Techno powerhouse Alan Fitzpatrick teams up with Reset Robot to deliver a varied, impactful release. "Feel The Rhythm" is a tough track, with the duo layering a repetitive vocal over pounding kicks and rasping hi hats. In contrast, "Phantom" sees the pair go deeper, with melancholic hooks unfolding over a similarly weighted rhythm track, while on "Moon Bird", rickety percussion is fused with lush synths without the signature Fitzpatrick drums losing their dance floor lustre. Label owner Marco Faraone also delivers a remix of "Rhythm", which sees him toughen up the drums and add a layer of driving percussion to the original arrangement.
A Sagittariun has made it his mission to release distinctive dance music, and he continues that journey with Strange Brew. Opening track "The Mind Blanks At The Glare" is a wonderfully woozy break beat track, smothered in warbling acid and featuring evocative keys. "Don't Look In The Freezer" sees the UK producer venturing once again down an unexplored path - rave samples and dubbed out chords are combined with trippy 303s to create a mesmerising track. Rounding off this release is the aptly named "Cosmic Trigger": more dance floor-focused than the other tracks, its tingling melodies and growling bass mark it out as another idiosyncratic A Sagittariun jam.
La Collectionneuse is David Lieske aka Carsten Jost's third artist album on his Dial imprint, and it sees him continue to map out an understated but distinctive vision. All ten tracks are numbered and named after the release, with "La Collectionneuse 1" and "4" both led by stripped back grooves, and "2" and "3" venturing into deeper, US style house thanks to their shuffling drums and reflective textures. Jost's long-documented affinity with techno's more esoteric side is also audible here - "7" is a slow-building affair punctuated by subtle claps and shimmering melodies - while showing his flexible production skills, on "9", the German producer brings atmospheric sounds to bear on a warbling electro rhythm.
WSNWG showcases collaborations between label chief Rodhad and a variety of like-minded artists, all recorded in the warm creative environment of his Berlin studio. This release sees him team up with modular synth extraordinaire JakoJako for a full-length titled In Vere. Whether it"s the dreamy IDM of "Helonias" or the evocative ambient soundscape of Orchis, this release is largely experimental much unlike the label"s previous output. However, the duo make room for some dancefloor oriented material, such as the pummelling main room cut "Lilium" or the deep and linear minimal techno of "Passeri" (Floor mix).
Hot on the heels of her collaboration with Posthuman on Super Rhythm Trax, Lauren Flax drops this old school bomb. "Sweat (Techno Mix)" is a stripped back, jacking track, powered by a purring bass and gurgling acid bleeps, while Flax delivers a more frenetic interpretation of this sound with the wonky tones and high-paced jack of "606Xox". The release also showcases Flax's appreciation of electro - the aptly named "Sweat (Electro Mix)" resounds to rolling 808s - while there's a more experimental side to her approach represented, as "She Can Get The Strap" features a slowed down minimal rhythm and New York house style vocal samples.
Although rarely spoken about in hushed tones, Peter Adshead AKA Baby Ford is one of British house and techno's true pioneers. As many readers will know, he spent the first decade of his career exploring acid house and rave, before switching to a deeper and more minimalistic techno and tech-house sound towards the end of the '90s. It's in that period that BFORD14, which is finally being reissued digitally, first appeared in stores. Intoxicating, bass-heavy and entrancing, the EP's many highlights include the hissing hypnotism of 'Serpentine Tale', the deep bass, melancholic synthesiser chords and crunchy drums of 'Night D3 Died', and the spacey, deep techno warmth of deliciously hazy closing cut 'The Introducer'.
About Techno: From it's origins in Detroit during the late '80s courtesy of pioneers Juan Atkins, Derrick May and Kevin Saunderson, the sound of techno rapidly made its way to New York where they soon heard Joey Beltram's anthemic 'Energy Flash' under the strobelights. By the time the Motor City's second wave had arisen, there were the politically charged themes of the seminal Underground Resistance collective, while in neighboring Windsor (Canada), Richie Hawtin and John Acquaviva's Plus 8 Recordings similarly harnessed the sound's powerful energy - taking it to new heights with their industrial influences. Meanwhile, Carl Craig's idiosyncratic style expanded on the genre's futurist themes to create some modern masterpieces in 'dancefloor drama' with his Planet E label, and by the mid '90s techno had become a true underground movement sweeping through much of the Midwest - with legends such as Freddy Fresh, Woody McBride and Dan Curtin leading the charge.
By the time techno had crossed the Atlantic, it had spawned several movements across Europe, all giving their distinct take on the sound. In Germany, a true subculture was forming in legendary clubs such as Tresor (and its affiliated label) and E-Werk as well as in Frankfurt at The Omen or Dorian Gray. Over in The Netherlands, Orlando Voorn was one of the first Dutch musicians to establish a vital connection between Detroit and Amsterdam, alongside Steve Rachmad, Speedy J and local heroine Miss Djax. Also of importance was Belgium, particularly Ghent, where the respected R&S Records had formed - introducing the world to the 'rave' sounds of C.J. Bolland and Mundo Muzique. By this time, the jackhammer staccato rhythms of the 909 drum machine had become a trademark, accompanied by mentalist synth sequences - from most notably the TB-303 (among others) - all geared to create a 'Higher State Of Consciousness' on the dancefloor.