Review: Opal Tapes and Lobster Theremin aside, S Olbricht has landed on some of the most interesting independent house and techno labels over the last three years, and so this new EP for Lee Gamble's UIQ seems like a natural fit. This guy's style of house and techno is as loose and leftfield as you can possibly get for club music, a starting from the slithering beats and swamped sonics of "137x3brk" we get an instant picture of Olbricht's freedom behind that mixing desk. This open-minded take on the genre is yet more evident on the gloriously off-kilter "Ktyring", and reaches a total climax of abstraction though the nearly beatless "J UC". "F1oa1" is a hard techno missile in terms of its beats, but the melodies gliding high in the mix have more in common with ambient than anything dance-based. It's a real excursion...the sort of EP that makes the whole 'outsider' moniker seem credible.
Review: Florian Senfter aka Zombie Nation and Tiga's ZZT project gets the remix treatment with a diverse set of results. At the raucous, bleepy house end of the spectrum are the versions by Clouds and Sound of Stereo, with the latter's tweaky remix sounding restrained compared to the atonal madness of the former's reshape. It's not all noisy exuberance though; Gesaffelstein's remix seeks to plumb to Drexciyan depths with a bassline that sounds like it was inspired by the Detroit legends and the versions from Crowdpleaser and Plein Soleil do a fine approximation of raw, analogue house. However, it's Julio Bashmore who steals the plaudits here with a soaring bassline fused with intelligent techno style melodies for an unforgettably sublime outcome.
Review: Although best known these days as Cab Drivers, Berlin's Daniel Paul and Jens "DJ Zky" Augustowsky have been working together under different aliases since 1994. Karo was one of their earliest aliases, with the Zwo 12" - in which "Zwo Fremde" originally appeared - slipping out in 1995. It's good to see the track getting a second airing, because it's arguably one of the finest tech-house tracks of all time. Loopy, hypnotic, tracky and blessed with some wonderful cyclical synth motifs, it feels like the missing link between Detroit-influenced UK tech-house of that period and the more dub-focused sound of Berlin. This time round it's accompanied by the specially recorded "Backside 50", a similarly slick, melodious and locked-in cut bristling with spacey pads, darting acid bass and intergalactic electronics.
Review: Originally discovered by Heinrich Mueller (Dopplereffekt, Drexciya), Federico Leocata is an Athenian electro artist with penchant for the dark side. Following a string of releases on key underground labels he now returns with this long player on Central Processing Unit. Fans of minimal wave and synth pop won't be disappointed as we get nine stark cuts of gimp mask beats and dungeon friendly melodies. Highlights include the sleazy horror-clash of opener "Der Zeitlose Raum", the metaphysical dominatrix vibes of "Metavision" and the Propaganda-on-a-budget pop of "Zunachst" which features the ice-cool vocals of Beta Evers.