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: Punk funk outfit !!! find themselves remixed on this new EP from Warp, and it contains some of the most cutting-edge reworks we've heard in a while. Patrick Ford, Jim Eno and Mister Saturday Night's Alex Burkat all do their thing in fine style, rocking and shaking throughout, but the real jewels come from Proibito label head and all-round NY bad-boy Anthony Naples, and UK house-cat Maurice Fulton, who both deliver the goods in gargantuan proportions.
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.
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: 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: The mysterious 0311 turns in this beguiling five track EP for Concrete Cut. As a member of the Warsaw based Underground Perception collective, this solo outing skirts the outer limits of future dubstep, seamlessly blending the influences. Opening track "System" is a sign of things to come, a skittering garage beat offset with smooth pads and swirling atmospherics. "Warsaw Dream" offers up a female vocal sample and chord stabs while "It's Not True" strips things right back to the core. "White Shadows" ventures further into garage territory while EP closer "Last Nite" has a quirky downtempo feel.
Break These Walls Down (feat Kelly Pepper & Gracious K - CellCius vocal mix) - (3:53) 134 BPM
Break These Walls Down (feat Kelly Pepper & Gracious K - CellCius dub mix) - (3:09) 134 BPM
Review: UK garage legends 10 Below (best known for their work on Kele Le Roc's "My Love") step up this week with a pair of upcoming talents at their side - young London singer Kelly Pepper and Gracious K (cousin of Dizzee Rascal no less). The results are bubbly and typically tasteful, with Rhodes, pitched-up snares and thick bass stabs ruling the roost. The mix of Pepper's silky vocals and Gracious K's spoken flow works well too, making for an essential UKG release.
Review: Since making their name with the bleep/loved up deep house fusion of "Low Frequency Overload" back in 1990, British duo 100 Hz have continued to deliver occasional EPs. Immersive is full of rich, saucer-eyed deep house treats. Highlights include the darting, near Balearic synths and dream house style grooves of "Rio",the boompty-influenced cut and thrust of "Rub Tub (Edit)", where jammed-out jazz synths cluster around a killer funk bassline, and the ultra-deep, but suitably energetic "Whiskey Pineapple". This latter track is propelled forwards by a relentless bassline, crunchy drum machine percussion, and some foreboding melody lines.