Review: Following the release of his fine album The New Normal on Houndstooth last year, veteran house and techno producer Mark Hawkins has jined DJ Haus's retro-futurist Unknown To The Unnown label. The EP he's delivered is genuinely impressive, from the rubbery synth bass, sci-fi techno sounds, deep house chords and Motor City drums of 'Snow Day', to the drowsy, alien-sounding early morning hypnotism of 'Droney' and the starburst techno rush of 'Simple Dimple', where ethereal synthesizer lines dance atop breathless beats and stabbing bass. Title track 'The Wash', an uluta-deep and intergalactic affair that's more melancholic than upbeat, is also superb.
Review: Evil Fred aka Shed arrives on Unknown to the Unknown in an EP that the label describes as UK funky, jacking techno and 'deeper than deep houz muzik'. Prior to this there is only the one other Evil Fred release (that made its way out on to H2 Recordings), with this EP still firmly focused on that raw, banging, soulful and original warehouse sound. "You (Work It)" will go down as your stripped back, chord slamming rave job next to a deep and summer tripping trance jam "The Evil Trance". With something chopped up, sustained and swinging coming out of "The Evil Dance", it's perhaps "You" that presents the most overt, or heaviest rave track here, with this new string of productions wholly indebted to a '90s house sound you can sometimes only dream about hearing today.
Review: Unknown To The Unknown presenting Naone with her debut release! It follows up her recent collaborative EP Separate Ways with Timothee Victorri's S.O.N.S project which allows the artist to spread a healthy dose of new age electro and bleep to progressive trance, techno and downtempo across four tracks. The best examples of this come through "Space Duck" and the '80s-esque "X-TDB133" with its subtle acid line next to the more overt "Center Creek" and epic title track. Delivering a record full of emotive content spoken through a subtext of old school machines and electro, Bliss Inc goes semi-industrial semi-balearic is its remix to Falling Sun. Out now!
Review: Taking inspiration from Mesopotamian iconography and symbolism Mark Hawkins outta the UK hooks up with Donnell Knox aka D-Knox from Kalamazoo (and the great Sonic Mind label). A sweet fusion of Detroit-Chicago electro with some UK intensity looms large in a deep and original lead cut "12th Planet". Throwing down something more vocal yet slamming and soulful at the same time is "I Don't Want To", while there's some tinges of dub techno and submerged, spooky tropics in "Marimba". And dat mix for da club: go "12th Planet Underground".
Review: Delivering a fifth record for your stash of hardcore electro and house music wares in 2020 is DJ Haus, continuing to fly the flag high for Unknown To The Unknown during these modern times. Sending in three tracks here, a highlight almost without saying is the melodies and sweet tones of "Analog Chime" in combination with Haus' trademark gnarly acid progressions. "WiFi Network" adds a new spin to what a dial up modem might sound like in 2020 thrown amongst some splashes of Drexciyian electro while the title-track is a righteous piece of deep sea dwelling computer music. Dial up. Plug in. Download.
Review: DJ Haus has always known which way the wind is blowing musically. That much is evident not only from his on-point, retro-futurist productions, but also the tracks he signs to Unknown to the Unknown and the remixes he commissions. For proof, check out this new set of re-rubs of tracks from his IDM-infused house mini-album, Data Dump. Coco Bryce is arguably one of the world's leading proponents of jungle and '90s D&B revivalism, so it's little surprise to find that his crunchy, sub-heavy take on 'Catch Your Breath' is a rough, Amen-powered peak-time delight. Meanwhile, Holding Hands main man Desert Sound Colony does a bang-up job in turning 'Bleep Bots' into a spacey, dubbed-out chunk of deep techno eccentricity.
Review: It sounds like DJ Haus was listening to artists like Norken and CIM when he recorded this EP, as it draws heavily on their late 90s and early 00s work for inspiration. Like these artists' output, the key difference between this release and a lot of what passes for IDM is the fact that Data Dump is eminently danceable. Both "Bleep Bots" and "Fuzzy Logic" are cinematic groovers, while on "Catch Your Breath", the Unknown To The Unknown owner opts for a busier approach, with chopped up vocals and a loose metallic rhythm prevailing. At the more abstract end of the spectrum, there's the drum'n'bass speed "Puzzle Box" and the stop-start, abstract sounds of "Glitch Soup".
Review: Given that both Marquis Hawkes and Unknown To The Unknown are renowned for their ability to deliver party-starting, retro-futurist treats, you'd expect the Berlin-based producer's second EP for DJ Haus's label to be packed to the rafters with sweaty treats. Interestingly, it isn't, though it's also arguably one of Hawkes' most interesting releases to date. Across the EP, he sashays between dreamy, mid-tempo Balearic disco (the synth-heavy lusciousness of "Lunar" and even more saucer-eyed "Voyage"), electro-fired sunrise warmth (the sparkling, Kaleidoscopic electronics, lazy electro beats and squelchy acid bass of "Be The Change You Want To See"), strangely-swung, Aphex-on-Valium vibes ("Validation Comes From Within") and droning ambient soundscapes (the string-laden swell of "Morning After").
Review: Parisian maestro in all things electro, emerging producer Nemo Vachez has impressed recently with releases for his own Forest ill imprint, Rakya and London's Opia. Making a comfortable transition to Unknown To The Unknown, this Serena EP notches up UTTU's fifth release for 2020 and it doesn't take long to understand it's all about "Serena". As if channelling the deeper frequencies of UK rave culture, the opening notes of the title track, eventually met with 303 acid basslines and bleepy percussion, brings to mind classic numbers from Orbital or LFO. The SYO Transe Total Mix does away with the original's bells and whistles going warehouse size on the track's iconic synths and tunnelling basslines instead. Find cool, tropical and percussive touches in "Accordion", with spacious, mellow electro in "Undersea Tea". Cheers!
Review: Fresh from delivering a booming EP of warehouse-ready techno on Rekids, Alan Fitzpatrick pops up on Unknown To The Unknown with another quartet of sleazy slammers and speaker-bothering stompers. Fitzpatrick makes his intentions clear via the fast-paced drums, relentless ride cymbals, growling electronics and fizzing stabs of "The Hole", before doffing a cap to the nastiest Belgian techno of the early '90s on rave-melting banger "Raid". Acid fiends should check the razor sharp TB-303 lines, ricocheting drum machine handclaps and booming beats of "KD6-3", while "Awkward Desire" is a deeper and groovier affair built around swinging drums, dreamy chords and lilting lead lines.
Review: Since launching a little under a decade ago, no label has championed retro-futurist rave revivalism quite as successfully as Unknown To The Unknown. While the imprint's inspirations are varied - think acid house, Bleep, Ghetto-house, hardcore, early Detroit techno and so on - their releases are united by a desire to showcase the pure hedonistic excess of the rave years. It seems fitting then that the label's 100th release is a wild, strobe-lit treat - a stomping, sub-heavy and warehouse ready revision of boss man DJ Haus's 2018 cut "Let My Brain Go" by Len Faki. It rattles along at quite a lick, with Faki wrapping raw riffs and acid squiggles around the most bombastic of breathless, sub-heavy grooves.
Review: Neil Landstrumm has enjoyed something of a career revival of late, with killer EPs on Central Processing Unit, Running Back and Unknown to the Unknown re-asserting his long-held dancefloor credentials. Naturally, there's plenty more retro-futurist club fodder to be found on the Scottish producer's latest EP, which - as per usual - contains numerous sonic references to turn-of-the-90s bleep and bass. The standout cut is undoubtedly Si Begg hook-up "Hell Is Other People", a fiendishly raw, bass-heavy chunk of techno/electro fusion full of analogue intensity, weirdo robot vocals and Yorkshire style bleeps. He continues on a similarly sparse but weighty theme on "Aviemore", before wrapping a sleazy, Belgian style techno groove with spooky electronics on mind-altering closing cut "Jackshit".
Review: Label owner DJ Haus steps up for the latest UTTU release. In its original format, the title track is a rambunctious affair, that revolves around a rude, throbbing bass, chopped up vocals and steely drums. It's like a new take on techno and bass within the confines of one track. All ears will also be on the remixer. Most recently, Lone has impressed with his Ambivert Tools series, and he brings some of its dreaminess to this reshape. Coupled with a grungy bass and a looser rhythm, the storied UK producer also layers in some tropical soundscapes to create an unforgettable remix.
Piano 4_9_18 Feux Master Erie 25% - (3:27) 112 BPM
Review: Talk about a great meeting of minds. FaltyDL's rave influences are well-known, and now he hooks up with DJ Haus' UTTU label to give full vent to those leanings. The impenetrably titled "Untitled 111vgr" sets the scene with rickety, nervous break beats providing the backdrop for dissected vocal samples and horror stabs. "Beast" is slower and more spaced out, with the US producer doing a compelling take on mid-90s Orbital. The title track mines a similar path, although on this occasion, he adds in some speak and spell samples and ominous synths to a bittersweet hardcore track. By contrast, closing track "Piano 4 9 18 Feux Master Erie 25%" is the soundtrack to the morning after the night before, an airy, atmospheric ambient piece.
Review: The follow up to the first Falcon Black Ops release from earlier this year is sure to appeal to fans of loopy techno and house. "Ten" resounds to dense, sluggish beats and a filtered chord sequence that keeps on building. On "Nine", the approach is different, but the outcome the same, as this mysterious producer delivers a rolling tribal groove, full of mysterious chants and reminiscent of Oliver Ho's earliest work. "Eleven" goes harder and heavier, with a Plastikman-style acid segue and razor-sharp hi hats guaranteeing that it will have the requisite effect, while on "Twelve", a distorted kick drum and scuzzy percussion bring this second volume to a close in style.
Review: Prolific Australian producer Bell Towers is back, this time on DJ Haus' imprint with a bunch of solid cosmic house grooves. The Berlin (by way of Melbourne) based producer follows up some great stuff in recent times for Public Possession, Permanent Vacation and Hell Yeah with the neon-lit balearic house of "My Body Is A Temple" and likewise "My Body Is A Tempo" which is reworked by homeboy Andras (Dopeness Galore/House Of Dad) and ventures deeper into trippier territory.
Review: Best known for his work on Principe and his own One Eyed Jacks imprint, Photonz aka Marco Rodrigues now delivers a blistering EP for DJ Haus' label. "Neo Tokyo" is constructed on a jacking house backing and powered by a gut-busting jungle bass. On "Wall Rose", eerie hardcore riffs move up through an acid-soaked techno rhythm, while "Eva Unit-01" is more menacing. Like Suburban Knight on an especially bad trip, it features frazzled bass tones and high pitched, watery riffs, making for a decidedly disoriented combination. Rounding off the release with the pacy techno rhythm and rolling drums of "Haku & Chihiro", Metanime demonstrates again that Photonz is an idiosyncratic producer.
Review: Throughout his career to date, Allen "Deadboy" Wootton has proved adept at delivering heavyweight, peak-time-friendly cuts that put bustling rhythms and big basslines front and centre. Where this EP for Unknown To The Unknown - his second in total - differs is in its unwavering commitment to mood and melody. Check, for example, "No More", where spacey, delay-laden female vocal samples and glassy-eyed, sunrise-friendly pads slowly stretch out over a snappy, hybrid UK garage/Chicago house groove. Elsewhere, Wootton's new commitment to ear-pleasing musicality is expressed in different ways. There's the lilting pedal steel notes and drifting vocals of 'So Cold", the bustling but deep and spacey thrills of "Silicon", the undulating, Marimba style melodic bliss of "Ryuichi" and the ultra-deep, early '90s ambient house inspired brilliance of closer "Venus and Mars".