Review: Any new material from Luke Slater under the Planetary Assault Systems alias is something to celebrate, but rarely has the techno veteran dropped such an expansive set as Arc Angel. Boasting a positively overwhelming 20 tracks over three weighty slabs of vinyl, the first PAS album for five years is as spacey, hypnotic and intoxicating as anything in the British techno legend's vast catalogue. While mostly focused on atmospheric, Motor City influenced dancefloor futurism - and, let's face it, few do that better than Slater - Arc Angel also boasts a handful of inspired ambient cuts, some vintage, UK style "intelligent techno", and occasional nods towards UK contemporaries such as Surgeon, James Ruskin, Mark Broom and Oliver Ho.
Review: Two years on from his last outing under the alias, Green Door Studio engineer Stuart Evans delivers a new Sordid Sound System EP. As usual, dusty old electronic instruments and analogue hardware are the Glaswegian's tools of choice, with hard-to-pigeonhole thrills being the result. He begins with the Golden Teacher-ish trip that is "The Grove", where echo-laden vocal snippets and dub-wise cut-ups wrap their way around acid-fired electronics and a chugging groove. The densely percussive "Fear Eats The World" sees him wander off towards post-punk krautrock pastures, while "Blues Pour Vivienne" is a slipped waltz beamed down from another planet. A fine EP is drawn to a close by "Sordida Discoteca", a delay-laden voyage into proto-techno territory in the company of a gaggle of Italo-disco and EBM freaks.
Review: Parisian label Public System Recordings present the latest in the synth-heavy sludgedown from their camp, inviting a new cast of characters into the 'dungeon dance'. The common theme throughout this sampler seems to be wide, slowed down melancholia: some tracks take a floor-friendly jump, while others demand the attentive consumption of a more serene setting. A collection of dynamic, chugging, and forward thinking jams that make you mesh all things the label is passionate about. The LIES/Russian Torrent Versions affiliated NGLY continues with his gritty explorations in EBM on "Hell Ride", likewise Frenchman Trenton Chase pursues classic industrial aesthetics on "Narked", Circling Vultures - a project featuring Chicago veteran Justin Long delivers the rather frightful theatrics of "Frothing Over The Fruit Of Original Sin" while Joshua Cordova & Sam De La Rosa do their best impression of Silent Servant (with gothy vocals) on "El Gusano Pendejito".