Review: Vorm Variaties (sic) is a new series from Alden Tyrell, which is due to yield a total of five records. In contrast to his Italo-inspired records, this first instalment is pure warehouse techno mayhem. The aptly-named "Lash Out" is built on concrete kicks and a sledgehammer rhythm, with Tyrell deploying a stuttering vocal sample to great effect. "Game Theory" isn't quite as visceral, but it does uses similar tactics: the backing track is tough and jacking and there's also a looped vocal sample, but his love for melodies resurfaces in the form of an infectious, churning chord sequence.
Review: With a slew of inter-threaded releases to her name since 2012 Brazlian DJ and producer Anna has slowly ascended through the ranks of techno by the way of releases for Novamute and Kompakt Extra. This has come by the way of labels like Twin Turbo and Terminal M with her arrival at Drumcode coming with three deep and driving techno tracks designed for warehouse play. Full throttle Detroit acid rears its head at large in "Dimension" while "Phase Two" sends in a deeper sail of luminous scandic trance and linear Italian techno. The title track merges both previous styles substituting acid lines for percussive bass stabs, with the added touch of rave atmospheres and arpeggios. Missiles.
Review: With releases on R&S, Figure and 50 Weapons to his credit, Benjamin Damage is probably not the most likely producer to release on Feel My Bicep. However, BDB is a new side project from him, and "Boss Rhythm" is a typically barnstorming affair; focusing on a pounding rhythm and wild, filtered stabs, it sees Damage craft a distinctive but effective peak-time track. "Nilo Rhythm" is more atmospheric and its rolling back beats lend it a more spacious sensibility. At the same time, the focus remains on the peak time, and his atmospheric synths are underpinned by a wiry but relentless rhythm.
Review: The latest release on Groove Manipulation comes from east European artist Buben, with a three-tracker that's tailor-made for the dance floor. The title track is a tough, acid-soaked metallic banger, underpinned by hollowed out drums and steely high hats. Buben ups the ante on "Mark The Day", where more intense 303 lines are combined with a relentlessly dense rhythm that is populated by looped vocal snippets. Changing tact radically, "Voter Turnot" is a dubbed out groove that resounds to ponderous vocals and dramatic organ stabs. It serves as a reminder why this prolific artist is held in such high regard.
Waiting For The Sun To Rise Again - (5:56) 116 BPM
Anno 1123 - (4:40) 87 BPM
That's My Tribe - (5:26) 128 BPM
Testing LF OSC - (6:08) 129 BPM
Metallic Synthesis - (5:34) 128 BPM
The Social Mark - (5:58) 126 BPM
Destructive Place - (3:42) 121 BPM
Review: With releases notched up on Subosc and Circular Limited, Cavum now debuts on Rhod. Thrones is an expansive affair, moving from the emotive synths of "Waiting For The Sun To Rise Again" into the wobbling bass and whiplash percussion crackle of "Anno 1123". On "That's My Tribe", Cavum heads down a rolling techno wormhole, while on "Testing LF OSC" and "Metallic Synthesis", he opts for different approach to the dance floor; layering filtered chords and eerie synths over a rolling groove, both tracks pack a powerful punch. Meanwhile, "The Social Mark" sees him change tact once again with its stripped back rhythm and throbbing bass designed for maximum impact.
Review: Next up on Donald Wilborn's long-established Embarcadero label is US duo Dahli aka Shaun Valentine and Darin Carter. In its radio edit format, "Dolorous" resounds to a throbbing bass and evocative synth builds, as the pair conjure up a dramatic, euphoria-inducing tracks that's on the right side of epic. On the club mix, Dahli opt for a leaner approach; the bass is throbbing and menacing, the synth melody soars with dark abandon and the overall result is the perfect, moody counterpart to the radio edit mix. It goes to show that Dalhi can cover both bases with effortless ease.
Review: After a great first release from NonniMal, Icelandic label Lahar is back with a new drop from Den Nard Husher, who was also recently spotted on US label Strobelight Network. The project is a collaboration between Octal Industries and Vector, and finds the pair conjuring up a limber strain of techno with industrial tones and textures but a more springy execution that makes it sound undeniably fresh. "Vector" is especially strong in this regard, while "Februar" juggles a smart array of wriggling rhythmic elements to create a highly technical club track with sound design and FX to get synapses firing all over the joint.
Young Muscle - "Vivid Dream Of Death" (original mix) - (5:09) 131 BPM
Review: As one of the most exciting electronic music imprints currently working in the UK, High Class Filter's Scuffed Recordings return here for another tasty selection as they bring forward the third edition of their 'Scuffed Presents' series. We kick off with Dubrunner's exceptional original as the metal drum chops and unpredictable rhythms of 'Zoya's Trip' wade into view, followed closely by the perfectly distorted 808 movements and percussive involvement of 'Cave People' from An Avrin. Next, we take a peek at the Terror mix of Odiham from Avernian, another stuttered masterclass in rhythmic ideas and funky influence, before the smoothened breakbeat themes of 'Vivid Dream Of Death' from Young Muscle brings us to a close.
Golden Dawn (feat Stefanie Parnow) - (7:14) 133 BPM
Interdimensional Interferenc - (5:58) 137 BPM
Distant Paradise - (8:04) 128 BPM
Be (feat Robert Owens) - (4:50) 138 BPM
Vampir - (6:29) 127 BPM
Downtown 161 - (11:36) 132 BPM
Review: Existenz is Dave Sumner's third artist album as Function, and it partly ushers in a change in style. While there are echoes of his typical brooding, hypnotic techno on the mysterious, acid-tinged "Nylon Mood" and the heads-down roller, "Golden Dawn" - which features Stefanie Parnow - much of the album comprises a more mellow mood. There's the wonderfully hypnotic 90s ambient of "The Approach" and "Sagittarius A (Right Ascension)", while Function hooks up with vocalist Robert Owens to do deep house on the layered, textured "Growth Cycle". It's without doubt Function's most diverse long player, and ranges from the rickety electro of "Pleasure Discipline" to the dub shanty of "Interdimensional Interference".
Review: ESP Institute has become synonymous with championing left of centre dance music and this debut by Hoshina Anniversary is testament to the label's knack of supporting unusual releases. "Sagano" revolves around a low-slung groove and robust drums that support droning textures and colourful synths. On "Haru Wa Akebon'", the Tokyo producer moves towards some semblance of convention; designed for more discerning dance floors, staccato percussion and an understated, pulsating rhythm play host to warm house keys and the sound of machines malfunctioning in the background. It rounds off the latest eccentric EP to be issued by the ESP roster.
Review: It's rare for Intergalactic Gary to release his own music, and yet ironically, Disarray sums up much of what is great about his DJing. The tracks range in style from the brutal to the beautiful: on one end of the spectrum, there's the title track's barrelling industrial techno and the low-slung but equally robust steely drums of "Nickel From The Bumper". At the other end, the storied DJ displays his more melodic sensibilities: there's the atmospheric, dreamy Italo of "Invisible Intruder", while "Mystified" sees him trip out to jacking Chicago house. Taken together, these tracks provide a vivid snapshot of his sets.
Review: Sacred Spaces is John Ov3rblast aka Ioannis Vlastaris' follow up to his 2017 long player, Sounds Of The Universe. Issued on his own Spaceal Orbeats imprint, it sees him deliver a master class in left of centre electronic music. It ranges in style from the Sandwell District-esque hypnotic steeliness of "Aldebaran" into dubbed out pieces like "The Outsider" and "Compuphonic" as well as the atmospheric space techno of "Guiding Missions" and the dramatic "Autonomous Orbit", the latter being somewhat reminiscent of Vapourspace. Clearly, Vlastaris is at home making a wide variety of underground electronic music - the common bond is his ability to focus on the deeper end of the spectrum.
Review: Since breaking through in 2016 with his Interstellar Systems EP for Berlin label Dystopian, Jon hester has since gone on to release with the likes of DJ Deep, Radio Slave and Derrick May. In four years the likes of Deeply Rooted, Transmat and Rekids have all released the American's music and this Momentum EP continues Rekids' techno assault in 2019 (see EPs from P.Leone, Roberto and the always faithful Phillipe Petit). Industrial beats all round, "Zone" sends in spiraling rhythms, claps washed in reverb and a relentless forward motion, and "Part 4" is a touch syncopated in comparison, its held together by a hypnotising vocal snippet. Same goes for "Beatwave" only with deeper atmospheres and bleep inspired notation, while a fan's favourite can be in the happy hardcore and contemporary rave of "Accelerator".
Review: Having been such the civil servant to an unwieldy scene it's always a pleasure to see legends arnd staunch advocates of their sound make their way onto Cocoon. With the boom of ice cannons and confetti, Landstrumm arrives on the label with some deep, trippy and well inspired electro sounds, with the smooth club-aggro and bassline bounce in "Purple" a nice start. The record pulls slightly leftfield with with the computer electronics and baddass vocals of "Catnatized", with the title track "Sun Universe" your direct route to a sour-faced electro-rave banger.
Review: Following a succession of acclaimed releases on Dext, Otik turns to Boogie Box for his latest release. Joining a label that includes STL and Appleblim in its catalogue may be daunting for some artists, but clearly Otik has no such concerns. The tile track is led by dubbed out drums and a subtle, stepping rhythm, while on "Unshut", he veers into deeper waters thanks to the use of blurry textures and ticking bleeps. On "Four Feet", Otik changes tact again, with a focus on atmospheric synths and organic drums, while Metrist rounds off the release with a busy, rhythm-heavy rework of "Feet..."
Review: Ten years ago, Pan-Pot's "Confronted" appeared on Anja Schneider's Mobilee label and in recognition of this milestone, they are issuing remixes on their own imprint. Pan-Pot's own interpretations are inspired; the 'Basement' remix is a superb peak-time affair with the spooky vocal narrative about the girl with red hair playing out over thumping kicks. By contrast, their 'Paradise' remix is far deeper and more atmospheric. Anfisa Letyagos' 'Stranger' version steers "Confronted" back towards the dance floor with a pulsating, electronic groove, while the Frazi.er Raw and Farrago interpretations revert to a peak-time approach, with the latter adding a snatch of tranced-out bliss.
Review: Having impressed with releases on Developer's Modularz label, Yan Cook now brings his Rhomb project to the ARTS imprint. "Artefact" is a hypnotic roller, featuring high-frequency electronic blips exploding over a robust, menacing rhythm. "21" sees Cook venture farther down this direction, with jagged string stabs fired like arrows over tough drums and a relentless, looped groove. The title track marks a shift in direction: while it is also primed for club use, it has a less intense feeling thanks to its tranced out melodies and acidic undercurrents. Consolidating this shift towards a deeper sound is "Lima", where the sublime synths and lean rhythm sound similar to Petar Dundov's reflective techno.
Review: Having released on Cocoon, Rico Puestel is now turning his attention to the conceptual Exhibition series. With a focus on analogue production and 303 influences throughout, the second volume in this series delivers a selection of vivid dance floor tracks. There's the propulsive percussion, slamming beats and gurgling acid lines on "Tilly", where the German producer sounds like a halfway house between Hardfloor and Border Community. "Clava" is harder and more intense, as sheet metal drums and layered, discordant tones compete with acid lines for the listener's attention, while on "Pro Foreste Sulgo" Puestel delivers a unique take on electronic disco, the pulsating bass struggling to be heard over shrieking acid and dreamy synths.
Sigh (Sunset At Experimental Beach mix) - (6:10) 120 BPM
Review: The latest instalment of the Picture series comes from Sasha Carassi, who has previously released on labels such as Drumcode and Harthouse. Drawing on dreamy synths and airy melodies, both "The Crow's Battle" and "Elethnic" are reflective but also clubby, with the latter in particular resounding to a powerful bass and ponderous vocal samples. Elsewhere, Carassi combines disco house and Italo influences for the clubby "Spaceballad", while on "Neurotic Saturday", the Italian producer fuses warbling acid with insistent brass samples for an infectious house track. Clearly, Carassi is a talented, versatile producer and the spacious production and tripped out samples of "Vega" prove that he can turn his hand to a variety of styles.
Review: Within the UK, we have seen a real rise in popularity with the more experimental, unusual side of bass music, a sound that the team at Jelly Bean Farm have now been championing for a hot minute. This latest four track piece from Squane is a perfect example of just how cool it can get, as we kick off proceedings with a look at the silky subs and subtle breakbeats of the title track 'Vesta'.The smooth vibes continue as we parade through the luscious synthesizer sweeps of 'Crossed Wires' and clicky rhythms of 'Peculiar Duality'. Finally, 'Kamek' lands with colourful percussive melodies and bubbling atmospherics to round us off with a bang!
Review: With releases on Balans, Field and Stockholm LTD to his credit, there is no doubting Staffan Linzatti's pedigree as a producer. What is surprising on this record for Modularz is his ability to create a wide palette of styles. There's the string-led, neo-classical "A Game of Guessing", followed by the complex, stepping rhythm of "Revoke". In line with the usual style of Modularz, "Mystery Man" is a tough, tribal affair that resounds to robust drums and ticking percussion. On "Induced Compliance" and "The Mind is Racing", Linzatti ventures into a sci-fi dimension, thanks to the use of eerie synth sequences and rolling, steely drums.
Review: After breaking through in 2013 to a fanfare of applause and reviews thanks to a string of releases on the all encompassing RVNG Intl label, SOS's place within its catalogue presents a foundry of synthy analogue jams. With a penchant for huge vamps and startling crescendos, Dutch powerhouse Dekmantel welcome SOS back to the mainstage, lifting off with the massive "Lost Codes" - a track impersonating what a launch into trans dimensional hyperspace might sound like. Descending further into the cosmos with "Night Alone", it brings with it a small capsule of 80s-sounding New York club and pop influences. Deeper house sentimentalities find their way into the skipping rhythms of "Wild Palms", with "White Echoes" throwing down a gauntlet of acidic bass stabs and pitch-shifting rhodes for a bouncing session of warehouse blues.
Special Request - "Codename Turbo Nutter" - (5:38) 85 BPM
Source Direct - "Vigilante" - (7:23) 113 BPM
J. Majik - "The Lost Tribe" - (5:14) 162 BPM
Shackleton - "Drawn And Quartered" - (8:09) 136 BPM
Pinch & Trim - "That Wasn't It" - (2:43) 128 BPM
Daniel Avery - "Whilst We've Got Metal In Our Blood" - (4:00) 144 BPM
Mantra - "Embers" - (5:22) 127 BPM
B.Traits - "Mameya" - (6:06) 126 BPM
Groove Armada - "Wesley Nightshade" - (6:09) 118 BPM
UNKLE - "Catch Me When I Fall" (Fabric Club mix) - (10:46) 115 BPM
Review: Take a look down the tracklist of Fabric 20th anniversary release and you'll be met with a generation of artists that have helped shape the institution in all manner of ways, be it legendary DJ sets or residencies to previous releases to the FabricLive mix compilations and so on. Inside you'll find a who's who of genre influencers, be they Margaret Dygas and Marcel Dettmann with their European minimal and techno connection, to the more left field and UK-centralised club sounds from Pinch & Trim, Call Super and Special Request. Classics have been leafed from Source Direct, UNKLE and Shackleton, with B.Traits, Maya Jane Coles and Daniel Avery rankable alongside Sascha, Nina Kraviz and Groove Armada in filling a most influential time capsule of club music and DJ culture history.
Juan Trujillo - "Staring At The Light" - (5:25) 130 BPM
Responder - "Shift" - (5:30) 132 BPM
Andres Campo - "OMG" - (6:42) 130 BPM
Ignacio Arfeli - "No Regrets" - (6:05) 132 BPM
Dominik Vaillant - "Confront" - (5:59) 129 BPM
Review: Techno never dies. Noir Music, a label littered in the glitz of artists like Dusty Kid, Thomas Schumacher, Butch and Reset Robot, sends in the drones for this Resolute compilation. Banging big room dub techno from Industrialyzer, minimal dusty grooves and spatial atmospheres from Nicolas Bougaieff and some harsh tribal touches from Juan Trujillo. Electric Rescue too turns in a refined take of loopy industrial minimal with the compilation at large a sure fire hit for techno fans, especially those into the early mechanical Detroit stuff, harder UK industrial styles, moody Basic Channel beats and heavier warehouse sessions.
Review: The latest compilation on Trip claims to be inspired by classic trance, but on label owner Nina Kraviz' "Test", it sounds like gabba is the main influence. That said, the 't' word does raise its head on a number of occasions: it is audible on Ryan James Ford's pummelling, rolling "Royal Legion" thanks to the use of eerie melodies, while Antigone's high-octane stepper, "Dance" features lo-fi melodies amid its grinding rhythm. Meanwhile, Analemma's "Plunging Asymptote" features a different dynamic at play: austere vocal samples announce the title, while wild bursts of Frankfurt Trax-synth populate its rickety rhythm. Like all releases on Kraviz' label, Error is a wild sonic trip.
Review: Dutch imprint Float has decided to celebrate five years in business with two split releases. This second volume starts with the visceral, spiky minimalism of Sleeparchive's "Recreant", with the revered producer substituting tonal bleeps for coruscating percussion. On "Ruffle", label owners Twr72 drop a firing, tribal banger, while Eric Fetcher goes deeper on "Vein". Forsaking the straight dance floor approach in favour of frosty synths and rickety electro drums, it provides some relief before Jeroen Search delivers the lean, streamlined Robert Hood-style techno of "Radaris" and Sev Dah brings this second instalment of the label's fifth anniversary celebrations to a close with the visceral, crunchy rhythm of "Izolacija".
Review: Following an impressive debut on the excellent Pluie/Noir last year, Yuzo Iwata returns with a new EP of leftfield goodies on Malin Genie's self-titled label. Preferring to span a variety of styles, Iwata glides gracefully from the dubbed out oddball techno of "Spoit" to the dubstep-inflected delicacy of "Mount Castle", all the while firing off tasteful splashes of FX and noise to create a vivid sonic imprint. "Tiger" is a switch in mood again, whipping up a distorted mutant acid-disco hybrid that defies easy categorization. "Touch" brings things back to a more linear groove, but there's still plenty of space for psychoactive experimentation atop the forthright beat.