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.
An Accident In Favor Of Human Life - (6:53) 145 BPM
No Photographs, Only Memories - (5:56) 146 BPM
Wasteland I - (1:45) 138 BPM
Modern Phobias - (6:24) 146 BPM
Wasteland II - (1:22) 133 BPM
Unspoken Worlds Of Hope - (6:00) 145 BPM
Review: December follows the first Transform release from earlier this year with this fine EP. Veering towards electro and industrial influences, the second instalment starts with the title track's angular rhythm and brooding bass. A similar mood prevails on "No Photographs, Only Memories", where December factors poignant vocals into robust, menacing breaks. On "Wasteland 1" and "Wasteland 2", he departs from this style to deliver droning, neo-classical dirges. That focus changes again with the pared back techno of "Modern Phobias". And on "Unspoken Worlds Of Hope", December drops a near flawless fusion of industrial force and electro funk, as a marauding bass and rolling metal drums provide the backdrop for irresistibly dystopian synths.
Review: Waajeed's 2022 album, Memoirs Of Hi-Tech Jazz, was a paean to Detroit's musical heritage from techno to hip-hop and beyond. It comes as no surprise that this remix package is just as sonically diverse. The Yazzus version of "The Ballad of Robert O'Bryant" fuses frenetic jazz drums and percussion with a driving rhythm and an acid-fuelled tones. In stark contrast, the Jensen Interceptor x Assembler Code take on "Memoirs of Hi-Tech Jazz" is a stark electro workout, with a ferocious steely rhythm and murderous bass prevailing. Mark Broom's remix of "Right Now" is a more conventional techno track. Centred on a rolling tribal groove, it features dramatic stabs and a robust bassline.
Review: After a long hiatus, Juan Atkins resurrects his seminal Cybotron project. Thankfully, not much has changed since it first appeared in the early 80s. On "Maintain", similar, distinctive sounds prevail. Sleek synth lines and ponderous vocals are set to Cybotron's steely drums and brooding bass - a combination that still sounds as futuristic now as it did when Atkins and his then partner Rik Davis re-wired electronic music. "The Golden Ratio" does mark a shift of sorts, and sees Atkins go deeper. Shot through with subtle acidic pulses and dreamy melodies, it's close to the ERP school of electro, albeit powered by Cybotron's distinctive 808s. As comebacks go, it's one that really lives up to expectations.
Review: Amnes and Lula share a penchant for hard-edged techno, but Synergy is the first time that they have appeared together on a release. Amnes' "Our Bodies" is a dense roller. Led by grainy kicks and firing percussion, evocative synth textures envelop the arrangement. "Timeshift" sees Lula opt for a different approach. The pace is slower, but she uses robust break beats as the backdrop for atmospheric sound scapes. Lula's other contribution, "Together", picks up the pace. On this occasion, she deploys a pounding, ebm-style bass and a steely rhythm to devastating effect - even if the dreamy sounds are never too far away.
Review: Transparent Sound, established in Bognor in 1994, is among the UK's most enduring electro acts. This dynamic collaboration between Orson Bramley and Martin Brown has solidified Transparent Sound's reputation as one of the most influential electro duo with a discography boasting a collection of highly acclaimed releases that have garnered significant recognition within the electronic music scene. This retrospective album "Accidents 1994-2023" compiles a fortunate selection of 13 awe-inspiring electrical mishaps. This comprehensive collection features dancefloor anthems like "Punk Mother Fucker," which once graced the sets of Villalobos, and "No Call From New York," as heard on Helena Hauff's exceptional 2017 Essential Mix. Additionally, the album includes the unreleased white label track "Windows To Your Sole" from Transparent Sound 007, exclusive unreleased tracks, special 2023 edits, and a digital bonus of six additional tracks.
Review: Robert Hood, the renowned techno producer, is set to reissue one of his most influential albums to mark its 30th anniversary. Originally released in 1993 under his alias, The Vision, "Waveform Transmission Vol. 2" encapsulates the raw techno sound that has come to define Hood's music. The album was created just as Hood was leaving his hometown of Detroit and moving to New York with Jeff Mills, his cofounder of the Underground Resistance label. Tresor, the German record label, has delved deep into its archives to bring a fresh release of this classic album to fans. With funky techno drum foundations and mind-bending details, "Waveform Transmission Vol. 2" set the bar high and has aged incredibly well. All hail Robert Hood!
Review: This compilation was released as part of the overall "Kotti Island" artistic project - whose origins lie in artists exploring the Kotbusser Tor in Berlin. The area's communist-era architecture is captured well on the brooding ambient soundscapes of Zettka's "cS?n?r D??" and project lead Cecilia Tosh's grainy techno stomper, "Blend". On "Walking In Circles", Jon Hester reimagines this part of the German capital in a different way, with the hum and whoosh of the S-Bahn and busy streets set to a drum-heavy, hypnotic club track. Meanwhile, on "Berlin Speed Drive", Vril drops a throbbing, ominous bass; combined with firing hi hats and a driving rhythm, it brilliantly sums up the ups and downs of life on Kotti Island.
Review: Celebrating its 350th release, Tresor delivers a compilation with a difference. Instead of the steely techno that has defined the club and label, Yet is all about left of centre sounds. There's the ethnic chants of Nandele & A-Tweed's "Deserto", while on "Lovesong" Nadia Struiwigh combines woozy sub-bass with mid-tempo drums. Ryan James Ford's "Totes (Bath mix)" does steer the compilation back towards the dance floor, but it's with a twist, as clattering break beats provide the backdrop for introspective synths. It's only a temporary divergence though - "No Longer Human" is a moody stepper, while DJ Sotofett and Kavadi's "Kandhan Karunai" sees the pair drop a frenetic, fragmented rhythm that defies categorisation.
Review: LNS and DJ Sotofett last appeared on Tresor in 2021 with their debut album, Sputters. Now they're back with a fine two-track EP that takes in a range of distinctive flavours. "Reform" is a deep electro groove, with the pair adding in glitchy tones and solemn piano chimes. It makes for an atmospheric, distinctive take on a well-known sound. "Plexistorm" inhabits a similar territory. On this occasion, it's all about the bass, with a plaintive-sounding low end providing the focus for dreamy strings, bleepy tones and spiky percussion. It's testament to the pair's talent that they can tease new possibilities from the electro canon.
Review: Crash Recoil is Anthony Childs' first artist album as Surgeon in half a decade. During that time, some techno producers have embraced 'business' while others now limit their productivity to Instagram. Not so Childs. While grounded in the dense sound that is unmistakably Surgeon, its author says the album draws on disparate influences. The UK producer's love of industrial and noise surfaces on the grimy underbelly of "Metal Pig" and "Second Magnitude Stars", while a more visceral iteration is audible on the frazzled menace of "We Laugh And Clap At The Circus". In contrast, the angular framework he designs on "Leadership Contest" is every bit as hypnotic as vintage Robert Hood. Remaining in this field, "Subcultures" sees him conjure up a textured, haunting groove - it's Surgeon at his most atmospheric, but still powered by a tough electronic rhythm.