Review: Deetron follows last year's Body Electric release on Running Back with a fine dance floor-based EP inspired by his formidable DJing. "Ego Rave B" is a seductive, bubbling electronic groove that supports woozy, cosmic synths, while on "Ego Rave D" and its "D1" variant, he goes down a tracky route, with dense drums and snappy percussion providing the basis for old school techno bleeps. There are also remnants of the Swiss DJ's more peak time selections: "Ego Rave A", sees Deetron fuse tranced out hooks with gentle piano keys, while "Ego Rave C" is a wide-eyed, good time electro-techno track.
Review: With records for Ovum, Pets Recordings and REKIDS of late, Mathias Kaden's quintessential festival sound makes it back to Radio Slave's label following last year's Liberate Drums EP. Delving into synthy, dub techno territory with "Substance" (DJ Pete we hope you're watching), the rest of the record finds itself rooted in classic strands of bigger room Detroit techno and European minimalism, alongside a touch of electro and industrial synth wave in "Control Your Mind" - thinned down and stripped back by Marcel Dettmann's remix. Littered with tougher elements of rave and banging tech house alongside solid bassline progressions in "Conviction" and "Anticipation" too, Mathias Kaden helps us remember what it's going to be like when festivals resume once more. Downloaded for Richie Hawtin!
Review: Mark Broom collaborated with James Ruskin on Domwen back in 2018, and now the pair come together again for Basement Jams. This is a direct dance floor EP and sees the UK techno veterans deliver rough and raw tracks. "Pr1", with its tweaked wiry groove, is a good example of their approach, while on "Ocs", the pair up the tempo and intensity levels to deliver a bubbling, insistent track. On "Tkn", Ruskin and Broom veer into Hood-style territory for a visceral, analogue workout, while closing out the release is a more gritty, restless take on Detroit minimalism in the form of the doubled-up claps of "Sn7".
Review: The ninth edition in Diynamic's Picture series comes from Munich-based producer Innellea, who follows up some impressive releases for Innervisions, TAU and Afterlife. Featuring some fine melodic house incorporating various cinematic and post-apocalyptic soundscapes (with his own voice) as heard on the breathtaking opener "Forced To Bend" and the particular moody "Electricity", to the glassy-eyed and bittersweet breaks of "Sorrow and a moment on the exotic fringes of dark disco as heard on low slung epic "Catanacean". Altogether this is what the label best described themselves as 'an intimate listening experience, that hovers somewhere between isolation and the longing for contact.'
Review: Now we don't know what is in the water up in Manchester right now, but the team at Manuka seem to be able to do no wrong, yet again pulling together a sumptuous new selection, this time from fellow local and dubstep-heavyweight: Biome. He takes us down a much more bass-scentric route with this selection however, kicking off with tech infused percussion and glittering pad work of 'Kitemare' before the title track 'Kora' marches forward with more eerie atmospheric energy and some seriously weighty kick patterns below. Next, we greet the much more high pitched percussive pops and vocal delays of 'Let Me' as they dance above a smoothened sub design below, before rounding off on the much more raucous bass explosions and jittering drum patterns of 'Torah'. As per, another fabulous link up from the Manuka team!
Review: Matt Edwards departs from the script for his latest Radio Slave material. Taking influence from old school hardcore and a cut and paste production approach, on "Stay Out.." he delivers twitchy, good-time break beats that are full of hip-hop and soulful vocal samples. It's quite a departure for the creator of linear techno tracks like "Grindhouse" and "Another Club". On "Wait A Minute", Edwards returns to the techno realm; while still containing a repetitive vocal sample that intones the track's title, the rattling percussion, tough kicks and driving rhythm all come together to form a deadly effective big room techno track.
Review: Ahead of a new album, which is due out at the end of 2020, Robert Hood delivers this blistering debut for Rekids. The title track revolves around a heavy, rolling bass and dubbed out drums, the perfect opening track for this dance floor EP. "7 Mile Dog" sees Hood up the pace and intensity levels, as a looped chord is fused with pounding kicks and a frazzled bass to create an intense peak-time track. "Ignite A War" resounds to a steely rhythm and a pulsating bass, with the veteran Detroit producer lacing the arrangement with insistent stabs for maximum impact, while on "The Cure", Hood drops a pile-driving track that centres on pounding kicks.
Review: While much of Huxley's material over the last few years has been bold, tech-tinged and druggy, this first appearance on Shall Not Fade is pleasingly celebratory and rooted in classic US house. For proof, check bouncy, bass-heavy opener 'Takeaway', where spine-tingling piano riffs, synth-sax and old school vocal samples catch the ear, and the rushing piano-house largeness of future hands-in-the-air anthem 'Patsy'. In between, he offers up a mix of dark, muscular house (see the Tenaglia-at-Twilo era pump of 'Nothing Works', which features some suitably mind-mangling acid lines) and druggy, early morning intensity ('A Hard Fall Up To The Middle', 'Anxiety').
Review: Lopezhouse are a duo consisting of David Lopez and Carlos Cruz from La Mancha, Spain. They return to John Digweed's esteemed Bedrock label after some great releases recently on Hafendisko and Sincopat. Their new Sunburst EP features the strobed-out and entrancing title track, which will entice you onto the dancefloor with its slinky aesthetic, the tech house vibe continues on the infectious minimal bounce of "Midnight Sun", the slo-mo chill house of "Strumming Bridges" and closing out this wonderful outing is the evocative mood music of "Pinksauce" which is perfect to hear as the morning sun comes shining through the windows.
Review: Demonstrating again that techno is a deeply political art form, the latest release from Robert Hood was produced against the backdrop of recent events in the US. On "The Struggle", which Hood has put out under his own name, the Detroit artist fuses a searing acid backing track with a sample of a speech from activist Tamika Mallory about police brutality, which was given in the days following the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis. Shifting to his Floorplan alias, Hood continues to focus on politics; sampling a speech by comedian and activist Dick Gregory, "Save The Children" is realised in its original format as a disco-charged stomper, while there is also a chord-heavy Detroit take included.
Review: Surgeon follows the Golden Sea release on Ilian Tape from earlier this year with this fine four-tracker. "Winged Assassin" is a rolling, stepping affair that resounds to acid-soaked blips and woozy synths. In contrast on "Crater 101", there is a harder sound audible, with visceral kicks underpinning noisy stabs and sheets of steely percussion. But the UK techno veteran is in less abrasive form than usual on this release, and "Place of Angels" resounds to a murky bass and squelching tones. On the title track, Surgeon ventures even farther from the techno path, delivering an abstract atmospheric composition that blurs the boundaries between electronic and post-rock's stream of consciousness.
Review: Deniro follows Mendoza, his 2017 debut on Trip, with this superb techno EP. The title track's jarring synth riff and insistent rhythm come across like a more streamlined take on classic Lost Recordings releases, while "Needles" is a rough analogue jacker that strays into Cristian Vogel-style minimalism. On "Egalize", the Dutch producer goes deeper to deliver hypnotic, chiming bells over a bubbling rhythm, while both "Tainted" and "Zoom 303" see him focus on more dance floor friendly takes on deeper techno as atmospheric synths swirl over dubbed out kicks. Rounding off this great second outing on Trip is the acid-heavy banger, "Boss 303".
Review: Regis aka Karl O'Connor revisits his releases on the now shuttered Blackest Ever Black label for this fine compilation. The rolling, insistent drums on "Blood Witness" from the 2011 In A Syrian Tongue EP still sound fresh, while the droning,'Blinding Horses' from the same release also features. Tongue Box also features a new take on this track, and the frosty sound scapes of the 'Stable Boy Mix' are nothing short of mesmerising. In contrast, O'Connor delivers a tighter, rhythm-heavy version of "Manbait" - the title track of his 2015 compilation on the label - as well as the robust "Masterside" stepper available in two dance floor-primed versions.
Review: Amotik rose to prominence with a series of Eps and an album on his own imprint, and it wasn't long before his linear, hypnotic tracks caught Ellen Allien's attention. Daya, his debut release on Bpitch Control, sees him serve up more of the same crafty dance floor music. There's the title track's dense, tribal drums, while on "Aage", a similar approach is audible, as the Berlin artist drops a linear dance rhythm. On "Peeche", Amotik adds some chilling chords to his heads-down sound, while he changes tact on "Baya", where atmospheric synths swirl over a more gentle but still dance floor focused track.
Review: Dutch imprint Dynamic Reflection can always be relied on to deliver high-quality club techno, and Deception is no exception. It starts with the high-paced title track, which resounds to a pounding, dense rhythm, eerie synths and firing metallic percussion. On "Consumed", this emerging producer heads down a deeper route, with clicking percussion and swirling textures underpinned by a robust, filtered groove. "Dissolution" is more stripped back as Vagh plots out a path led by tribal drums and steely percussion, like an updated, turbocharged version of early Oliver Ho work. "Hologram" marks another shift in sound, with Vagh dropping a throbbing, pulsating track that has echoes of Mike Parker at his most hypnotic.
Review: Cologne institution Traum Schallplatten are excited to release the brand new 'Little We Know' EP from Hamburg's techno veterans Extrawelt. If you have ever seen one of the pair's live acts, this EP very much embodies the experience with the flow of energy it generates - and it's highly addictive. The bumping and rolling groove of opening track "Mr Wednesday" harks back to their output in the mid-noughties: a wicked mixture of minimal and electro house's best elements. The title track follows and flips the script a bit on this deep and highly emotive tech house journey, and finally the hypnotic "Sem" is perfect for those heads down moments under the strobe lights.
Review: Luigi Madonna follows his recent release on Redimension with this collaboration with Roberto Capuano for Drumcode. The title track is a lean affair that centres on a pulsating bass and subtle bursts of glitchy percussion, striking the perfect balance between functionality while offering a highly distinctive take on club techno. On "System Alert", the pair opt for a similar approach but increase the intensity levels through the addition of screeching synth riffs and crescendo-inducing snares. Meanwhile, "Headquarter" marks another shift in sound from these talented Italian producers: featuring an ominous vocal sample, it resounds to bristling percussion and pounding drums that build suddenly, creating maximum impact.
Review: Continuing in a proud tradition that stretches back two decades and includes artists like Anderson Noise and Renato Cohen, Marcal delivers a killer Brazilian techno EP for Rekids. Reduction Pt 1 follows his releases on Phobiq and Sam Paganini's JAM, and shows why this emerging artist is gaining recognition: "'Ainozama" is a fast-paced tribal roller laced with rave stabs, while on "Cherry On Top", he goes down a deeper route, with filtered chords and ticking percussion unfolding over a lithe rhythm. "Heart Race" sees him head down the kind of dense, bleeps route that Sleeparchive and Mike Parker usually inhabit, while on "Estado de Transe", a collaboration with Andc and Gabal, Marcal effortlessly straddles the tribal and minimal dimensions with considerable aplomb.
Great Attractor (Setaoc Mass remix) - (5:46) 135 BPM
Mission 3,2,1 - (6:06) 137 BPM
The Andromeda Manoeuvre - (6:19) 136 BPM
Review: For his debut release on Soma, Phara aka Robin De Wolf draws on 90s techno for inspiration. The title track is a firing affair, powered by the kind of sheet-metal percussion and driving rhythm that Space DJz were renowned for. "Mission 3,2,1" is just as intense, with vocal chants soldered to a pumping, electronic groove that keeps on building and building. On "The Andromeda Manoeuvre", De Wolf goes deeper, and its crackled, scuffling textures and tough kicks are sure to appeal to fans of classic Kanzleramt or even Fachwerk material. Soma has also commissioned a remix of the title track from Setaoc Mass, who turns "Attractor" into a linear, tribal workout.
Review: Is Endlec's latest release on Bas Mooy's label a soundtrack for these dark days of global uncertainty? Certainly, "Something More Sinister", with its splintered analogue riffs and hammering rhythm, captures the terrifying mood surrounding regime change in the US, while the heads-down, cyber-techno jack of "Dystopian Heart" and "Population Control" act as warnings of further bad things to come. Despite these somewhat chilling titles, the Greek producer knows how to craft a hypnotic sound. "Consistency & Patience" resounds to a mesmerising, layered rhythm, infested with wild electronic blips and bleeps, while the noisy, siren riff-led "Fight for the Power" is the naked, angry sound of the resistance.
Review: Working under his Polymod alias, Shadow Child recorded this release during lockdown. He collaborated with Sasha on the title track, and the label owner's influence is audible on the vocal snippets and synth stabs that accompany the tough, steely rhythm. Flying solo for the rest of the release, Shadow Child goes deeper with the woozy synth hooks of "Clouds", while on "A New Zero", he opts for a more restrained approach, as ominous bass underpins dreamy, floating melodies. "Rain" is on a more stripped back tip, with the storied producer dropping a ponderous bass that underpins tripped out but still melancholic melodies.
Review: After a six-month hiatus, Truesoul returns with an uplifting EP courtesy of veteran techno DJ/producer Bart Skils. The title track sees Skils use a pumping, acid-soaked bass and thunderous claps as the accompaniment for a soulful, vocal hook. Fuelled by a series of smart drops and builds, it's a euphoric party track. "Cruising Waves" sees Skils go deeper and darker, recalling the sound of his earlier work on 100% Pure. At the heart of the arrangement is a snaking groove and solid, cubby beats. While "Waves" also features a vocal sample, it is darker and more moody, adding to the track's nocturnal allure.
Review: For those of a certain age, the opening seconds of 808 State's 1991 rave anthem "In Yer Face" - a combination of memorable melody lines and loved-up chords - are still capable of setting the pulse racing. Bicep have taken on the task of updating Graham Massey and company's anthem for a new generation, serving up two fresh interpretations. Wisely, they emphasize the spine-tingling goodness of the Manchester outfit's chord progressions on their A-side remix, getting rougher, tougher and weightier as the track progresses. Their flipside acid dub - where electro-inspired breakbeats, heavy bass and floatation tank melodies are expertly combined with ragged TB-303 lines - recalls the similarly-minded thrills of DJ Parrot and Mark Brydon's 'Sunshine Dub' of DJ Mink's early Warp slammer "Hey! Hey! Can U Relate?".
Review: Techno superstar Charlotte de Witte returns to her KNTXT label for a banging release. The title track sets the tone for the EP with its wild, tweaked acid lines and insane rave stabs unfolding over rough kicks, while on "The World Inside", there's a variation of this sound with a ponderous vocal sample set to wild 303 lines. On "There's No One Left to Trust", de Witte channels the energy and intensity of Frankfurt Trax in a contemporary setting, with repetitive stabs combined with bruising kicks. Meanwhile on "Common Era", she drops another banging acid workout and the drum-led "Wahr Ist Sie Dann" confirm her status as big room champion.