Review: Oderbruch is Rene Pawlowitz's fifth artist album as Shed, and the title refers to the place in east Germany he comes from. It's no surprise then that this long player is a deeply personal affair. "Die Oder", named after the river in that region, flows serenely thanks to a slip-slide rhythm and gentle pads. "Menschen & Mauern" is the polar opposite, with Pawlowitz dropping high-speed break beats and evocative organ playing. A similarly introspective mood plays out on the dusky sound scapes of "Sterbende Alleen", where Pawlowitz's sense of disillusionment is palpable. However, like any personalised work, the mood swings, with the dreamy "Nacht, Fluss, Grille, Auto, Frosch, Eule, Mucke" restoring a sense of calm with its bucolic tones.
Review: Usually, De:tuned puts out reissues, so Communion marks something of a departure for the label. It's Kirk Degiorgio's first studio album in 15 years under the As One project, and as befits its heritage, it's a gloriously widescreen affair. There's the dreamy ambience of "Absorption Spectra" and both "Downburst" and "Irimias" fuse similar sound scapes with brittle electro back beats. "The Ladder" sees Degiorgio push farther in the Detroit techno direction, guided on the way by out space blips, while the serene "Aimpoint" is redolent of the deeper than deep ambient-techno sound he explored on the classic As One album, Reflections. It's a timeless work.
Review: After starting his career like a whirling dervish, Hot Since 82 man Daley Padley has slowed down considerably in recent times. In fact, this expansive, eight-track collection of cuts is his most significant release for over two years. Padley hits the ground running with deep and picturesque tech-house shuffler "Vapours", before reaching for the wonky synth bass, Balearic house pianos and ricocheting percussion hits on "Tilted". A trio of typically tidy vocal cuts (including Jem Cooke-voiced former singles "Buggin" and "You Are The Light) follows before Padley unleashes the celebratory, sample-heavy peak-time madness of "Bloodlines". Cooke returns to speak seductively over some late night grooves on "Street Lights", while closing cut "Remains of the Day" is a near symphonic deep house rush.
Review: It seems incredible to think that despite his nearly 20 years of production experience, Dave Sumner hasn't released a full Function album until 2013. Thankfully Incubation proves it's been well worth the wait with the Sandwell District member really stretching his legs out for one of those techno albums that is most definitely an album experience. This nine track set bristles with great ideas and murky atmospherics, combining dystopian sci-fi soundtrack textures with the precision techno he's become known for. There are robust dancefloor tracks - see the murky acid techno of "Against The Wall" and sweaty "Modifier" - but also moments of intense, melodic beauty, from the crystalline bliss of "Counterpoint", to the dreamy hypnotism of "Inter (album version)".
Review: Parisian legend Cyril Etienne des Rosaies aka DJ Deep returns to his Deeply Rooted imprint, with some sturdy and functional tools on new series Raw Cuts, Vols 1 & 2. Originally released on vinyl earlier in 2019 and his first new material in two years, these tracks are a must have for any serious techno DJ and are a reflection of the French veteran's ear for what truly works on the dancefloor over the last 20 years. Prepare yourself for instinctive tracks that make a real mark and all delivered in his own unique style. Go deep into the rainforest on the evocative tribal trance of "Mindshift" or get strobed-out on the frantic tunnel vision of "Mandrum Main" on Vol. 1, while the second part's highlights are the entrancing late night acid of "Porte" and the greyscale dub techno stomper "Corridor Rodeo" loaded directly off the factory floor.
Review: Deep within the plethora of universe lies a code that maybe Aleksi Perala holds the key to. A neural network of chasing electricity shooting around a galaxy of hightailing lights and flashing blips. Bring that down a dimension or two and your entered into a realm of spiralling synths and circular rhythms we've experienced but in parts here with a gnarliness less heard in Perala's dreamier framework. A larger portion of these productions serve harder, industrialised drums and melodies alongside leaner productions like "UKMH51900046". "UKMH51900047" goes there for a rougher sound that's closer to mother earth, with opener "UKMH51900044" a sweet piece of bleep music lost but then found again in the ether.
Review: Boris Bunnik slips back into his Conforce alias to continue his long-running association with Delsin. Indeed, Dawn Chorus is his fifth album for the label, and sees him deliver a range of tracks, all underpinned by the deep musicality that the project is associated with. "Void" and "Solstice" are robust electro numbers, underpinned by deep 808s, while on "Aphelion", a pulsating techno groove prevails. "Io" sees Bunnik revisit the 90s IDM sound as spiky beats provide the basis for spellbinding hooks, while "Marooned" sees the Dutch producer in darker form, weighed down by acrid acid lines and stripped back beats.
Review: As its title suggests, this collection brings together tracks from the UK producer's X-Tront series from the early to mid-90s. This was an exciting time generally for electronic music, as artists tried anything they wanted to - and this is audible on 92-94. From the stomping, concrete beats of "Splitting Atoms" and "Amil" to the churning filters and abrasive percussion of "Bande Magnetique", there is no shortage of hard-edged techno on offer. However, Slater also exceled at making deep electronic sounds during this period - make sure to check his My Yellow Wise Rug album as 7th Plain from this period - and "The Secret Garden" is a great example of this style, with melancholic hooks and lithe, rasping rhythms revealing his more reflective side.
Review: As one of industrial techno best ironisists, Ansome's Hounds Of Harbour album goes some way to express this. Say, " Heaviest Fucking Acid Trip In The Universe," a intro that sets up a sincere phone call from a possible techno devotee that goes on to explain the obvious...If this suggests that Ansome's music played a role into one's self realisation then that's the making for a hell of a soundtrack. For the industrial techno writer, Ansome's second LP for Perc Trax is relentless: unrelenting industrial techno! Everything is crunched, obliterated and destroyed, compressed, detuned and pumped up again into something crushing and new. Full of punk and distortion all the more, the album tails into deeper gothic realms with tracks like "Last Bottle", but for the good old fashioned stuff, choose your weapon: "Hunger".
Review: Originally released between the tail end of the 90s and the start of the new millennium, the material on Necklace Of Bites shows why Regis is one of the pre-eminent forces in modern techno. Starting with the Jim Jones samples on "Solution (Voice)', with the chilling orchestral "Music" version of the same track, the compilation then veers into the streamlined, pounding "Wound Us" and the dense, tribal kinetics of "Executive Handshake". What's most remarkable about Regis' output from this period is how well it has aged: "Adolescence", with its momentous filters and breeze block kicks, makes the current wave of techno sound staid, while the shrieking samples and razor sharp rhythm of "Execution Ground" is as lethal as the day it was conceived.
Review: After presenting material on White, Batti Batti and ESP Institute, Brussels based producer/DJ Andrea Mancini aka Cleveland showcases an evolution of his sound into more minimalist and forward looking grounds - with another release on John Talabot's Hivern Discs. The seven tracks on NDSi are 'an exploration of futuristic soundscapes delineated with swirling tones, understated rhythms and ever-evolving patterns... often drawing inspiration from happy accidents with half broken synthesizers". Mancini presents some electronic music with a real soulfulness here: from the deep electro cut "Polar", the emotive tribal hose of "Dx6", the downbeat bleep IDM of "6lx" or on the hypnotic underwater techno of "Kobu".
Rosegarden Funeral Of Sores (feat Jacques Trenson) - (5:30) 103 BPM
Behind The Scorn - (5:34) 110 BPM
Wintergrass - Looped - (3:44) 133 BPM
Chromatic Intro - (5:14) 148 BPM
Equal Souls Divided - (5:39) 124 BPM
Casual Care Dub V - (3:52) 122 BPM
Trope - (6:28) 115 BPM
Exor1 - (5:03) 123 BPM
Gadarene Rush - (5:10) 160 BPM
Abandon DubMix 3 - Loop - (3:45) 124 BPM
Merely A Mirage - (2:48) 120 BPM
Rising Tide - (6:46) 126 BPM
Singular Fate 3 - Loop - (4:27) 125 BPM
Sky Ruptures - (6:10) 115 BPM
Fighting With Angels - (4:55) 122 BPM
Review: Uncovered is a three-part series that shines a light on unreleased tracks from Peter Van Hoesen's archives from a ten-year period, commencing in 2008. What may surprise fans of his kinetic warehouse techno is that the respected producer is also adept at creating slowed-down electronic pieces, audible here on "Editsolopunchin19 " and "Rosegarden Funeral Of Sores", the latter featuring Jacques Trenson's muddy vocals. There are other unexpected delights on this volume, such as the droning "Merely A Mirage", while "Slowdisto" bathes in a glitchy hue. At the same time, this collection does remind the listener of Van Hoesen's dance floor prowess and both "Exor1" and "Gadarene Rush" contain vivid sketches that form the basis of his distinctive techno sound.
I Could Never Live Without You By My Side - (3:53) 128 BPM
Martin (feat J.Manuel) - (4:42) 134 BPM
Apollo Tag 2 (feat Fadi Mohem & Tobi Neumann) - (4:16) 133 BPM
Arctic Warmth - (1:38) 126 BPM
**Smells Like Security** - (5:03) 129 BPM
Netto (Interlude) - (2:39) 133 BPM
All My Friends Are In The Bathroom (feat Koogan, Fadi Mohem & J.Manuel) - (4:08) 133 BPM
Anio' - (4:22) 125 BPM
Review: Following on from last year's debut album, techno trio Fjaak bounce back with another fine long player. Whether or not Havel is named after the former Czech dissident is unknown, but there is no doubt that it finds them in fine form. "Take Your Life", which features Koogan on paranoid vocals, could be an acid-soaked Prodigy during their heyday, while at the other end of the spectrum, "I Could Never Live Without You By My Side" and "Version 188.8.131.52" are atmospheric break beat pieces. Fjaak are also adept at creating tough techno - just check the banging sound of "Martin" - while they team up with Tobi Neumann for the deeper break beat house of "Apollo Tag 2". On the evidence of Havel, it seems Fjaak can do no wrong.
Review: Biomorph is the debut album from Enrico Sangiuliano, an artist who has previously featured on Adam Beyer's label. As the industrial drones of "Functional Basic Unit of Life" and the rugged electro on "Generative Model" and "Arboreal" all demonstrate, he has mapped out a route that stops off at many diversions. However, at his heart, the Italian producer remains a dance floor techno lover - and he expresses this passion most eloquently on Biomorph with the epic, trance-influenced "Cosmic Ratio" and "Hidden T" as well as "Multicellular", a storming big-room affair that is led by a tearing, system-levelling bass.
The Three Chimneys (feat The Black 80s) - (4:57) 80 BPM
Out Of The Pain - (3:37) 108 BPM
We All Try (feat Mike Leary) - (5:25) 126 BPM
Fear Is Gonna Be A Player In Your Life - (5:20) 129 BPM
1+1 (feat Thomas Gandey - album mix) - (3:50) 129 BPM
Wanna Do Right, Wanna Do Wrong - (6:48) 130 BPM
I May Be Dead, But One Day The World Will Be Beautiful Again - (3:20) 128 BPM
Waking Up From Anxious Dreams (Metamorphosis) - (4:08) 166 BPM
Dia Uno (The Beginning Of A New Era) - (3:08) 140 BPM
La Coherencia De No Ser Coherente - (3:47) 129 BPM
Happiness? Go Ahead - (2:07) 130 BPM
Volare - (6:12) 132 BPM
My First Pill (feat The Horrorist) - (6:08) 133 BPM
Unite (feat Gabriella Vergilov) - (7:02) 132 BPM
Insania - (2:54) 190 BPM
Review: While Suara is one of the most prolific techno labels out there, its owner, Coyu has taken a back seat recently with his own productions. This is changing with the release of his debut album, You Don't Know, which also coincides with him broadening out his sound. Tracks like "Out of the Pain" and the melancholic "1&1", featuring Thomas Gandey, sees him explore mournful, down tempo sounds, while on "Insania", the Suara boss veers into abstract mode, with rattling percussion. While there is no shortage of dance floor material - most notably the throbbing, acid-soaked "Volare" - the most impressive material tends towards the downtempo melodic vein, audible on his excellent broken beat collaboration with Moby, "'I May Be Dead, But One Day The World Will Be Beautiful Again".
Review: It's been almost a year since Swiss duo Adriatique presented their much lauded full length effort 'Nude', and this fresh collection of reworks ensure they still get to live on in the (mind the pun!) - Afterlife. While household names such as label bosses Tale of Us (with Mathame), Keinemusik's Rampa and Solumun appear, it's definitely worth mentioning the more underground artists that they reeled in. Berghain resident Kobosil's barrelling and austere rework of "Tachykardia" keeps the sensual vocals of the original, but is absolutely geared for the peak time period of his acclaimed DJ sets at the Berlin institution. Italian trio Agents Of Time (Obscura) deliver a typically epic and entrancing journey into the deeper realms of dancefloor dynamics, and probably most surprising of all is the addition of Frankfurt minimal house legend Isolee who injects "Mystery" with his idiosyncratic style of emotive and glitching minimal funk.
Review: Israeli producer Yariv Etzion aka Stereo Underground has been very active within Tel Aviv's electronic music scene over the last decade. His musical output began 2009, and in his debut year he received high praise for his hypnotic, progressive sounds. Fast forward to the present day, he now presents his full-length debut album The Art Of Silence via esteemed Australian label Balance Music. It is the natural culmination of his efforts over the last decade, taking him 10 months of recording in a studio set up in the countryside. The project has always shown a great sense of musicality and ambition and it is sure evident on tracks like the title track with its slinky melody, subtle rhythms and soothing tones, the euphoric high octane dancefloor drama of "Above The Sea Of Fog" with its powerful trance inflections, or get lost in the moody and atmospheric progressive house epic "Echoes"
Symbionts Came Through The Green Lights - (4:00) 120 BPM
Skyway Chase - (4:20) 137 BPM
Day By Day - (1:04) 136 BPM
Missing Places - (2:57) 133 BPM
439 - (3:42) 125 BPM
The Hunt Is On - (4:01) 136 BPM
Another World Underneath - (3:40) 131 BPM
8000 Miles High - (4:18) 133 BPM
Review: Following on from last year's Das Heise Experiment long player, Robert Witschakowski aka The Exaltics drops more futuristic electro. Tracks like "Fallen Star" and "Tunnel Chase" focus on gritty rhythms and splurging bass, as the German producer conjures up a truly dystopian soundtrack. Meanwhile, the steely groove of "Symbionts Came Through The Green Lights" and the ominous, breaking "Skyway Chase" push Drexciya's more militant tendencies forward. This underlying mood continues, albeit with a more understated approach, on tracks such as the menacing, bass-heavy "The Others" and the bleak synths and breathy vocals of "One" - but overall 2 Worlds is a master class in electronic menace.
Review: Arrow Of Time is Joel Mull's first artist album in eight years and serves as a reminder that he is one of techno's greatest and most enduring talents. Issued on Swedish label Parabel, it starts with the heart-beat pulses and haunting ambient swirls of "Irreversible" and the brittle electro drums and woodwind of "Up That Hill". While "Gleaming" sees Mull focus on the dance floor, the drums are low in the mix and the melancholic, frosty melodies take centre stage. This tempered approach does not last however, and "Northern Spheres" and "Caver" are Mike Parker-style, frequency shifting grooves, while "Mnemonics" and "Colorblind" are wonderfully sleek, streamlined techno tracks - both as straight and deadly as an arrow.