Review: Japanese artist Go Hiyama was responsible for some of 2012's finest techno through his work for Token - and this new missive for Warm Up maintains his consistent record. "Dull Acuity" contains all the typical Go Hiyama trademarks - complex rhythms, subtle but effective filters and most importantly a slamming, upfront approach. "Common Blank" is even more impressive, with its nagging groove augmented by slivers of metallic percussion. Taking a different approach, Hiyama uses what sounds like an indie guitar riff on a loop for "First Refusal", wrapping it around a more understated electronic groove. Oscar Mulero delivers two takes on "Blank"; the '2nd Edit' is a muscular, robotic affair, but the first version, with its nickel-plated drums and driving bass, impresses the most.
Review: Having recently graced the Zenker brothers label Illian Tape with some ambient material, Jonas Kopp returns to his more familiar floor focused approach with this release for Oscar Mulero's Warm Up label. It's the Spanish label's first 2014 drop but maintains the pace set on last year's clutch of tracks from Developer, Svreca, Go Hiyama and Mulero himself with lead cut "Westphalia" dominated by the corrugated feeling of the flanged sequence that pummels proceedings forward in cahoots with some haywire 909 hats. The accompanying mix from Mulero is more stripped down but retains the dirty feeling of Kopp's original whilst "Circinus" is sci-fi techno at its finest.
Review: Kwartz aka Mario Campos is the latest in a long line of Spanish techno producers to emerge over the past decade and his tough sound is at home on Warm Up. At times, it feels like Spain's techno sound has been caught frozen in time, in a place where the more hypnotic end of the loop sound has been left to coalesce with stepping, broken beats. Rite is very much in keeping with this approach. From the dense, heavy beats and wild stabs on the title track to the demented, Lost-style panel beater that is "Black Horse" and Mulero's own rumbling, rolling take on "Rite", this is heads-down, peak-time material in the finest Spanish tradition.
Review: Mike Storm traces his roots back to the 90s club scene, and this background is audible on his debut release for Oscar Mulero's Warm Up. "Any Strong Way" is a relentless percussive techno track that resounds to ferocious hi hats and visceral kicks, while on "Into A Human Mind", Storm goes for a more subtle approach, with a hypnotic, bleep-laden Sahko-style groove. On "Power Distance", he channels the influence of dub techno to create an understated, throbbing groove, while "Constant Battle", sees him pick up the pace to conjure up a mesmerising combination of solid kicks and eerie textures.
Review: Oscar Mulero revisits last year's Black Propaganda with some help from some of contemporary techno's biggest names on this essential remix EP. "To Convince For The Untruth" sees Stroboscopic Artefacts boss Lucy take the original's cavernous surroundings and sharpen them up with bitcrushed hi-hats and subtly a rumbling noise floor, while Developer's take on "Disinformation" straightens out the original's breakbeat acid tendencies by soaking its furious synth lines in reverb and hooking everything together with a rolling 4/4 kick. Finally, Shifted's take on "Intentionally False" keeps the measured pace of the original but transplants its thick, bulging frame for a threadbare structure littered with subtle detail.
Review: Having been producing and DJing in his native Spain for over 20 years, Oscar Mulero is one of the lynchpins of the country's techno scene. Barely a year from his last long-player, and Mulero arrives with Black Propaganda, his most impressive statement to date. Following the delicate, bit crushed ambience of "The Dirt", the album travels through a number of dark, minimalistic techno structures, from the cavernous echo of "Instant Widespread of the Dirt" (which sounds like what you'd imagine Villalobos and Mills would sound like together), through the hypnotic emissions of "Intentionally False" and the insistent pulse of "False Statement", before winding up with the title track, a crystalline piece of razor sharp sound design. Highly recommended.