rhythm. He returns to the long-running techno label for Tanzhaus, a collection of tough tracks, designed for the club. "Black Air" resounds to swathes of dark percussion and insistent tonal sequences. "Cut" is just as impactful, but sees Deas take a different approach. Led by ominous synth lines and a frazzled bass, it draws on hardcore influences, putting them in a modern context. "Dark Line" marks another change in approach; focused on a fusion of building tonal sequences and a clubby groove, its pared back approach hits the peak time target. The title track isn't as hard-hitting, but Deas' use of ghostly synths and insistent tones is nothing short of incendiary.
Review: German techno duo OFF/GRID, presenting their latest offering a collection of four heavy and hard-hitting techno tracks on Rotterdam's label Planet Rhythm. OFF/GRID ingeniously blend hip-house samples with "Jiggy Rhythm", off-kilter stabs on "Shattered Dreams", and dub techno undulations into the rhythmic 4x4 structure with "Shifted Reality". If you're ready to take a sonic voyage through the cosmos, let OFF/GRID's mind-bending techno transport you to a whole new dimension.
Review: Planet Rhythm continues its mission of cultivating emerging techno talent. On Senga, Markus Axelsson aka MarAxe delivers powerful tracks that are primed for peak-time use.
"Mango" gets the EP off to an impressive start, led by filtered chords and booming kicks. The title track follows in a similar vein - based on a dramatic rolling rhythm, it's powered by piledriving percussion. In contrast, "Impala" starts off in a subdued mode, but it's only a temporary situation - as the arrangement progresses, cavernous filters and snare rolls crash in with devastating effect.
The rickety rhythms of "Koala" are bathed in a sea of white noise, while MarAxe rounds off the release with the throbbing bass-led "Dinga".
Review: Presion is a relative newcomer, but on this split release, they go head-to-head with the prolific Yan Cook. "Dominant" is a hypnotic, rolling affair, with Presion dropping looped drums and relentless percussion. Factor in some swirling acid and it's a near perfect dance floor techno track. It's also similar to Yan Cook's approach; on "Fog Catcher", he deploys chiming chords over a driving rhythm. Meanwhile on "Spaz", Cook melds clanging riffs and piledriving percussion with a dense, looped groove. The only sonic outlier here is the Hector Oakes version of Presion's "Dominant". It sees the storied producer serve up a grittier, more visceral sound that is markedly different to the other tracks.
Review: Following 2021's debut on Planet Rhythm, VIII-RE returns to the label with another impactful release. The title track gets the release off to a frenetic start. Featuring a combination of pounding tribal drums, moody bass and effective filters, these elements play host to a terse vocal sample. "DF-RT" follows a similar path. This time, the relentless kicks are augmented by searing rave stabs. On "Shimmering", VIII-RE explores a different approach. Fusing a rolling rhythm with epic chord builds, these elements combine for a dramatic club track. Rounding off the release is "TMT-2". Led by reverberating claps and featuring ghostly synth builds, it's a rousing finale.
Review: Planet Rhythm continues to deliver pure and effective techno with its eighth sub-series release. Lenny San takes the reins, presenting powerful and macho dub techno tracks. 'Matrix' features gritty, grainy chords and hard-hitting kicks that are sure to get a vast warehouse marching as one, while 'Suggestion' is an economical yet efficient dub techno banger. 'Acryl' brings the forceful groove to life with subtle distortion and rusted metal texture, and 'Antagonist' closes things out with fierce style. Don't miss this impressive release from one of techno's most reliable labels.
Review: Planet Rhythm has been on a roll lately with its dub sub-series, delivering three excellent EPs in rapid succession. The seventh drop in the series is brought to us by Two Sided Agency, immersing us instantly in deep sounds. 'Backwards Compatibility' is a warm and inviting dub techno track, featuring tightly layered drums. 'Multi Polarity' is even more urgent, yet still smooth, with glistening chords smeared over the intense drums, as more frosty lines weave in and out. 'Paradigm Shift' is a stripped-back, machine-made techno funk that's simply irresistible for late-night hypnosis. Finally, 'Hybridisation' increases the dub factor once more, with a sound that feels bottomless. This EP is a must-have for fans of the dub techno genre.
Review: One of Planet Rhythm's most consistent emerging artists, Steve Parker returns to the label after 2022's X-2222. This four-tracker sees him cover a range of styles. The title track is a fast-paced, lean rhythm, featuring insistent chords and firing percussion. On "Aural Singularity", the focus changes as Parker goes deeper to conjure up a lush dub techno workout. While the tempo is slower, it remains an effective club track. "Paranoid Skyline" also embraces dubbed out soundscapes, but Parker fuses it with relentless percussion and swirling filters to ensure it packs a strong dance floor punch. "Psychotic Impact" is more linear and led by looped chords, demonstrating that when it comes to tough but soulful club techno, Parker has few peers.
Review: Following his recent outing on Molecular, Klint now lands on the hard techno mothership, Planet Rhythm. "Dust" is set to a high pace but stands apart from the crowd thanks to the use of mysterious, wailing vocals and tweaked tones. "Your Fault" resounds to dramatic organ riffs playing out against doubled up claps and churning filters. Against this backdrop, Klint again deploys the human voice - on this occasion, it's a robotic but indistinct mantra, repeated throughout. "Organic Rewind" is a harder affair, with a stepping rhythm leading jittery percussive twists, while "Carbone" is a more straightforward, rolling groove featuring hypnotic synths.
Review: There aren't any prizes for guessing that Dario Evangelista's latest release under his Enter The Void alias follows a distinctive, acid-soaked direction. As the EP title suggests, PR303 101 is all about the sounds that emulate from the famed Roland box. "90's Acidcore" recalls Hardfloor at their most intense, with rolling snares powering the squelching acid lines on to spine-tingling crescendos. "Impulsive Mass" is more streamlined and linear, with Evangelista dropping 303 stabs over a rolling groove. He returns to a raw sound on "Tribal Ritual", where searing acid splurges over fragmented, spiky percussion. The reverberating breaks on "Like The Heaven" call to mind tripped out 90s break beat techno from Josh Wink and Hardkiss, but with a foreboding undercurrent.
Review: Planet Wax take us on another expertly curated techno trip on this latest Timeless Journey EP. The VA release kicks off with Earwax, aka breakthrough techno star Domenico Petrosino who has a refined, dubby take on modernist big room techno. Simone Tavazzi keeps the pressure up with nagging chord stabs set to stun and a juicy kick to sink your teeth into. 'Timeless Journey' itself comes from Dave Simon, who piles on warm swathes of synthesis without compromising on the impact of the rhythm section. Lenny San completes the picture with another deep n' dubbed-out workout, bringing a sense of consistency to this classy micro-collection.
Review: Planet Rhythms on a real roll right now and Steve Parker continues the legendary label's current fine form with this new and powerful four-track offering + a digital bonus. Parker is an exponent of classically inclined techno with subtle twists. 'Monofunctional' kicks off and is a hefty warehouse cut with dub weight and frazzled synth work warming up the frosty hi-hats. 'Hyperspectral' is urgent and tense with its tight synth loops and clipped, punchy drums. 'X-2222' is more edge-of-your-seat dark techno brilliance and 'Flashes' then lights up the rave with its synth stabs and rusted drum loops.