Unclear Mechanics (original club mix) - (7:19) 128 BPM
Fedde Le Grand - "Metrum" (UMEK remix) - (7:00) 128 BPM
Jack The Groove (original club mix) - (7:33) 125 BPM
UMEK & Beltek - "Let The Bass Kick" (original club mix) - (7:08) 126 BPM
Love To Dance (original club mix) - (6:26) 125 BPM
UMEK vs DJ Dan - "Mighty Wind" (original club mix) - (9:12) 126 BPM
One More Sound (original club mix) - (6:46) 125 BPM
UMEK & Beltek - "Out Of Play" (original club mix) - (6:41) 128 BPM
UMEK & Mike Vale - "Fluid Feel" (original club mix) - (7:34) 127 BPM
Review: Slovenian producer Uros Umek has come a long, long way since the searing minimalism of his Consumer Recreation releases and Zeta Reticula's dark electro. In fact, those early releases have little bearing on Umek's current incarnation as a permanent feature in DJ Mag's top 100 poll or as a White Island-conquering international attraction. As befits a techno DJ of such stature, Umek's sound is geared towards the big room. Shaped by mid-00s minimal, this collection features the insistent, rolling rhythm and pitched up monkey chatter of "Unclear Mechanics" and the insane sirens and drum rolls of his remix of fellow traveler Fedde Le Grand's "Metrum". There are still flashes of his past - the scratchy rhythm of "Jack The Groove" and the ominous chords of his "Mighty Wind" collaboration with DJ Dan - but this collection is very much Umek 2.0.
Review: Hraach is an Armenian born producer currently living in Spain. He began producing in 2011 and it is apparent that he has found his true calling. Having released under labels such as Sol Selectas, Akumandra (Andante), The Purr-Soleid and now Germany's Underyourskin: who present his fabulous Hidden Dimension EP. Starting out with the deep and mesmerising title track, which also gets remixed by Montreal's Kora (Kindisch/Earthly Delights) who takes it deeper into slinky tech house territory. Second original track "Nemesis" delves into the exotic with its lovely harpsichord melody but balanced by that razor sharp bassline. The remix up next by Tara Brooks from Los Angeles is even spacier and would be perfect to play at sunrise.
Review: Shamelessly funky edits from two Dutch disco dynamos SHMLSS. They've already given us plenty to jump to via Midnight Riot and Disco Deviance. We're likely to hear a lot more of them in the future, but right now it's all about this epic double up on Manchester's To Rack & Ruin imprint. "Disco Sensation" is a heady slap bass jam session with an array of tight chops and disco flurries on the fills. Meanwhile we're treated to an epic rendition of Peter Jacques Band's "Counting On Love" where every string and piano rolls are polished and presented with dramatic glee. Bona fide disco vibes.
Review: There's a lot of hype surrounding TJ Hertz's work, but thankfully the young producer has the talent to deliver. "Agnes Demise" is all twitchy, hyperactive percussion, a lumbering rhythm and the most merciless kicks and gut-busting bass drops known to man (or machine). All the while that sense of unrest, almost like an itch that won't go away, pervades. "Fishbone" is even more complex; the rhythm feels like it's going to trip over itself and jittery claps support a series of dark sonic blips and jarring riffs. It's chaotic but Hertz manages to navigate his way through the sonic madness with his sanity intact.
Review: The two Ekoplekz albums that Nick Edwards released through Planet Mu this year are possibly the most accessible long players issued by the Bristol-based artist in a rich, prolific production career. Pitching up on the West Norwood Cassette Library label is hardly the most expected of moves for an artist more commonly associated with Mego, Further and Mordant Music, but fans of those aforementioned Mu LPs will certainly find much to enjoy in this Rock La Bibliotek EP. The label claims Edwards has long been promising them some club focused material and these 6 tracks are the results, still retaining the sense of abstraction and daring freeform approach that has made Ekoplekz the powerful voice he is. File alongside Container and Hieroglyphic Being in the lurching, slightly foreboding end of the techno scale.
Review: Man like KXVU returns to Simply Deep for his first full label EP and he's packing the classical tones. "Guinevere" is all about the orchestration and variation as various instruments layer and strip back over a sprightly melody. Grand but not garish, it's one for the big dreamers and full steamers. Other highlights include the Joker-style walkabout bassline and pipe-blazing melodic flourishes of "Lancealot" while "Artorius Castus" is the ultimate finale fight sequence in the Roman drama of your life. A real Ben Hurrter, you might say. Throw in remixes from Opus (sub-oceanic trippy tropical) and Hamdi (24th century trap) and you've got yourself a killer collection. Baroque and roll.
Review: Fresh from appearing on San Holo's Bitbird label, Beaudamian continues this year's rich vein of form with an absurdly on-point trio on Plastician's Terrorhythm. Each cut plays a vital role in different stages of the night; "Rx1" is 100 per cent purple with a dash of Art Of Noise for positive texture. "Don't Do Drugs" takes us much deeper into the weirder moments of the night as we seemingly take a stroll through another man's mushroom paranoia while "Valdezarza" plays the consummate banger when every single person in the building is shivering the icy licks, militant drums and Bassnectar-level bass hype. Concrete.
Review: To land on Plastician's Terrorhythm label after only a few years in the game is a sign that you are doing pretty damn well as an artist. Nottingham's Glacci aka Kyle Cook returns to the veteran's imprint with a debut album, a solid 11 tunes worth of bass meandering and percussive exploration. "Death Dealer" steals all the attention at the start, coming through with some outstandingly well-balanced melodies and beat bundles, all the while retaining a firm r&b flex on the whole thing. We also love the future-minded pop "Naluri", alongside the vintage vocal samples of "Mirror Cluster". While all of these tunes bring something different and personable to the equation, there's something about Glacci's vision that binds them all together and, crucially, makes his sound stand out from the crowd.
Review: Always a treat for anyone who likes a crafty mash up of various different acapellas over some cast-iron funky goodness, Mashed Up 8 sees Congorock's "Babylon" getting layered over a brass-led nu-soul tune on "Babylon Funk". Elsewhere, Pharrell's "Can I Have It Like That" sounds great over a beefed up mix of Steely Dan's "Peg" and Khia's "My Neck, My Back" gets supercharged on "Broadway Pussy". The acapella from Cutty Rank's 1991 classic "The Stopper" rounds off the set, this time layered over an organ-led funky jam on "Door Stoppa". As always, these guys come up trumps and pack some wickedly original party breaks into their releases.
Review: After their debut release last year, emergent Mancunian duo Rainer Veil return with another in-depth EP for Modern Love that sees them postulating on creative possibilities at the juncture of techno, dub and industrial, with an immersive swell that is all their own. "Three Day Jag" has a lot to unravel, from the surface drones to the sunken breaks to the haunted echoes of melodic chord progressions choking somewhere behind the monochromatic fog. "Strangers" is a little sweeter in nature, letting the chords lead the way in to a magnificent tumbling beat that kicks in at the midway point. At every turn the production is magnificent on this EP, dense and highly detailed but beautifully rendered to give the most evocative kind of end result.
Review: Kerri Chandler has long been an enthusiastic supporter of Benson Herbert and Leo Pickings' Voyeur project. He's already put out their singles on Madtech and Madhouse, and here brings them to his newest label, Kaoz Theory, in order to release their debut album. It's a pleasingly varied and assured set, too, moving from string-drenched, cinematic moods, to shuffling, atmosphere-rich tech-house, via African influenced tribal workouts, woozy downtempo hip-hop instrumentals, and dreamy, jammed-out deep house. Despite this eclecticism, it hangs together impressively thanks to Herbert and Pickings' assured use of mood and melody. File under: quietly impressive.