Review: Angeles and Search are experts in crafting purist techno and this release serves to highlight their talents. "Divisio" is an upfront affair, its pumping, snaking groove and insistent chord sequences making for great big room materia. Jonas Kopp contributes a remix of "Rhetorica", which has a similar approach, its rolling groove containing a filtered acidic riff. However, the duo impress most on "Partitio". It's less immediate than the other tracks, but its crisp drums and dark claps, coupled with atmospheric chords, ensure it's the highlight here.
Review: Decoy Linzatti are back with "Gomit Shin" on Stockholm Ltd. In 2006 the Linzatti brothers definitely defined a new era of Swedish electronic music. Staffan and his older brother Mathias is truly pushing the barriers of healthy living with their hunt for new sounds and new ways to perform. They eat, sleep and, for sure, breath Swedish techno music?
To follow up the great success of Staffan's "Monikers" release he now teams up with his brother Mathias for this split project. The title track "Gomit shin" is their first track produced together. And this twelve minute track is, twelve minutes of future, twelve minutes of innovation, twelve minutes of what techno is all about! On the flip they have one spot each. Mathias gives us a real dancefloor peak with his "Quasar" while Staffan's "Jaralaacs C" moves more in after-hours madness.
Review: The work of Jean-Louis Huhta, the Dungeon Acid project sees modern techno might and precision brought to bear on classic acid sounds. The Point Chaud remix of the title track is based around stripped back rhythms and crunchy rhythms, while on "Timewave", Huhta goes into full-on hard techno mode, with searing acid lines complementing scary rave riffs. Label owner Par Grindvik contributes two versions; the first is a tough, pumping affair, undercut by stomping beats and a pumping rhythm, while his second take is more impressive. It too features the Swedish producer's steely rhythms, but as it progresses, it veers into a dark, atmospheric cloud.
Review: Listen to some tracks from Exu with the blinds down and you'd be forgiven for forgetting that we're in the middle of the summer. "The Random Eye (Introspective)" starts this mini-album with hypnotic drones; "Off (Futurespective)" is full of creepy textures and "1,000 Exuspective" sees Kronert makes the kind of dark ambient Haxan Cloak is lauded for. Kronert also knows his way around a dance floor groove and "Into the Zone" is a killer DBX-style minimal house track, while "Code 2" sees him opt for a more up to date sound, its stepping rhythm haunted by the dark textures that lurk in the shadows throughout Exu.
Review: Last year, German producer Andre Kronet made his debut on Par Grindvik's label with the Exu mini-album. Now Stockholm Ltd has released remixes from some of Europe's finest producers. Efdemin turns "Into the Zone" into a beefy, minimal techno affair, its firing percussion and steely rhythm mixed with a pitchbent vocal. Ed Davenport delivers a hammering, Mr G-style house take on "Code 2" and Peder Mannerfelt and Grindvik himself drop rough beats and atmospheric filters to recast "Into the Zone" However, in between remixes from these well-known artists lurk the eerie ambient soundscapes of "The Unknown (Exu's Path)" and "Alone (Exu's Flow)", which on their own are worth the price of this release alone.
Review: Laval is a collaboration between French veteran Electric Rescue and Kmyle, which earlier this year yielded an EP for Stockholm Ltd. Now the pair comes with a more developed release. "Nebula" and "Veil of Mist" are deep, reflective pieces of mood music, while on "Dina Goldschack", they delve into atmospheric dub techno. Despite these flirtations with other sounds, they also deliver with a direct approach and "Our Turn" and "Forest Murder" resound to chilling textures as well as club-primed linear rhythms. On "TT 107", the pair diversify again with a menacing, stepping rhythm, but as "No Hypocrisy" shows, rolling, tripped out grooves are really their forte.
Review: Laval follow up last year's Cold Hearts album on P?r Grindvik's Stockholm Ltd label with this killer EP. Despite being named after a desert, "Sahara" is an ice cold stepper, its frosty synths and spiky rhythms ushering in a gurgling acid line that accompanies the track's soaring builds and drops. "Antechrist" follows a straighter approach, with tough drums underpinning the atmospheric hooks at the track's centre. It demonstrates that the French pair is adept at managing the feat of balancing depth with force. The title track goes down a similar route, with rolling beats underpinning wave upon wave of gentle, undulating melody lines - again a near perfect fusion of strength and musicality.
Review: This split release features producers breathing new life into well-known forms. Jesse Jakob relives the spirit of Chicago house with slamming drums accompanying the trademark acid pirouettes. Andre Kronert's "C.O.D.E. 1" follows a different path as the scuffled dub of Basic Channel is re-lived against a backdrop of distorted drums and tonal squelches, while Simon Haydo's "Procession" is like a more refined version of 90s Drumcode-style techno, its dark thundering beats fused with a growling bass for maximum effect. The one variable on this release is Peder Mannerfelt. The Swedish producer's "A Narrow Dome" avoids the dance floor, its foreboding soundscapes interspersed with the sound of plastic chairs being hurled off a tin roof.
Review: Corded brings together two of Sweden and Europe's best techno producers. Peder Mannerfelt has already put out an excellent abstract album this year and he continues in that vein with his contributions to this release. "Metastasizing" is all dark soundscapes and the sound of malfunctioning machines, while "Valle" is led by insane screeches, like someone ramming their finger into a live electricity socket. "White Noise-Pink Ladies" is even more extreme, as wave upon wave of noise and ear-shredding tones coalesce. Grindvik meanwhile, represents a more dance floor friendly approach; "Speaker Attack" is led by clonking rhythms and firing percussion, while "Help Me Shiver" is a tough techno groove led by cold bleeps and a driving rhythm.
Review: The latest release on Par Grindvik's long-running label is a diverse techno record. First up is
Tor Lowkrantz aka Mighty Thor with "All The Shadows", a pumping, bleep-heavy track that fuses the hypnotic Sandwell sound with a groovy undercurrent. DJ Redo's "Barrel of Fish" is a more abstract affair, with clattering percussion driving a dense, stop-start groove. The long-serving German producer Savas Pascalidis steers the release back to the dance floor with the building chords and rolling rhythm of "Synergy", but unpredictably, the release ends with the stripped back, understated minimal house of Border One's "Operate".
Review: Real is Par Grindvik's debut album, and it explains why he is so well regarded. The Swede-in-Berlin is as much at home making the mellow, dreamy ambient of "Never Give In" as he is belting out the hard-as-nails minimalism of "Headland". Grindvik clearly has a deeply musical streak and this is audible on the title track's mournful piano scapes and the layered textures of "Tide Us Part". Even when he locks into full-on techno mode, this influence remains audible. The hammmering kicks on "Limits Of Real" underscore warbling keys and the robust broken beats of "Shelter" house solemn melodic sequences that weave in and out of Grindvik's direct but subtle arrangements.
Review: After a release earlier this year for Weekend Circuit, it looks like Par Grindvik has settled again at Stockholm Ltd, his own label. Following on from the Aged EP comes The Game. It's an intriguing release that, like much of the material on the label, doesn't fall into a distinct category. "Wall to Wall" is pared back and mysterious sounding, like a close cousin of Bodycode, while on "Private Life", the Swedish producer delivers a deep, dense chord-heavy affair, its synths murmuring their way over a rolling groove. "Demand" sees a similar approach applied to a more peak-time approach, while on "Front Row (The Game)" Grindvik surprises again, with a mid-tempo groove that features evocative soundscapes.
Review: It turns out that the latest release on Stockholm Ltd is auto-biographical. The label's owner, Par Grindvik, has written and recorded an EP about growing older within a scene that stays forever young. It explains why "London Marble" and "One Day" are so evocative, alternating between spaced out, slow-burning acidic pulses, glitch percussion and beautiful textures, sampled from nature. That said, the Swedish producer still knows how to knock out dance floor tracks; there's the glitchy minimalism of "Fair View House" and the dubby, hypnotic "Magnolia", while on "Hold You", he unleashes his own version of Valhalla, with an abrasive, jarring 909 workout.
Review: This is Grindvik's sole release this year, but it has been worth the wait. Supposedly inspired by 'current events, politics, and people in his surroundings', it isn't a typical techno record. "Trails" is an expansive affair, with woozy melodies unravelling over clicking percussion and broken beats. It's far less direct than is normal for the Swedish artist's music, but it also shows that his sound is evolving, not staying in the same place. "The Right To Be Forgotten" is just as left of centre. It too features broken beats - albeit accompanied by sharper, leaner percussion - as well as a sonorous, moody bass that works its way gradually through the arrangement. It's an evocative record from an artist whose development is a joy to witness.
Review: Par Grindvik's label is one of the few to successfully fuse techno with experimentation - and the latest release on Stockholm Ltd, by Peder Mannerfelt, showcases this approach.The Scandinavian artist expertly manages to juggle both approaches. On "Obey" he manifests itself through rolling percussive drums and muffled drones, like the call to war of a medieval army. "Stream of Time" is more dance floor friendly; focused on a jacking, stepping rhythm and crashing cymbals it sees Mannerfelt unleash recycled rave stabs and wave upon wave of malevolent, noisy riffs. For those who like techno with an off centre approach, Obey is a vital release.
Review: As the Persuader, Jesper Dahlback has created some truly beautiful deep house - check 1997's Stockholm by Night - but Fusion is a different matter entirely. It sees the Swedish producer focus on harder-edged sounds, but without losing his groove. The title track is a high-paced roller, its galloping rhythm giving way to surging chords. "Transform Human" is based on a similar approach, albeit with a sample of an American conservative nut-job featuring over tough, slamming beats. "Absolute Reliance" sees Dahlback drop the tempo, but the beats are still bruising and the acid grimy. Completing the package is Par Grindvik's tough, breakdown-heavy take on the title track.
Review: The latest release on Par Grindvik's release is an unusual one, uniting old and new artists. Last year, Jesper Dahlback revived his The Persuader guise, which during the late '90s released a series of exquisite - and now highly sought after - deep house records. For this release he surprises with the serene ambience of "Pressure Relief". Dimi Angeles & Jeroen Search's "Emotional Times" proffers the same kind of dreamy sound, as does newcomer Stefan Vincent on the cinematic synth sweeps and dramatic strings of "The Void She Left". However, there is another side to Vincent's canon and he highlights it on the churning filters of "I Would Give Anything To Feel Nothing". Grindvik also focuses on visceral techno with the noisy, pumping analogue stomp of "Stay In Wild".
Review: Stockholm Ltd was one of the first labels to release the work of Juan Pablo Pfirter - and after a long absence, he returns to Par Grindvik's imprint. As befits an artist whose own platform is called MindTrip, "Defiance" is a psychedelic affair. Based on a stepping rhythm and clattering percussion, it features rainy day filters, growling vocals and a subtle sense of menace throughout. On "Coherence", the Argentinean producer heads down a more linear route; the kicks are straight, steely hi hats maintain the streamlined approach and snares roll beneath the surface, reminding us all of Pfirter's ability to go for the dance floor jugular.
Paramount One (feat Paramount One) - (6:44) 135 BPM
Mordecai - (7:13) 134 BPM
Shee - (6:06) 128 BPM
LSK-500 - (6:53) 127 BPM
Review: Following the release of his debut album last year on Black Sun, Robin De Wolf aka Phara returns with a four-tracker for Par Grindvik's label. Paramount One is a real mixed bag. At one end of the spectrum, there's the shimmering, glitchy sound scapes on the title track, while at the opposing end, "Mordecai" sounds like a modern update of Dave Clarke's "Red" techno menace. De Wolf continues to surprise with "Shee", where tough break beats support spaced-out synth stabs. Finally, on "LSK-500", he strips away all musical elements to deliver a masterclass in tough, drum-heavy techno that has echoes of DJ Shufflemaster.
Oliver Rosemann - "Then We Will Fight In The Shade" - (5:57) 130 BPM
Review: Since the 90s, Par Grindvik's label has been following an unpredictable path and this is audible on its latest split compilation. Patch Two starts with Z.I.P.P.O's dreamy "Fabula", which features the wispy vocals of Gabriella Vergilov. By contrast, Laval's "Spitshine" sees the release veer towards the dance floor, resulting in a thundering tribal affair that revolves around heavy kicks and a dark, tranced out riff. Z.I.P.P.O changes gear on the firing rhythm and relentless, dense hi hats of the Rob Hood-style minimalism of "Cycle", while on "Incoming Goods", Jeff Rushin takes down the tempo but maintains the moody atmosphere thanks to some menacing bass stabs and eerie tonal bleeps. Rounding off this brilliantly off centre release is the thundering, Polygon Window-sounding techno of Oliver Rosemann's "Then We Will Fight In The Shade".