Review: After his own Children Of Tomorrow label, Soma is fast becoming the default platform for Arnaud Le Texier. On Elements, he shows why Slam's imprint keeps releasing his music. The title track is a hypnotic roller, with ghostly synths woven into the tribal drums. "Polarisation" is more visceral, with Le Texier fusing noisy riffs with utilitarian hi hats and a driving rhythm. "Assign" maintains this intensity level as he drops a bruising drum track, while the ironically named "Be Gentle" follows a similar path. Building on the approach used on "Assign", he copper-fastens nickel-plated percussion to the driving rhythm, rounding off this release in fine, banging style.
Review: Roll Dann has been putting out music on Soma since 2018, and now he delivers another hard-hitting release for the storied label. "The Downfall" resounds to a predatory, rolling bass and rasping, chain-mail percussion, with these elements powering the stepping groove. "Reality Colours" is a straighter arrangement, with Roll Dann dropping a lean, linear rhythm and relentless, dense hi-hats. "Three Sisters In A Row" sees the Spanish producer continue in this trajectory, with the use of filtered stabs adding an extra layer of depth. He rounds off the release with a visceral track, as the intense bass tones of "Suburbs" lays bare Roll Dann's hard techno roots.
Review: Slam return to their Soma label with a hard-edged but distinctive four-tracker. First up is"SD 00.01", where the veteran duo bring the listener on a white knuckle ride through dense loops, an experience that's made all the more exhilarating thanks to the use of dynamic filters and frosty synths. "SD 00.02" is constructed using a similar approach, but in this instance shimmering chords and menacing stabs are fused to create a mesmerising peak-time track. The third track draws on the trance heritage of Thomas Heckmann, with epic builds copper fastened to a rolling groove, while the fourth and final "SD" track sees Slam deploy a similar approach, this time as melodic hooks are set to a dense, looped arrangement.
Review: Temudo follows last year's Unnecessary release on Soma with this fine, hard-edge EP. "Torres Vedras 8am" revolves around dense kicks and filters that sweep in merciless. It's lean, linear and deadly effective. "Calmakira" meanwhile sees Temudo go down a stripped back route, with a rolling, drum-heavy rhythm punctuated by crisp percussion. On "Deserves It", the Portuguese producer decides for a more abrasive option, dropping a stop-start angular rhythm that sounds like a malfunctioning seek foundry. But he returns to the dance floor for "Look Down Say Nothing", where a rolling groove is powered by a steely drum loop.
Review: This new compilation series is dedicated to showcasing emerging talent, and for the first instalment, Soma maintains a local focus. Neoma is from the label's hometown of Glasgow and makes his Soma debut here with the high-paced, tranced out "Abduction". Lisaloof is another Glaswegian techno talent, who impresses with the gritty, slamming industrial of "Down The Vaults", while Kairogen's "Mineral" marks a radical departure in sound, with its layered, mesmerising ambience. It's only a temporary blip, however; Balrog drops "Tokyo Drift", a visceral, acid-soaked slice of hardcore while Joe Farr delivers a pummelling panel beater in the shape of "Beaky".
Review: Norbak aka Artur Moreira follows two killer Eps on Soma last year with another fine release for the label. The tile track is especially distinctive, with Moreira combining a rolling tribal groove with multi-layered textures that flow and ebb over the dense drums. "Mirante" is more overt, as Norbak drops a pounding, industrial groove that's populated by niggling percussive elements. "Direction Towards Chaos" sees him opt for a similar approach, with a lean, stepping rhythm that takes influence from the Regis school of angular techno. Soma has also tapped two of Europe's best producers for remixes: Oscar Mulero lends "Mirante" some added weight thanks to the use of insistent filters, while Lewis Fautzi strips back the title track, turning it into a dark, peak-time banger.
Review: Soma owners Slam have been making techno records for over 30 years and their latest EP sees them focus on peak-time sounds. "The Passage" sounds like it took inspiration from the hypnotic tones of Plastikman's remix of System 7's "Alphawave", fusing these elements with massive kick drums and sweeping percussion. Meanwhile, on the title track, Slam draw on classic early 90s records from UR and Jeff Mills as inspiration for its searing rave/industrial riffs. This intense release also features "Deflect": more linear than the other tracks, its pounding drums and layer upon layer of metallic percussion is no-thing short of exhilarating.
Review: Salvatore 'SLV' Castelli has been releasing music on Soma for the past five years, and this latest missive sees him deliver a darker strain of techno. "Perpetual Slaughter" is a rave-heavy affair, with a rolling rhythm underpinning dense electronic riffs and a tortured vocal sample. "Phoenix Rising" sees him remain in this general field; fuelled by propulsive percussion and a wild bass, its hectic rhythm is populated by ominous riffs. Label owners Slam remix "Slaughter", streamlining the approach to deliver a linear affair, while Soma has also recruited Thomas Heckmann to rework the title track: in the German veteran's hands, it's transformed into a pumping affair, powered by one of his trademark visceral basslines.
Review: Soma celebrates its 600th release with a debut on the label from Optic Nerve aka Keith Tucker. This side project is focused more on deep techno than Tucker's signature electro sound as Aux 88, and Far Away is a mesmerising trip through Detroit sounds. The title track, with its hissing percussion and spaced out synth lines, provides the basis for ponderous vocals, while on "Channel Z", Tucker fuses rolling 808s with frosty pads and a snaking bass. "Techno Programming" is the most club-centred groove, with a menacing low end and dubbed out claps at its centre, while Motor City act Strand inject some machine-led soul into their version of "Techno Programming".