Review: This release, a collaboration between two of European techno's most experienced practitioners, starts on an unusual note. "Spiegelkabinett", with its jazzy licks and offbeat rhythm sounds like an electronic update of The Durutti Column or 80s funk act A Certain Ratio. It proves to be a temporary distraction though; the title track is a straight down the line techno track, led by heavy kicks, shaking percussion and hiccupping samples. "Stringer Bell", presumably named after the character in The Wire, is a tough, firing affair, led by ticking percussion, detuned tones and surging chords. Completing the release are the tranced out synths of the Petar Dundov-esque "Millipede".
Review: German producer Alexander Kowalski released his debut album, Echoes, ten years ago. Unlike most productions from that time, it has aged exceptionally well. The deep, dubby groove of "Oxygen" comes across like a cleaner, polished interpretation of Modern Love releases, while the ghoulish broken beats of "Patterns Of Hope" gives Blackest Ever Black's output a run for its money. Kowalski was always a master of the bass-heavy techno grooves and there is no shortage here, with the surging chords and dramatic strings of "Ratio" and "Hearing Is Believing" impressing. But it's the evergreen nature of these productions that is most remarkable and the driving "Debut" or the tracky "Sequential" are as powerful as any contemporary techno expression.
Review: It's fair to say that the late 90s and early 00s techno scene belonged to Fabric Lig, Heiko Laux and the Kanzleramt label. It was during this period that all of these players were at the height of their creative powers, and this is evident on Lig's "Stones", which the German label originally put out back in 2003. However, while this re-release serves to underscore the timelessness of Lig's music, it also shines a light on Laux's remix skills. In its most extreme form, it finds its voice on the rough acid 'Obsidian' remix of "Black Stone". However, it' s on the "Hematite" and "Jet" versions that Laux impresses most, laying down spacey tones and rough kicks on the former and rolling drums and discordant riffs on the latter.
Review: German techno label Kanzleramt returns to one of its long serving sons, Switzerland's Diego Hostettler to re-release his 2002 hit, "Two Times High." His original combines the energetic and rough techno power of his early kanzleramt works with the deep melodic flavour of his "The Persuasion Channel" album. "Hi Jacker" continues down this energetic route with plenty of old school, jacking Chicago references in its groove and bassline. "Three Times High Pt 1" is also on there, pushing even more energy and pounding us to the next level with thunderous kicks and raging bass.