Review: Mella Dee bounces back on his Warehouse Music label with this club-primed release. The title track leads the listener on a journey through 90s minimal techno, with chattering percussion accompanying analogue yelps and a wiry rhythm. The tempo moves up a few gears on "Toast" and "Sidewalk Surfer", with Dee applying roughly the same hardware-driven approach, albeit set to more pace-y backing tracks. "Maplins" resounds to grainy kicks and raw percussive ticks, sounding like it was inspired by Neil Landstrumm's 90s work for Tresor, while on "Rockport Xcs", the singular techno producer delivers detuned chords against a skippy, rolling groove.
Review: D.Dan launches his latest EP in storming form; "Switchblade (Descendant Mix)", with its visceral kicks and wild filtered builds, sounds inspired by the more abrasive end of the Synewave catalogue. On the title track, he opts again for a heads-down approach, with ominous filtered chords underpinned by tough kicks, while on "Burnout", the pace picks up and the drums are more relentless as the Berlin-based producer's track hurtles its way towards Advent-style intensity. "Escape The Echo Chamber" is less pac-y and resounds to a rolling house groove and vocal snippets, but even here the underlying feeling is one of understated menace. Offering some solace for battered ears is the deep techno of "Take It Easy".
Review: 'Freaks and Beaks' is the fourth album from Dirtybird head honcho Claude VonStroke. Taking inspiration from the sense of humor shared between him and label partner Justin Martin, a love of experimentation with everything from hardware and modular synthesis to iPhone apps, and embracing genres as wide as ghetto tech, drum 'n' bass, hip-hop and breaks - together with his idiosyncratic style of minimal tech house. This is VonStroke's love letter to vibrancy and genre diversity. From the bass-driven acid jack of "Freaks Don't Fail Me Now", the trippy afterhours reductions of "Flubblebuddy" or "Youngblood (ft. Wyatt Marshall) to the influence of Bristol's similarly low-end driven sound as heard on "These Notes In Order" or for something different there's even a bit of blissed-out electronica - as heard on the evocative closer "Alpine Arpline".