Riding The Void (Scuba's Pulse mix) - (7:06) 123 BPM
Riding The Void (Nought remix) - (7:04) 123 BPM
Riding The Void (Consumed remix) - (6:29) 123 BPM
Review: One of experimental electronics' most transgressive labels returns and it's always a pleasure; this time in the form of Frankfurt legend Uwe Schmidt. "Riding The Void" with its dark and dense minimal electro workout builds gradually, showcasing the immaculate studio skills he has become renown over the last 25 years. There's some fine remixes on offer here too; none other than Scuba stepping up to offer a tremendously dark and hypnotic remix. Herr Schmidt himself steps up to deliver two more fine remixes; the smooth minimal house vibe of old Force Inc. et al on the Nought remix while the Consumed mix takes it back into the electro realm, albeit a darker and harder take somewhere between Silicon Scally and E.R.P.
Review: Atom TM as been doing his thing for a long time now, as has German label Raster-Noton, putting out everyone from Simian Mobile Disco to Thomas Brinkmann and Mika Vainio - a considerably diverse spectrum of artists to say the least. As you'd expect, nothing is ever clear or easy with Atom TM's music, starting with the French library sample vocals of "Pop hd" and immediately changing mood to a sort of Kraftwerkian synth workout on "Strom". But it doesn't end there; all the tracks are incredibly different and ripe with opposing influences, such as "The Sound Of Decay", a perfect unison of noisy drones and semi-guitar-led harmonics; or indeed the quasi Detroit electro basslines of "Riding The Void" which lead up to the euphoric sampled hymns of "My Generation" - hd is a must check album of serious krautrock meets synthpop meets electronica.
Review: Russian ex-pat techno maverick Dasha Rush has always been a unique talent. Even so, Sleepstep - her first full-length for the admirable Raster Noton imprint - is a high concept affair. Designed to induce a dream-like state, it offers a mix of droning ambience, slo-motion electronica, yearning ambience and hypnotic, far-out techno, all interspersed with brief readings of Rush's poems. By and large, it has the desired effect, and even the darker, more macabre moments - see the percussive hit of "Lumiere Avant Midi", for starters - have a calming, atmospheric quality. By and large, it's the beatless excursions that really stand out, with the operatic vocals and woozy strings of "Sail Away To Her" being particularly spellbinding.
Review: Raster Noton isn't an obvious place to turn to if you're looking for some laughs, but there is no doubting its ability to twist new shapes and possibilities for techno music. Of all the label's artists, Delay has shown consistently that he's most at home when operating at the fringes of dance floor electronic music - the brief dalliances as Luomo excepted - and in that respect Espoo is no different to most of his back catalogue. "Olari" starts with blasts of atmopsheric textures with a melancholic tone in the background. Like much of his work, it's a gradual process and the eneveloping textures give way to the sound of sadness which comes to the foreground. In turn it too finally yields to lazy dubby beats. "Kolari" evolves from a similar base: it starts with repetitive stabs, looped ad infinitium, like a spool of thread that catches on a nail, unravels and is then rolled up again. Like "Olari", it too eventually gives way to a dance floor rthythm of sorts, this time clanging and metallic rather than dubby and indistinct. Delay fans will also be happy with the inclusion of the alternate versions of both tracks. These alternate versions focus on layers of atmospheric sound and chiming chords. In the case of "Kolari Version", only the dead-paced beats will rouse the listener from an ambient-induced torpor.
Review: Finnish producer Sasu Ripatti delivers one of his most accessible but satisfying albums to date. There is no shortage of the typical Delay glitchy abstractions, with "Vastaa" providing a snapshot of brittle rhtyhms and spliced, yet dramatic chords, while 'Marsila' wallows in the sensuous, layered ambience that has also become his stock in trade. But Kuopio is also unquestionably groovy, a quality one might not associate with Delay. "Avanne" is like his take on beat down house, its dubby, dusty groove revealing layers of sound, while the wiry rhythms and skittish drums of "Osottavva" and "Hitto" could be his take on Terrence Dixon's pointillist minimal.
Review: James Ginzburg and Paul Purgas are getting crustier and more experimental with every passing year. Recur, their fourth full-length excursion, is decidedly fuzzy and discordant. Seemingly intent on pushing experimental electronics to its limits, the formerly Bristol-based duo serve up a challenging but rewarding set based almost entirely around half-rhythms, white noises, drones, feedback and hissing atmospherics. It's spooky, intense stuff, all told, occasionally enlivened by sparse, pared-down concoctions that sound like a smacked out take on Autechre. But for all the bleak, out-there sounds, Recur is strangely involving, due in no small part to its immersive nature.
Review: Having carved out a strong sonic identity for themselves in the new wave of current noise-driven artists, Emptyset make a bold step in the right direction with an EP for Raster Noton, arguably the pinnacle destination for the grit-flecked, ear canal-scraping approach to anti bass music. "Armature" starts things off in relatively manageable territory with a stalking composition driven by a discernible kick, but "Core" is instantly a more visceral excursion into white noise blasts at messy rhythmic intervals. "Collapse" works towards a crescendo that almost reaches for melody, while "Wire" gleefully robs techno of its danceable function and sears its features to within an inch of its 4/4 life.
Review: Having Halcyon Veil as your first label ain't exactly a bad start, especially when it concerns to full LPs in quick succession, but that's just how Jesse Osborne-Lanthier goes about his business. The dude isn't only a music producer, though, and has actually collaborated on the design aspects of several stellar boutique labels like Paris' MIND Records, and London's Where To Now?. He makes his debut here with a four-tracker for Germany's Raster-Noton, a legendary electronic label that dates back to the late 90s, and one which has always procured our charts with the most explorative of sounds. From "Blackwell Dynonetics" through to "Lick & A Promise", Osborne-Lanthier leads us into a world of his own, where genres are liquefied into cerebral pools of sound that have more in common with the big bang than they do with techno or noise. A stellar EP - recommended!
Review: On David Letellier's fifth artist album, the interplay between light and dark, the visceral and the melodic is never far away. It is apparent from the get-go, with the sensuous ambience of opening track "Acto" giving way to the furious break beats and bleak, mechanical whirrs of " Dark Barker". The French producer repeats this approach throughout; as the rolling, distorted "Brume", the straight, banging techno of "These Are My Rivers" and the fidgeting, relentless percussion of "Safran" demonstrate, few producers do peak-time intensity as well as Letellier. At the same time, the Kangding Ray sound also embraces melody, audible on the deeper than deep techno of "When We Were Queens".
Review: Not much is known about Ueno Masaaki other than he's a Japanese artist that's debuting on Raster-Noton with a burgeoning new sound. It's a cutting edge sound that fits in perfectly with demeanour of Raster-Noton and all tracks on Vortices sound like dry, micro-loop reductions of Aoki Takamasa's music. Masaaki's inclusion to the label's Unun series follows previous releases by Mika Vainio and Emptyset - and if that's who label founder Byetone wishes to associate the Japanese artist with than we can expect great things in the future.