Review: Announced with the most cryptic of statements and accompanied by a thousand online think pieces, the long awaited Ghettoville from Actress is finally here! Much like previous long players from the Werkdiscs boss, Ghettoville is not an album your brain will digest in one sitting, especially since it packs in sixteen tracks. Described as "the bleached out and black tinted conclusion of the Actress image," Ghettoville draws on all the familiar Actress signifiers with the ghostly remnants of hip hop, Detroit techno and Chicago house scattered across the album. On immediate listen there are a few standout tracks, the ragged Motor City soul of "Gaze" and the brilliant finale "Rule" but we'll let you discover the rest for yourselves.
Review: There's something heart warming about the faulty connection glitches and dusty electronics of a Darren Cunningham production. "Voodoo Posse Chronic Illusion" from the Silver Clouds EP is one such example. Noises which would normally sound out of place sit ever-eloquently between plucked harp strings, reverberating bells and wood block percussion. "Floating In Ecstasy" sounds like something that could soundtrack a scene of a staggering ghoul bearing down on a cornered victim, while "Silver Cloud Dream Come True" features a drum pattern that jitters intermittently between varied glockenspiel chimes. As a taster for Ghettoville, his presumed Hazyville follow-up due on Werk soon, it's got us very excited indeed.
Review: Ensuring Werk Discs stays at the forefront of modernist electro variations, Giganta serves up a fast-paced thrill ride of squelchy synth work and clean machine beats. "Spot Scene" snaps and cracks with purple chord stabs and jacking drums, before "Force" wriggles into a jerky groove with some jazzy nuances in the melodic content. "This Goes On" is a touch more technoid in its delivery, keeping the elements to a minimum whilst still conjuring up a palatable mutant atmosphere. That leaves it to "This Is Ma Beat" to up the ante in unhinged production with wonky tones aplenty and some bold sampling for the freakier end of the night.
Review: A regular fixture at Hamburg's Golden Pudel club where she presides over the Birds and Other Instruments night, Helena Hauff is a killer DJ with a keen interest in classic and contemporary electro, something confirmed via the Obscure Object C90 mixtape released recently on the Krokodilo Tapes cassette label run by Blackest Ever Black. A longstanding friendship with Actress has resulted in his Werkdiscs label issuing Actio Reactio, her debut EP of solo productions. Both the title track and "Break Force" see Hauff utilize her arsenal of analogue gear to deliver two tracks of acid-drenched hardware techno in the mould of producers like Svengalisghost or Beau Wanzer, while shorter production "Micro Manifesto" is more grounded in the realm of primitive electronics with Minimal Wave act In Aeternam Vale a good reference point.
Review: Following up on a strong first year in the releasing game, Moire is back on Werk Discs with his messy take on analogue techno, a celebration of lo-fi charm permeating every inch of the release. "BBOY 202" leads the charge with a cloying barrage of sizzling drums, shapeless vocal loop and bloated bass, bouncing with a playful energy even as it hits hard. "False" is the more gentle offering, dropping feathery hits of percussion into fluttering loops over a wistful synth refrain. In the beguiling yet friendly atmosphere he creates, Moire has crafted a very special kind of otherworldly trip for those with adventurous ears.
Review: Lurching forth on Actress' Werk Discs label with an appropriately strange twist on standard house and techno maneuveurs, Moire appears swathed in mystery and proudly sporting the disregard for convention that has defined his label boss to this date. With Heidi Vogel sending in some vocals stored in a jar not quite big enough for them, lead track "Never Sleep" has the potential to become very large indeed. There's a bleak, spartan quality to the arrangement of rasping drums and head-nailing bass splats, while the rhythm keeps a reassuring looseness about itself. "Drugs" heads into equally uneasy territory, using fearsomely large bass notes and paranoia-inducing arpeggio sequences to feed into a malevolent brew of mind-annihilation. Not even the sweeter synth strings that come in can save the oppressive atmosphere from pulling you down. For the Actress heads out there, Mr Cunningham pulls out a remix of stuttering magnificence that keeps driving forward while allowing everything to crumble and reform as it goes.
Review: Given the success of his early EPs on Werkdiscs and Rush Hour, hopes are naturally high for this debut album from adopted Londoner Moire. The mystery producer has previously spoken of his love of the capital city, variously calling it "raw, yet so full of soul" and describing his style as "London techno". Certainly, there's a notable world-weariness amongst the attractive analogue electronics, enveloping chords and post-industrial dancefloor rhythms of Shelter. While there are unsettling moments - see the bubbling, acid-flecked warehouse hypnotism of "Rings" and the disarming sludge of "Stars" - for the most part Moire deals in hazy, late night beauty, smothering the album in intoxicating textures and flitting late night melodies (see the dawn-over-Hackney Marshes feel of "Mr Figure" for proof).