Review: Hayes is a new techno label to emerge from Portugal, and for its second release gathers together some new talent. First up is -2 with "Scherzo", a dense, rolling groove led by dramatic chord surges. It's understated, but its kicks rumble away in the background like distant thunder. Temudo, who has released on Planet Rhythm and Labrynth, delivers deeper, hypnotic, loops of "A2", while on Osse's "Quantum Mechanics", a forbidding future is mapped out through the use of spiky, insistent rhythms and tonal sequences transmitted from outer space. Rounding off this exemplar release is VIL's "Metafora", where claustrophobic drums and clattering percussion prevail.
Review: John Malkovich and Daniel Day-Lewis have garnered the reputation of being actor's actors. Ashley Burchett aka Phase is proving to be a producer's producer, certified by commissioned mixes from the likes of Robert Hood, Dave Clarke and Ben Sims, as well spots in Resident Advisor podcasts by Surgeon and Carl Craig. Since 2007 Phase has been channelling his burrowed beats and jarring analogue riffs through Belgian and techno genuine imprint Token. A mastering engineer by trade, Burchett achieves perfect equilibrium in his mix downs where no sound or artefact dominates the other. Shifting crackles and resonating textures cosy up to looped rhythms of "Binary Opposition (Process 1)" which Phase substitutes for more melodic yet insidious soundscapes in "Binary Opposition (Process 2)" - handing the likes of Dettmann and Nodge some early afternoon Berghain fodder with two tracks harbouring the longevity needed to fuel their legendary Sunday sessions.
Review: The long-running fruitful relationship between O [Phase] aka Ashley Burchett and Belgian label Token continues on Tunnel Vision. More direct than the UK producer's previous releases on the imprint, "Vision" is a pounding, linear groove, its hissing filters sounding like the release of a thousand steam pistons and complementing the hard-as-nails metal rhythm. "Internal Conflict (Acts 1-3)" is less rigid; it sees Burchett deploy a rolling groove laced with a succession of tonal bleeps and 303 builds. It even features conga drums near the end, but despite
Review: Phase's recent Binary Opposition finds itself remixed by a host of techno's most vital names on this massive collection from Token. Planetary Assault Systems puts his abrasive stamp on the source material, with juddering synthwork poking out of the cracks, while CTRLS takes a dustier approach, taking the original's four to the floor approach and putting a bit of broken beat swagger into it - but one that's refreshingly off the grid. Our Circula Sound boss Sigha meanwhile favours a stripped back, greyed out, minimalistic approach, while Peter Van Hoesen and Ben Klock provide the most club focused tracks on the collection - with the former's heavy kicks and tunnelling bassline and Klock's thick slabs of dub satisfying the urges of those who like their techno a little more simple. Finally, Inigo Kennedy provides a dystopian take whose sci-fi synths and electro influenced beats are filled with Drexciyan undertones.
Review: Belgian label Token is one of the most consistent techno imprints because it gives short shrift to fads and fashions. Phase, one of the label's core artists, showcases its uncompromising style here. The title track is a tough, pumping affair, its heavy drums housing phased synths that suggest a world of unknown horrors. But it's on "The Chasedown" that Phase excels; the beats are heavy and concrete-like and a hint of acid lends it a menacing undercurrent. Nothing could prepare the listener for the wave of droning bee sounds that emerges in the middle of the arrangement, amplified to the nth degree until it feels like a million insects are buzzing from within your cranium.