Berlin-based techno label Tresor landed in 1991. The label was born out of one the city’s most-respected underground techno clubs, following the fall of the Berlin Wall. Founded by Dimitri Hegemann, Tresor has been ‘forever re-defining techno as it contorts and manoeuvres around contemporary pressure and technological flux’. From deep, entrancing journeys, to rough, militant stompers, Tresor has released forward-thinking productions from the likes of: Cristian Vogel, Surgeon, Drexciya, Pacou, Mike Huckaby, Marcelus, James Ruskin, Joey Beltram, Robert Hood, Sleeparchive and more.
Review: Few artists have mapped out new possibilities for modern electronic music like Neil Landstrumm. Originally released in 1996, Understanding Disinformation is still testament to its author's ability to push techno to the outer limits. "Twisted In New York" and "Praline Horse" are Landstrumm's unique interpretation of Chicago techno, as nickel plated drums are soldered to grinding, groaning sub-bass. Meanwhile, the barrelling "The Glasvegas Experience" is a more club friendly take on the noisy sound he pioneered on Brown By August. In contrast, "Invasion Of The Bovine Snatchers" sees the seminal Scottish producer push in an abstract direction. The track's sub-bass and atonal howls pave the way for a direction explored most comprehensively on 2007's Restaurant Of Assassins. As a blueprint for re-imaging electronic music, Understanding Disinformation is still peerless.
Review: Fittingly, the first single to be released from Waajeed's recent (and frankly brilliant) 'Memoirs of Hi-Tech Jazz' album is 'Motor City Madness', a sax-sporting marriage of Detroit jazz, techno and deep house sounds. The EP opens with an extended 12" take on the album version, before a swathe of remixers take over. The headline-grabbing rework comes from Motor City techno mainstays Underground Resistance, who re-imagine the track as a driving, sax-sporting slab of bass-heavy, house-tempo techno futurism smothered in sci-fi strings. Elsewhere, Zo!, Tall Black Guy, Michelle Manzo and De'Sean Jones join forces as People Mover to drop a decidedly intergalactic-sounding, breakbeat-driven hi-tech jazz take, while the SHE Spells Doom remix is a breathless, Afro-house-tinged broken beat take that's as tough and infectious as they come.
Review: On his first album since 2018, Waajeed unveils his interpretation of one of the Motor City's most distinctive sub-genres, hi-tech jazz. It's a conceptual piece of sorts, with the album not only designed to be listening to while cruising around in your car, but also timed to last the exact length of a journey between two notable Motor City landmarks. After getting things going with a chunk of killer ambient jazz (resplendent with poetic spoken word vocals from Black Nix), Waajeed cannily combines vivid, sci-fi electronics and cracking deep house beats with live jazz instrumentation and - on a couple of occasions - stunning string arrangements. Our picks of a very strong bunch include the glossy, broken jazz-funk lusciousness of 'The Ballad of Robert O'Bryant', the deep jazz-house excellence of 'The Dub' and the neo-classical swell of 'Rouge'
Review: Tresor scores a first with the release of Gerald Brunson's debut release. Known in US techno circles through his close association with Model 500, this is the first time that a wider techno audience has heard of him. "Hoffman's S.O.S." makes quite the first impression. A snaking, filtered groove, peppered with swirling acid, it takes the listener on a trip through raw, Midwest techno. "Morf" sees Brunson opt for a different approach; led by steely drums and glitchy percussion, it features a combination of warbling acid and lo-fi squeaking tones - a sprawling, expansive track that is sure to win this underground hero wider exposure.
Review: Detroit's Waajeed is best known for his work with Platinum Pied Pipers and Slum Village in the hip-hop/R&B arena, but this EP for Tresor finds him in beatdown territory, and with the mighty Underground Resistance also onboard it really is a must if deep, jazzy grooves are your thang. It's only a fat, squelchy electronic bassline that really separates the trumpet-driven 12" Version and accompanying Edit from what you might call "jazz proper", leaving the UR crew with the job of adding more overtly floor-friendly 4/4 beats and bringing the sax further to the fore - but this is sheer class whichever mix you plump for.
Review: Following on from last year's Dualism release, the Fireground pairing of Daniele Paduano and Angela Dragonetto return to Tresor for another club-focused release. The title track is a filter-heavy summery affair, while "Scirocco" sees them go deeper to deliver a lush US house groove. On "Be Wild", they up the ante with a driving, loop-heavy techno track, whole "Baia" is a dense, frenetic affair, led by clicking, frenetic percussion and surging chords. Remaining in this field, "United" revisits the kind of ethnic chants and insistent vocal samples that prevailed on Andrew McLaughlin's classic, "Love Story", while "Dense Blue" is a breathy ambient piece.