Review: Warm Tonal Touch marks a new chapter in Jamie 'Blawan' Roberts career, as the producer launches his Ternesc label. Set to offer a home to most of his solo material, he kick-starts the imprint with a quartet of modular techno workouts. Undeniably rhythmic and floor-friendly throughout, there's a surprisingly tactile feel about the rolling grooves of "Talatone" and "Roll Mick", despite the presence of clanking, metallic percussion. Interestingly, it's when he tries to do things differently -such as on the intense, clicking grooves and dislocated horn samples of "Blue Bottle", or the intense, cacophonous, unsettling throb of "Fentanyl", that the EP really excels.
Review: After flitting between labels for the first four years of his career, Blawan has decided to become master of his own destiny. Last month's Warm Tonal Touch EP marked the debut of his Ternesc imprint. This speedy follow-up continues on a similar theme, delivering a range of ragging, dark and often intense modular techno workouts. All four tracks prioritize percussion and rhythm, with any melodic elements - usually short, nightmarish loops, or horror-influenced textures - playing second fiddle to his impressive drum programming. It's a formula that works well, from the left-of-centre bounce of "Hanging Out With The Birds" and throbbing 4/4 pulse of "Mine Oh Mine", to the sludgy, industrial fuzziness of closer "Diatonic Valves".
Review: Blawan's back: look out! The Communicat 1022 is on his own Ternesc imprint: its third release to date. The title track is testament to his modus operandi: hard as nails, all-modular stompers that somehow find the soul in the machines. The brooding and dystopian "Rubber Industry" shows more restraint but still grinds and scuffles away in fine vintage glory. On the flip "Lit Up Communicat" is atmospheric and faintly melodic amongst all the industrial metallic textures and tape hiss while "Marga" hammers the message home in peak time hypnotic fashion: the melody on this one sounds like a hammer dulcimer dragged through a delay, absolutely mental! He's come a long way since bangers like "Scarborough Harbour" and "Peaches", finding a seasoned maturity in his sound, but this shows he still has all the energy and devotion to his art and possibly more than ever.
Review: Given that he's been active since the dawn of the decade and released countless singles on a wide variety of labels, it's something of a surprise to find that Nutrition is Jamie Roberts' debut album. Pleasingly, he's not altered his style to fit the format, instead opting to showcase six tough techno tracks in his usual fearless, club-ready style. Of course, there's still a certain amount of variety present - compare, for example, the end-of-days industrial motifs, foreboding textures and clattering drums of "Calcium Read" and the metallic, early morning tribal thrust of "Mayhem" - it's just that Roberts has no intention of compromising his principles. For that, he should be applauded.
Review: Some eight years on from his Hessle Audio debut, Blawan has finally got round to releasing his debut album. Predictably, it's rather good, offering an eight-track assault on the senses built around his now familiar clanking, industrial-tinged polyrhythmic techno rhythms, foreboding electronics and paranoid, claustrophobic aural textures. Most of the sounds - including the percussion hits - were created using modular synthesis, which gives Wet Will Always Dry a particularly atmospheric and otherworldly feel. There are nods towards the likes of Surgeon and Livity Sound, as well as Rhythm & Sound/Basic Channel style dub techno, but the album's greatest strength is that it never sounds like anything other than a fine set of Blawan club tracks.
Review: Following 2018's Wet Will Always Dry, Blawan returns to his Ternesc imprint for more high-paced techno. The title track moves at a frenetic pace, with its hiccuping, skeletal rhythm containing happy hardcore and rave samples. On "Lox", he maintains the same kind of tempo, but instead daubs the arrangement in noisy swathes of feedback. "Gadget" is much more abrasive; powered by distorted kicks, it sees the UK producer deliver cascading filters over a stomping rhythm. Closing out the latest release on his label is "Hapexil Rotator", where he opts for a slightly more restrained but grimy rhythm that resounds to pulsating tones.
Review: Blawan has opted for an unhurried schedule for his Ternesc label, putting out an EP a year for the most part. Following this approach, Immulsion follows 2019's Many Many Pings. It gets off to a raucous start with the pounding kicks and gated riffs of "40 Spiral", before Blawan follows it with the rolling break beat-led "Rain". From there, he takes the sound deeper with the 'Come To Me In Full Electric' take on the title track, while the 'That Kind of Kink' version of "Immulsion" sees the respected UK producer up the ante again with a lean but funky tribal rhythm.