27 December 2012

Svreca - Hagagatan Remixed (SEMANTICA 33B - 2012)

To conclude the year 2012 Semantica revisits an annihilating track from the label's 2012 catalog when Svreca’s "Hagagatan" has been handed over to three producers for reshaping. Unlike in the original, bang and boom are not in the main role in the release which offers more varied sounds. Stroboscopic Artefacts boss Lucy is on a warm-up mission when checks in with a sneaking drone and subsequently finds the way through the scrapyard with heavy-stepping drum pattern and hi-hats.
The pace is picked up by Russia’s Alexey Volkov who shows talent in recovering essential elements of Semantica’s sound hitting with untamed and bass-saturated version of tight compressor techno. His version will definitely please the hardliners while Rødhåd, keeping ample bass operational, prefers a slackened version. Svreca proves his skills when leading the original to opposite direction, redesigning it to a stripped and hypnotically chiming track with crystalline loops. A real thumbs up effort by Svreca, along with Volkov's peak hour tool.


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21 December 2012

Discoverer - Tunnels (Digitalis Recordings DIGIV044 - 2012)

"Tunnels" would not be a stranger in a living room where the father-in-law proudly demonstrates a worn-out copy of Tangerine Dream and, with a sad note in his voice, recalls bygone times. To cheer him up and add some Christmas touch to the atmosphere, just give a spin to the recent album on Digitalis.
Despite of running a roster of lesser known artists the label from Tulsa does nothing accidental. With "Tunnels" they continue explorations in the vastness of synth-based music with a new artist from Kansas City.
Behind Discoverer is Brandon Knocke who admits the passion for former times, going back to the 1980s electric funk hooks and slo-mo version of disco. Discoverer mostly paints smooth sonic pictures, starting with soft touches in "Circular Motherboard", flickering like vintage neon lights. "Amputee" is the closest to Ricardo Donoso's output, a vocoded piece of mounting synth riffs flying over the Andes while "Tunnels" is a euphoric cascade of synth pads assisted by drum machine. "Lesbian Software" floats on the waves of sultriness and "Blood Lab" is in the sentimental search for distant times and places.
"Tunnels" is an album having healing effect like aloe vera but calling it easy listening would do injustice to the eight-track LP. Minimalistic but spectacular sleeve design comes as a bonus.

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19 December 2012

George Paar - Despertar Con Otro Nombre (Par Wax PRW004 - 2013)

Release date is in January 2013
Montevideo is calling again when the catalog of Par Wax, a techno outpost in the Southern hemisphere, is extended with the fourth vinyl release. The four-tracker from Uruguay offers two originals by the label manager George Paar aka Jorge Castillo plus two remixes of the opening track.
Paar has found a new direction when gradually ditching the generic droning techno textures, heard in previous Par Wax releases, for more varied compositions.
Still thunder and hiss are firmly in the place in "La Llamada a Los Albores del Amanecer" which is a floating wildlife-inspired tune travelling at 125 BPM above the vast and grainy surfaces of the mountainous deserts. "Despertar Con Otro Nombre", recently charted by Giorgio Gigli, which is introduced by deep roar and mysterious hum gradually merging the layers of fire and ice for a ominously pulsating cut.
Young and furious European guys are on remix duties for "La Llamada a Los Albores del Amanecer“. The demolition squad arrives straight from Italy when Conrad Van Orton aka Andrea Zanchetta leads the charge in combat boots for a monotone monster. In another version Frankfurt sends greetings with a remix by Patrick Krieger who maintains tight floor attitude with fat percussion and echoing chords. Track titles sounding like Latin American poetry and  artwork are additional bonus of the release.


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14 December 2012

Various - Nonnative 03 (Semantica NNN03 - 2012)

Release date is 17 December 2012
For the third strike in Semantica's Nonnative series, the Madrid label has again summoned four non-Spanish producers for unabashed techno sessions. The game is opened by the Italian master of droning techno Giorgio Gigli (Zooloft, Prologue), who has not changed his preferences and lurks in the catacombs in „Reflections“, a hybrid of bass, hi-hats and ambient background. Then it's the turn of Cassegrain who in "Sennit" have calibrated the bass for the maximum floor impact and tampered the microchip groove of their recent Killekill release, dropping a mindblowing peak hour tool - a tip of this EP.
On the B-side the Japanese artist Baryta aka Yasuhiro Matsuzaki keeps the dark and pumping stance of the release when torturing bass in "Teryn". Thereafter Staffan Linzatti, recently with a great EP on Chronicle, welcomes the daylight and looks up to the clear skies in "Repetition", ruled by Millsian loops and delicate pads. The strongest Nonnative release so far.
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10 December 2012

Deka (terminal313.net) in the mix: Abstraktsioonide öö Vol. 7

The 7th edition of Abstraktsioonide öö (Night of Abstractions) was held last weekend in Tallinn with an impressive line-up of local and visiting artists. Mihkel Tomberg presented his debut CDr "I" with a solid live set and the dark room also witnessed sound explorations by Iceland's Ruxpin and by local acts Rajaleidja & Mava (Joel Tammik & Madis Vahtramäe), Derrida+1 and Tencu.
The bar stage included DJ sets by Russia's Jana Dark & Nore-B, spanning from EBM to M's "Razzia". On the decks were Marcel Düšess & Wim Grover, Aivar Tõnso, and Tehnoloog, celebrating his return to the DJing with a tasteful Detroit-minded set.
Representing terminal313.net, I did also an one-hour digital set as Deka, here it is.



Tracklist:
Chris Watson - El Divisadero (The Telegraph)
Skirt - Tumulto
Ø - Aaltovaihe
Squadra Blanco - Night Of The Illuminati
Legowelt - Act Of Judgement
I-F vs That Nigger - Suck The Box
The 15 Dead Minutes - Fibril
Imatran Voima - Welfare State Of Mind
MANASYt - Space Coffin
Plant43 - Fluid Reasoning
Anne Clark - Our Darkness (Hardfloor '97 Version)
J.T.C. - Jacques' Razor
Metasplice - Decant
Ra.H & Dynamo Dreesen - Spacepops (Donato Dozzy Rework)
Herpes Ö Deluxe - Tief unten
Container - Dissolve
Marco Bernardi - Msry
Truss - Splot
Jürgen Paape - Ofterschwang
Kompleksi - Moscow 1980

05 December 2012

Truss - Splot (Our Circula Sound OCS 006 - 2012)

Recently Truss aka Tom Russell has gained plaudits from the crowds with his acid techno project MPIA3. But he has not shelved the initial alias either, presenting now his second release for Sigha's Our Circula Sound.
Heavy rotation can be predicted for the kicking and stomping title track „Splot“, which does not challenge any speed limits but makes a massive impression in the best tradition of the harder side Detroit and Robert Armani. Then "Auden" we have met before, as Sverca's remix on Truss's previous release for Our Circula Sound. The original is in no hurry when driven by metallic and deep percussion, fitting well to the Bangin' Bass mix of Ian Pooley's "Celtic Cross".
On the flip "Beacon", also from the previous EP, is remixed by Truss's alter ego MPIA3, making of it a tight and angry acid version along the lines of his recent club sensation "Ely“. Functional fare for after-midnight shifts of proper techno heads
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03 December 2012

Hierolglyphic Being - The Lost Transmission EP (Morphine Records doser014 - 2012)

Jamal Moss's starting point was in Chicago, where he, a South Side boy born in 1973, at a tender age of twelve witnessed the evolution laid out in Ron Hardy's Music Box. Across industrial and new wave, without leaving unnoticed Larry Heard's Gherkin Jerks project, he became an electronic artist with very distinguished sound.
Given his urge for experiments, Moss's affiliation with Morphine Records is not surprising and the newest contribution is brought to us under the Hieroglyphic Being guise.
A-side's "The Lost Transmission" is a challenging track, terminus for the club sound where the door is firmly shut for any harmonies while inside a throbbing mess of noise is ruling. Amid chaotic rumble machines are in pain, destined to demoralize the neighborhood with oppressing fifteen minutes of convulsing synth noises. Residuals of the Music Box or Skinny Puppy are combined with broken drum machines, all moving at a tantalizingly slow pace. Double the speed and you get closer to mid-90s Relief sound, like heard in Lester Fitzpatrick's "Frantic Frenzy".
On the flip we are catapulted to the year 2222, to a classy night spot where Unidentified Funking Objects have gathered under the sign of "Cosmic Bebop". Again detached from the techno canons, we move from electric organ staccato to swaying string samples reminding of Kid 'N' Play via Altern 8, all wrapped in the foil of jacking percussion.
All that might sound complicated, but "The Lost Transmission EP" is another wild example of Hieroglyphic Being's daguerreotyped electronics.
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Hieroglyphic Being - The Lost Transmission EP

Staffan Linzatti - The Confirmer (Chronicle EVENT0003 - 2012)

Chronicle is a rather new sub-label of the US imprint Thema focusing on more stripped-down fare, or "heavy hard grooves" as they put it. Already the debut release, "The Return" by Detroit's own Terrence Dixon aka Population One, sent a strong message about the ambitions of the label. After the Japanese producer Imugem Orihasam Chronicle's third installment comes now from Sweden's Staffan Linzatti.
Although Linzatti is not blazing any new trails in the contemporary techno, his courage to backtrack the foundations of looped techno should be acknowledged. Because this EP could easily stem from Axis or M-Plant catalog of the 1990s, if we only take the title track "The Confirmer", driven by looped strings, or relentlessly bleeping drum swirl "Another Welcome", which is obviously sighting something in the sky. "Before" and "Response" are two sci-fi minded interludes while "Finite And Precious" recalls the days when Ian Pooley recorded under the Silvershower guise for Plus 8.
In an interview for RA, the label head Lenny Posso mentioned that new stuff by Samuli Kemppi, Donor/Truss and Aiken is in the pipeline for the label deserving close attention.


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28 November 2012

Paul Birken and Freddy Fresh - Midwest Whippersnappers EP -(Earwiggle EAR003 - 2012)

Billions of dollars of income from the agriculture with thousands of jobs in the sector, this is US Midwest. Hundreds of no-nonsense techno releases by a bunch of artists, this is US Midwest - if we only think of Woody McBride, DJ Slip, Mike Henk and others. Now two influential 1990s quarterbacks have returned to the pitch and cheer up the raving community with a strong four-tracker on Sunil Sharpe's Earwiggle imprint.
Freddy Fresh and Paul Birken have not lost any skills over the time and introduce the EP with "The Fate Of Thirty Eight", a gritty analog assault with plenty of distortion and electrifying effects. Even more ruthless is Birken's solo in "Acid Youth Of Malibu", a faster version Edge Of Motion-style distorted techno going to the very top of this year's floor destroyers. Brute bass and lunatic acid lines make it an efficient tool for any techno DJ bag. Another teamwork called "Fifty Is Shifty" offers brisk 808 driven madness, clattering and whizzing like Bunker and Acid Planet once did.
After being hunted by giant harvesters some shelter is provided in the last track, "Years Back" by Fresh, originally released on his 1998 album for Eye Q. Lifting off towards darkening skies we gradually move into the embrace of beautiful atmospheric pads, good for spilling some tears. All in all a very impressive job.


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21 November 2012

Terrence Dixon - Minimalism Re:Vision with Mike Huckaby, Silent Servant, DVS1 Remixes (THEMA033 - 2012)

2012 has been a year of Terrence Dixon's domination as we have seen a rush of releases by him, particularly the excellent new album on Tresor. Most recently a glimpse to the history books has been offered by Delsin when they reissued two Population One tracks.
Now comes another blast from the past when US label Thema has dusted off a seminal release from 1995 and offered it for reinterpretations. "Minimalism" was a statement when issued by Utensil and from the original four-tracker not surprisingly the A2 cut has been selected for the remixes by three US artists.
According to preview clips Mike Huckaby, Dixon's contemporary from Detroit, has chosen the classic Motor City way with some heavy-hitting claps and looping pads. Pretty contrasting, Berghain-like version comes from Silent Servant when angry bass rides in industrial landscape and on the flip DVS1 aka Zak Khutoretsky adds some lighter notes with housey keys and hi-hats accompanying a catchy groove. Then for the end the pitched-down original emerges from the cosmic dust for monotone and percussive moments.
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16 November 2012

DJ Deka PMP! Mix Vol. 1 (22 September 2012)

Long-long before operating in the cyberspace as Terminal 313, the owner of this blog was deeply involved in the techno scene of Estonian university town Tartu, and later also in Tallinn. Performing with my friend as Deka & Free sound system we delivered numerous hardcore and acid moments to the crowd from 1992 to 1994.
My later gigs as DJ Deka were rather rare and stopped entirely around the year 2000. Now after a long hiatus a young promoter Hugo invited the old warhorse to a comeback in September this year. It was a bit shaky after such a long break but still a lot of fun.
Now, just about a week before the second edition of Mürk, I decided to reconstruct a condensed version of the set. Here we go.

Tracklist:
Silent Servant & Luis Farfan - La Negra Luna
Mike Parker - Arena
Ongaku - Mihon 3
Waveblower #2 - Optimizing (Inverse Mix)
Prototype 909 - Kids Don't Care
Martyn Ft. Spaceape - Is This Insanity (Ben Klock Remix)
Joey Beltram - Energy Flash
Freddie Fresh & Tim Taylor - Scissorhands
Hardfloor - Acperience 1
Mpia3 - Ely
Svreca - Vilna (Orphx Remix)
Kareem - Zealots
Subhead - Savaloy
L-Vis 1990 - Hard Drive
Black One - Electronic Percussion Part One
Bizz O.D. - I'M Coming Out Of Your Speakers
Huren - Hemothorak
Mike Parker - Compressor Blades
Edge Of Motion - Del Mortimiente
Vainio, Väisänen & Vega - Sick Sick USA
Prince - When Doves Cry

15 November 2012

Mikkel Metal - Fron (SEMANTICA 48 - 2012)

By sound picture it can be called a predictable appearance by Mikkel Metal, the man mainly associated with the dub techno outlet Echocord. The Danish artist has now arrived on Semantica to, once again, express his affection for dubby chords. Although representing the laid-back compartment of Semantica's catalogue, the new signing on the Spanish imprint still delivers three tracks with notable dancefloor functionality.
Focused on repetition, the A-side's "Mafostam" seems to loop endlessly and serves as an introduction to two pretty cuts on the flip. The highlight is called "Staron", an effective tool to conquer the crowd's hearts and minds with ample bass, inflated dubs and thriving chords. Equally awesome track comes for the end, when "Finder" digs really deep and offers an oceanic view, not far from the camp of Porter Ricks.


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08 November 2012

MPIA3 - Your Orders (R&S Records RS1211 - 2012)

Actually it was only a matter of time when the label with the horse meets up-and-coming acid techno advocate from London. From 1990 onwards R&S Records heavily contributed to the foundations of the European techno and therefore signing with MPIA3 an artist reanimating the sounds from that era is a lovely idea.
So after two stunning EPs on Avian, MPIA3 drops six fierce tracks for the Belgian cult label, which has not experienced such a gallop since its revival. "Your Orders" is dedicated to distorted acid workouts and we go straight to the real business when the double pack is introduced with "Crusty Juice", a 128 BPM kick drum onslaught fishing happy grins from anarcho-hippie-vagabonds of the raving UK. A long track that will smash the floors as did "Ely" and the same can be expected from vigorously biting "Acid Badger", another piece with angry bass lines. Hammering goes on in the crunchy title track "Your Orders", stumbling along industrial breakbeats and nasty acid bleeps. The switch is kept in overdrive mode in "Ridge Way" which bangs with full force and Caustic Window's fingerprints can be deducted in shortish "Roly Poly Babs".
One track falls out from the main theme and in my humble opinion "Mountains Of Ash" on B1 is the best cut here. By sound texture it's like a flashback from the archives with booming bass and tuxedoed vampire doing the vocal part, all going back to the R&S basics with hints of early Kevin Saunderson. This 2x12" is a real hormone booster and a trusted companion for any DJ with hardliner ambitions.

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07 November 2012

Tropic Of Cancer - Secret Thirteen Mix 042 (2012)

There are thorns in the beds of roses knows Camella Lobo when presents a new mix for the Lithuanian webzine Secret Thirteen. Known as the musical partner of Juan Mendez in Tropic Of Cancer, Lobo expresses her fondness for the industrial and wave scene across the years. The tracklist features  a number of darkside fiends like Silent Servant, Raime, Rene Hell, Collin Gorman Weiland, Chris & Cosey, Demdike Stare, and, of course, Tropic Of Cancer.

05 November 2012

10/2012: Terrence Dixon, Matti Turunen, War Easy Made

Detroit's Terrence Dixon is the undisputed champion of the Terminal 313 Juno Chart for October. Both the vinyl and CD versions of the "From The Far Future Pt. 2" are strong statements about the persistence of Detroit's traditions and Dixon's distinctive programming.
On the second spot is Muhk Music, a new label based in Sweden,  which made a brilliant debut with Matti Turunen's "Elokuu".
No idea why War Easy Made is called as it is but the German label treats the dark techno faction with sub-bass in "The Internecine Truth". Metasplice from Philadelphia, USA tests on Morphine Records again the cyborg ballroom with "Decant". Solid techno in "The Nippon Express" by the Japanese artist Imugem Orihasam deserves attention too and Luke Slater continues shifts as Planetary Assault Systems with "Deep Heet Vol. 3". Ricardo Donoso, Abdulla Rashim, Riviera and Alien Rain round up the Top 10.


Direct link to the chart is here.

02 November 2012

Riviera - Sr11 E.P. (Muscle Records MUSCLE001 - 2012)

Not sure if this black label four-tracker will create fuss in tourist hotspots of Riviera. Although coming from Italy the act keeps distance to the glamorous party scene and, after having pumped up the muscles in a no-frills gym, hits with a Spartan techno slam.
The debut release of Muscle Records is about solid analog rumble, like in the opener "Amme" which is built of DJ Skull-style skitzo-frantic bass line and synthetic effects we know from recent output of analog fiends Frak. Bass continues the journey in distorted mode in "Repitions" that might find liking among Dance Mania fans.
On the flip "Sarah" takes to karaoke session performed in soulful manner by a visiting relative, backed by deformed disco funk. The day is concluded with acidic Chicago groove in “Time Ago”. All that says – get Riviera and have a scenic view over techno landscape.

Riviera - SR 11ep - muscle001

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01 November 2012

Terrence Dixon - From The Far Future Pt. 2 (Tresor 256 LP - 2012)

Ever since 1995 when Terrence Dixon created the genre-defining “Minimalism” on Detroit's Utensil Records I have closely followed his progression in the world of techno. After a timeout at the end of the last decade he is now operating in the full capacity. The year 2012 has been very prolific for Dixon with a number of new releases or reissues, on Harbour City Sorrow, Delsin, Chronicle and other labels, either under his own name or under Population One moniker.
On top of that a new album is out on Tresor with the vinyl and CD versions being largely different having only three tracks in common. The vinyl was announced as more floor-friendly and I opted for that first, to purchase the CD afterwards.
The notion floor-friendly asks caution because with a few exceptions Dixon's output has never been too simple and accessible. Even in the presence of distinct rhythm structures his tracks often emerge from the haze of abstractionism. Also in the slapping opener “Light Of Day” he does not deviate from this approach, guiding proton showers across the spatial fog of Andromeda and adding lush chords to the bass-driven composition. The same is largely repeated in the album's longest track “Dark City Of Hope” (Dark Mix)" which, through the prism of sublime darkness, pumps new fuel to the dance floor.
“Sleight Of Mind”, in turn, is a jazz-tinged polyrhythmic groover and in “Horizon” hi-hats merrily join electric piano loops for a tropical setting. “11th Floor” moves closer to mid-tempo using Basic Channel aesthetics for a shuffling and booming techno cut. “Band Together” merges manipulated human voice and raw groove reminding of classic Tronikhouse and “The Study” examines the oceans and forests from above. For the conclusion we lift off with crisp and transparent minimalism of “Fountain Of Life” which provides another example of Dixon’s ingenious analog programming.
By sound architecture it's a harmonic and streamlined achievement and a strong statement about the persistence of Motor City. Terrence Dixon is very much in the frontline of producers keeping the spirit of Detroit alive. Probably the best techno album(s) of the year.
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Fully streamable is the the CD version:


Drexciya - Journey Of The Deep Sea Dweller III (Clone Records C#CC024cd/lp - 2012)

Release date is in January 2013
Clone Records becomes once again the center of the electro-loving world and drops the third installment of the "Journey Of The Deep Sea Dweller" series. By this time the seminal Detroit electro act Drexciya does not need any introduction and the upcoming package features again a number of excellent tracks signed by the master of underwater sonic journeys.
Eerie intro "Smokey's Illegitimate Report" from the "The Return of Drexciya" is a perfectly fitting opener for the release containing of mix of harder floor-oriented and dreamy tracks from Drexciya's extensive back catalog. From the rougher side, represented by "The Countdown Has Begun" or "Nautilius", to the glimmering face of electro ("Sneasnake", "Aqua Worm Hole") it's an awesome selection, check it yourself here.



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31 October 2012

DUST OFF: DJ Jokke (Radiomafia) - Relief & Cajual Mix (1995)

Now when Strut has released a truly essential compilation "Only 4 U: The Sound Of Cajmere & Cajual Records 1992-2012" featuring the highlights of Chicago's second wave label Cajual, it's time for a little flashback.
Fond memories from the hot night of 29 July 1995. She had already fallen asleep in the other room and I decided to stay awake for a while, to tune into the Radiomafia channel transmitted from Helsinki. Hearing "Enter The Dragon" and "Flash" for the first time, the tracks struck me like a lightning. What followed was about 30 minutes of pure audio sex.
It was a good decision to push the record button of my tape deck. Mixed by Finnish electronic dance music influencer DJ Jokke, the clip features some of the Cajual & Relief tracks that rocked the floor in the summer of 1995.


25 October 2012

Mitchbal & Larry Williams - Jack The House (Still Music STILLM035 - 2012)

"Jack The House" is a manifesting track title for Chicago house, used by Fast Eddie, Femme Fion and probably many others. All that is about the jack and the house. Working together in various productions, Mitchbal and Larry Williams recorded in 1987 their own "Jack The House", now being released for the first time by Still Music.
For a remix duty they managed to attract no lesser than Frankie Knuckles, the Godfather of House Music, who hits with Kevlar bass line and decorates sweaty Chicago Warehouse with Rimini disco balls. Because of italo factor it could be placed in the mid-1980s German dance chart but dominant drums, groovy synths and a choir of sirens lend genuine Chicago feel. The B-side's vocal and instrumental versions offer slight variations and are mainly repetition of the kicking flip side. Let your body boogie for me, baby.

Frankie Knuckles - Jack The House
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24 October 2012

Part II: Tommi Grönlund (Sähkö) interviewed by Alien Underground (1994)

Click to enlarge
Sähkö's Tommi Grönlund speaks to the London techno zine Alien Underground in 1994. The first part is here.

22 October 2012

Part I: Tommi Grönlund (Sähkö) interviewed by Alien Underground (1994)

Click to enlarge
A copy of London techno and hardcore zine Alien Underground, predecessor of Datacide magazine, was an appreciated souvenir from a trip to London in 1994. In addition to a number of reviews and articles it features also an interview with Tommi Grönlund, the founder of Sähkö Recordings. The second part is here.
It was the time when Pan Sonic was Panasonic and therefore finding an appropriate track to this post is not difficult.

20 October 2012

Skirt - Tumulto (Shifted Remix Part One) (SEMANTICA 27B - 2012)

Release date is in November 2012
Skirt aka Bethany Busto, from Texas, US and Birmingham, UK, has decided to stay connected with Semantica, after a collaboration with Svreca on the label's release number 50.
Following again the principle of random numbering Semantica 27B will be a single-sided release featuring the first part of Shifted's remix of Skirt's track "Tumulto". Kicking off as a mid-tempo half-stepper the bass fills the room with boom for a techno cut similar to "Ganymede" and "Clytha" by Truss. However "Tumulto"  feels a bit too static and incomplete, which might be explained with the second part probably waiting in the pipeline.
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18 October 2012

Andreas Gehm - What's On Ur Mind EP (Mathematics MRI64 - 2012)

Mathematics Recordings really deserve close attention as they excel with quality output coming from Jamal Moss and his numerous label friends both from the US and overseas. Andreas Gehm has been affiliated with the imprint before and after a joint effort with the legendary Steve Poindexter, the German drops another four-track tool in the Chicago vein.
Having obtained recognition with his acidic blasts as Elec Pt. 1, on Bunker and his own Penthouse Trax imprint, Gehm has chosen a warmer and house-inclined approach in his recent productions and the new EP on Mathematics features classy Chicago house tracks. With a gloomy recital in "Fire & Ice" and futuristic buzz in "From Space 3 Suns", the A-side is the winner but soulful and groovy cuts on the B-side serve well too.
Andreas Gehm - Fire & Ice
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Note: This post has been written in old-fashioned-end-of-1980s way, without any help of Internet search engines and databases, such as Discogs, and if  you see in incorrectness here please add a comment.

14 October 2012

Nick Simoncino - The Other Side (Finale Sessions FS011 - 2012)

Release date is in October 2012
"OTP Party Breaks #4", a pretty decent job in the footsteps of the eighties disco-house, was in 2010 an incidental purchase and my first meeting with Nick Simoncino's music. Thereafter the Italian DJ and producer has put out a steady flow of releases, including on Mathematics and L.I.E.S., and increasingly shown affection for the canons of Chicago and Detroit.
He is also commuting between those two cities in "The Other Side", a three-track EP out soon on Finale Sessions. With the title track "Symphony Of Brotherhood" he has programmed an ample tech house groover and the same mood continues in "Thank You Elisa", featuring compulsory acid line and soft pads. Majestic chords dominate in "Got U On My Mind" on the flip, playing with an array of percussion and glimmering keys making it the best pick of the release.
A kindred spirit of Aril Brikha and Raiders Of The Lost ARP, Simoncino drops a chord-driven release with a high feel-good quotient. Perfect music for a drive in the city on a rainy evening.
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10 October 2012

Metasplice - Decant (Morphine Records doser015 - 2012)

Hardly any daylight penetrates to an Antarctic ice station where experiments with hazardous substances of extragalactic origin are conducted in "Decant / Churn", for another proof how Rabih Beaini's Morphine Records is obsessively exploring the fringes of electronics. This time under discharge is the second tankful by Philadelphia's abstract techno crusaders Metasplice, already taking no prisoners in the debut EP "Topographical Interference".
Current brain-straining exercise is introduced with a machinery malfunction of worst kind in "Decant". After minutes of deformed noise and tension-fueling claps, the valves are gradually opened to release the steam, guided by tin-dipped percussion for a mental build-up. In "Churn" all systems remain in the error mode when bleeping signals and robustly pulsating bass emerge from the haze, all this exposed to the constant state of alarm for entire seven minutes.
Hijacking the genome of Sähkö or Raster-Noton and challenging Vatican Shadow, Metasplice with its disoriented sound assaults is a revelation for 2012, reaching new peaks in the obscurity quotient and opening new perspectives for the floor.

Buy vinyl from Juno
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09 October 2012

Mr Raoul K - Mande (Still Music STILLMDLP007 - 2012)

Release date is in October 2012
A world citizen has returned to the home and reached an essential station in his musical career when after an inspiring trip to Mr Raoul K's native Côte d'Ivoire his new album "Mande" is published on Chicago's fine label Still Music.
Already with the first releases on his own Baobab imprint Mr Raoul K showed increasingly more qualities than just being "mysterious" and "exotic" Lübeck-based producer of African origin. Despite of pursuing a moderate release schedule he quickly became a preferred deep house producer in Germany, his Wahlheimat since 1992.
Now Raoul Konan N'dah Kouassi has completed his recent creative phase on a Chicago label, with "Mande" consisting of explosive combination of the artist's rhythm-oriented African background, reserved machine funk and best picks from the school of tribal house. Mr Raoul K remains faithful to the main elements of his sound but is ready for some surprises to honor his musical heritage, by means of assembling his former band in the African home.
His music expresses down-to-earth attitude and strong ties to the Mother Nature, except in the introductory "Somassai" which might be easily placed between high-rises of Abidjan. It's a calm morning in the first rays of sun, but the call of concrete jungle can't be resisted when synthetic horns and rhythms start inflating the atmosphere for vibrant 14 minutes.
After the hybrid of machine funk and pulsating bass, Raul Orellana’s Mauresque guitar has been borrowed for a restless tribal cut “Bardot”. Distant thunder on delicate dubs lead "Sierra Leone (Deetron Mixdown)" to a more glamorous path, with synth hooks showing the way to the distant lights of cosmic disco.
Quite unexpected change comes with "Belebeleba", which is an authentic folk song with a full set of vocals and percussion made in Western Africa before the vinyl version concludes with "Rainforest Chicagomix", a relaxing house tune.
The CD version features some extra tracks - "Rainforest Coratouchmix" and two ethnic versions of the title track "Mande" plus a documentary about the artist and his musical background. A majestic work spanning several continents and cultural influences.


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05 October 2012

Altar Eagle - Nightrunners (Digitalis DIGIV047 - 2012)

Altar Eagle. At first instance there was something uncanny in the name, good for a grim species overlooking humble crowd in a sanctuary, feeling very Gothic.
The truth is the opposite when the duo consisting of Brad Rose and his wife Eden Hemming Rose have completed a beautiful pop album in the sidelines of running ever-surprising Digitalis label.
The first impression of "Nightrunners" is that it's made of the same fabric as Paco Sala's recent debut LP on Digitalis: The same harmonic synth and smudged guitar setup combined with sultry female voice sounded very familiar. However Altar Eagle is operating on the next level with mature pop songs with a slight cold breeze. Yes I say pop because the album could be only vaguely classified under experimental, the main line of business for Digitalis. In a positive sense the band keeps in-the-middle-of-the-road approach conveying simple messages how music for lighter moments should be made. And yes, I said songs because it's something that's all about with Hemming's voice lending a happy-go-lucky dimension to the album.
Partly sounding like my fellow Estonian Maria Minerva, Altar Eagle's release creates unidentifiable but sweet associations with the music I have encountered over the years. Still thinking a joint tour with a warm-up band like St Etienne would be a good idea, for telling to the kids what brighter side of indie means. And I would invest in "Digital Gold Futures", for sure.
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03 October 2012

Matti Turunen - Elokuu EP (Muhk Music MK001 - 2012)

Release date is in November 2012
Matti Turunen, one half of the electro duo Morphology, celebrates the launch of Muhk Music with a three-tracker which adds another contender to the ongoing challenge about Detroit’s outposts in Europe.
Surely, the North can do it too, Turunen from Finland says with his new EP for the label run from Sweden. The man from Järvenpää uses hardware to record in one take, lending a genuine feel to the music.
The title track “Elokuu”, which means August, is like about remnants of the summer, but even when leaves start falling from the trees these warm chords are protecting from the chill. Glimmering and thriving analogue compositions which might easily originate from Transmat or 430 West headquarters.
In the same vein is “Stars”, featuring an euphoric synth groove from the mid-track. Lights are dimmed for “Things You Duo” which reveals Turunen’s electro roots and is equipped with a devouring acid line for a more serious side of the EP. In the same it retains the chord-driven overall atmosphere, also known from Jori Hulkkonen's earlier releases.
Muhk Music's debut is in a way an orthodox interpretation of Detroit’s soulful face but sounds surprisingly fresh in the context of 2012. Watch out for the cow.

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02 October 2012

09/2012: Ancient Methods & Kareem, MPIA3, Acid Mercenaries

September was a great month for new music, topped by a deadly collaboration of industrial techno greats Ancient Methods and Kareem with "Exstinctio Conscientia" for the vinyl debut of the French label Fondation Sonore. London's Avian is in a firm grip of acid techno, delivering with "Ely / Squatter's Dog" the second striking EP by MPIA3. Corrosion alert came also from Panzerkreuz label with Acid Mercenaries. Fullpanda's recent output has impressed, now with a split EP by Yuka and Stanislav Tolkachev. Jay Ahern launched a new label Modular Cowboy, celebrating it with "Cheap & Deep" remixes by Norman Nodge and Jonsson & Alter. Stroboscopic Artefacts continued exquisite "Stellate" series with the second volume, where Silent Servant and Luis Farfan do some wonders.
Full Juno chart for September is here.

01 October 2012

Leo Abrahams + Oliver Coates - Crystals Are Always Forming (Slip Discs SLP002 - 2012)

A new noise and experimental project on the Manchester label Slip Discs. "Crystals Are Always Forming" is the debut of Leo Abrahams and Oliver Coates who have ventured on the cohabitation of cello and electronics. Eleven compositions totaling about 33 minutes witness a range of slow and stretched drones hovering between electronic noise and mistuned acoustic instrumentation.
Numbered in Roman format from "I" to "XI", mostly three-minute cuts address the public fond of static sound experiments with the suspense seething beneath.
Experimental is a tight market and largely saturated, meaning that extracting the last from the soft/hardware does not necessarily guarantee success. Abrahams and Coates, in turn, have not worked for the sake of experimentation and despite of high degree of sound disorder "Crystals Are Always Forming" contains harmonic bits for balanced overall impression.
The tracks span from igniting electronic rumble (“I”, "II") to attested minimalism (“III”, "VIII"). Droplets of percussion emerge like from a leaking cistern in "IV" and impressively dramatic “VI” makes to think what is hidden behind the gates of an hill-top Scottish castle. Electronics has the upper hand and cello is rather in also-starring role, at least considering the modus operandi of ordinary cello. Abstract electronic elements prevail, except in “V” where the supremacy of the cacophonous string instrument is driven by shimmering drone. Concluding cuts palpate the borderline of third-ear experience in the release which comes as cardboard-packaged CD in an edition of 200.

Hakim Murphy - Wet Analog EP (Episodes 02 - 2012)

Hakim Murphy, a Bachelor in music composition, is another proof that Chicago is not sleeping. Initially fascinated by deep house, Murphy adds throbbing subnotes to the second release on Episodes, recalling the rawness of Warehouse and dryness of Jamal Moss.
Navigating in a magnetic storm, “Technis” might vaguely stick to deep house textures but when we proceed to “Analog Stroll” abstract signals on stripped-down drum machine arrangement take the control, all that rounded up by ample space groove. In “BBQ Knobs” distorted bass is turned on for a real subwoofer test while “Tunnel Dark” is accentuated by rhythmic modulations and comes the closest to soulless machine jack. With his pressurized analog house Murphy tells the heritage of Armando or Cajmere is well preserved.



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21 September 2012

Various - Developer Remixed (SEMANTICA 39X)

Release date is in October 2012
For proper techno action in 2012 Developer’s “Trade Beliefs” is one of the main suspects. It has been noticed also by Semantica because an EP with reinterpretations will see the light of the day. Each of four tracks is remixed by different artist, starting with NX1 who keeps the deep and booming chords from the original “Trade Beliefs” and lets the snares to parade, turning on more furious bass at mid-track. In “Brujas” Donor boards a robustly crawling vehicle navigating in the minefields, tracking down intercom speech and hollow bass from the deep for a mid-tempo affair with immense impact. Dripping of percussion is “The Uncertain” by Shapednoise while “Sin Luz” by Markus Suckut adds steamy atmosphere to the original.

20 September 2012

Giant Claw - Mutant Glamour (Orange Milk Records OM-GCMGLP - 2012)

From the world of Looney Tunes, B-movies and mythological heroes comes Giant Claw, offering audible pulp fiction with a fine artwork LP.
Better not to have illusions it's a dance record. In “Mutant Glamour” confessed synth maniac Keith Rankin exposes the restless side of his brain for chaotic, mostly three-minute mutations.
Giant Claw proclaims doing sound collages and as a result we get synth riffs and rhythm splinters in excess, with "Mutant Glamour" describing precisely the nature of the release: Chopped, pickled, cooked and blended 8-bit sounds.
Exceptions in terms of floor potential are "L.A. Christ" and the longest track "Trapped In The Mirror", a wild synth symphony with cheesy italo undertones. On many occasions turbocharged synth-pop is encountered ("Brain On Cream", “Meansucker”), but also jazzy notes (“Empire Of Summer”) and meditative touches (“Glitter Logic”). All in all, "Mutant Glamour" stands out with a daring approach to the electronic music.


13 September 2012

John Tejada - The Predicting Machine (Kompakt 267 - 2012)

In the last decade John Tejada’s productivity was something to match, making it pretty difficult to keep track of his numerous publications. Compared to the previous he moves at a considerably slower pace, with not so tense schedule and has found a new home label with Kompakt, where he released LP “Parabolas” last year.
For “The Predicting Machine” the question was if it is not too predictable? Because of Kompakt’s recent shift to pop-electronica, I had the fear of being encountered with a compromise product. The tonality of the LP is rather smooth but all other worries are largely unfounded. Emotionally laden, feel-good album offers a cozy shelter from techno domination.
Surrounded by the soft-spoken atmosphere Tejada endeavours also to versatile fields, opening up to the influences from various (sub)genres of the electronic music. If we only take the robotic modulation “Orbiter” or “An Ounce Of Perception” which reveals Tejada’s attraction to space disco. For a jazz-tinged roller choose “A Familiar Mood” and crisp and clear arpeggios don’t leave any doubt “Winter Skies” is the only possible name of this particular track. “Radio Channel” enters the scene with a calm drone and distant voices, “The Function And The Form” is carried by dubby chords and the combination of bass and snares in “Stabilizer” feels inspired by the Warehouse years.
For the 11th full-length the Austrian-born producer has managed to present a mature-sounding album carried by urban romanticism.


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09 September 2012

Surgeon / Svreca : Skirt - Untitled (SEMANTICA 50 - 2012)

A collective effort on Semantica's number 50, which does not indicate the extent of the label's catalog with arithmetics seeming quite chaotic - but rather emphasizing the weight of the release with techno luminaries like Surgeon and Svreca plus the rising star Skirt. Especially Anthony Child's appearance on the label has been long overdue, given the impressive stream of techno producers making a stopover on Semantica.
Not the ordinary bangers one might be expect from the Madrid label. Instead all artist leave the fast lane of techno highway and pull ahead on a backdrop of abstract noises. Surgeon’s hypnotic sparseness in “As You Breathe Here Now”, built on careless bass drum and fluttering hum reminds of Terrence Dixon’s exploits. Despite of elevated percussion level Svreca and Skirt operate under veiled rhythm textures for another fine piece of techno in "Hymen". Beatless versions of both tracks would have been an interesting bonus.


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08 September 2012

Ricardo Donoso - Assimilating The Shadow (Digitalis DIGIV046 - 2012)

With the first album “Progress Chance” Ricardo Donoso, born in Rio de Janeiro and living in Boston, propelled into the consciousness of synth-crazy audience with anti-gravitational tunes for inner-self explorations. So after the splendid debut Donoso might have felt pressure in anticipation of “Assimilating The Shadow”.
Adoring the debut, the second LP has been for me the most-awaited Digitalis release this year, and have to say that the result is astonishing again.
Donoso continues to paint luminescent soundscapes, offering throughout "Assimilating The Shadow" meditative moments for a soundtrack of optic illusions. Actually no weak links on the vinyl double pack of 10 tracks, to be made available on CD/digital too.
The real highlights are emotionally laden "Chemical Structures”, a reflection of the basic elements of human life reminding a bit of Freak Electrique's "P.H.A.S.E.R.", as well as "Probing” with more vigorous notes. The ten-minute “Reflection & Rotation” climbs up to the peak of synthetic bliss, while modern romanticism meets the spirit of Sherwood Forest in “The Bow And The Lyre”. A prime example of crisp and clear sound processing is “Equivalence Of The Thirteen" and, given the one-hour length of the album, slightly modulated drone "Empathy Gap" is for taking a deep breath between intensely zigzagging synth patterns.
Since the invention of music-making machines the mankind has seen and heard synth records in excess, but Donoso’s magnificent compositions tell that the genre has not reached the limits. By skillfully combining percussive elements with sultry layers Donoso avoids sinking into the genre's new-age-esoteric-lounge periphery. An essential release celebrating harmony and humanity.



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05 September 2012

Abdulla Rashim - Endasilasie (Abdulla Rashim Records ARR003 - 2012)

To be released in October 2012
Endasilasie, geographically located at latitude 14.1 degrees north of the equator and longitude 38.3 degrees east of the prime meridian, in the Northern part of Ethiopia. A distant place which might reveal, or might not, something about the origin of Abdulla Rashim, his real ID hitherto unknown.
Ethiopia would be perfect setting for "Endasilasie 1", for getting inspired by the clear nightly skies over the barren mountainous landscape. While admiring spatial beauty it’s good to dream about boarding a starliner for explorations in the Saturnian dust. Humming and droning in constrained pace, the track plays with delicate dubs and hiss during eight minutes, a standard length for Rashim.
Abrupt change in the mood comes with the number two, endlessly looping functional tool good for conquering floors and spread dizziness in the crowd. Thereafter bass rises into the prominence in „Endasilasie 3“, which intercepts fine bleepy sounds from encrypted transmissions.
Already since the debut „Gizaw“ it was clear Abdulla Rashim did not establish own label because of not getting released elsewhere. Subsequently several imprints turned to the Swedish producer, resulting in a release for Prologue and remix duties for No_Comment and Silent Season.


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04 September 2012

08/2012: Forward Strategy Group, SEEKERSINTERNATIONAL, Aardvarck

A selection of ten new releases listed by Juno in August. Large headline in Techno Today would exclaim "Perc Trax did it again", with a vinyl selection from Forward Strategy Group's recent album. Metal is shining in the "Labour Division EP2" and also check out beautiful "Ident".
With riddim journeys of the "Call From Below" SEEKERSINTERNATIONAL might seem a rara avis in the roster of Digitalis, but in fact it's just another example of the versatility of the Oklahoma label.
Aardvarck's "Nubian" was the bass record of the month, another great release by the Dutch producer. Bronze Age, EDMX, Bad News, Cut Hands, Vakula, Scan 7 and Bambounou round up the selection. September promises to be even better, several great releases becoming available soon.

VIDEO: Future Sound of London - Papua New Guinea (1992)

"Papua New Guinea" might be called a chartbreaker in the Future Sound Of London's catalog, finding a place in numerous best-of-90s compilations and being reshaped and remixed on various occasions. Take a dive into the blue waters of the Pacific with an entrancing track standing the test of time.

30 August 2012

DUST OFF: Cluster - Cluster 71 (Water water160 - 2006)

In 1971 Dieter Moebius, Hans-Joachim Roedelius and Conrad Plank shocked the schlager nation with an utterly experimental piece of music called "Cluster". It was the debut of the group of the same name and an important milestone of the pre-Kraftwerk era.
Difficult to believe this three-track album of pulsating drones and irrational synth lines dates back more than 40 years. Certainly not a dance record, it just provides the insight into the vision and abilities of the masters of analog equipment.
The album was reissued in 1980 under the name "Cluster '71" and recent years have seen a number of the group's re-releases. Also solo projects of the Cluster members have resurfaced, many of them on the excellent Bureau B label. So before getting too hyped about contemporary drone & experimental artists, look into the history books to see where the innovation lies.

28 August 2012

Truss - Ganymede (Perc Trax TPT 055 - 2012)

Release date is in September 2012
Perc Trax is a sure bet for uncompromising and oppressive techno, if we only think of Perc’s recent "A New Brutality" or Forward Strategy Group's album. Now Truss, a gear wizard from London and trusted associate of the Perc camp, follows up his recent industrial waltz "Clytha" on Our Circula Sound and drops with "Ganymede" a bonding title track in line with industrial attitude of the label. The shuffled-beat original pushes you against the wall, when sending hoover blasts and acid flashes on shredded drumming. Label head Perc adds some extra kick, shaking it like in the hull of a ocean freighter hit by heavy storm while his dub version offers minor variations of the previous. Up-and-coming DJ Skirt strips it to the basics while keeping the half-step foundations of the original. For the end lands “Hackney”, a blatant acid techno jam bolstered with heavy drum kick.


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Ancient Methods vs. Kareem - Exstinctio Conscientia (Fondation Sonore 001 - 2012)

Berlin duo Ancient Methods, purveyors of the pitch black techno war funk (Boomkat), join forces with Zhark mastermind Kareem for a dream-team of industrial techno. Ancient Methods have been a flagship of the genre for the last couple of years, but special shouts  go to Kareem - nice to see him back and well in form again. Expecting the post to deliver the vinyl soon, I’m pretty convinced "Exstinctio Conscientia" is a striking debut of the French label Fondation Sonore.


A1 Zealots (Kareem Interpretation) 1-2

B1 Dämmerung der Parhelia (Ancient Methods Interpretation) 1-2
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23 August 2012

MPIA3 - Ely / Squatter's Dog (Avian AVN005 - 2012)

MPIA3 goes nasty again on the Avian imprint as it follows up the debut single "Wttp / Casual Welding“. Sulphur is in the air when the Londoner leads his acid techno assault with the A-side’s “Ely”, a prime example of kickdrum rage and poison ivy acid lines. After a brisk start it manages to build up the tension gradually, till the peak arrives after a dramatic break in the middle, with marauding 303 blast tightening the last remaining screws thereafter. The track also leaves room for fiddling on the pitch depending on the crowd’s speed limit.
On the flip “Squatter’s Dog”, a purebred Cerberus, is baring the teeth, irritated by a bleepy and monotone arrangement with distorted bass.
Compared to the MPIA3's debut, which still feels a bit like a test ride, Avian 005 is a real captivating floorkiller for anybody missing harder edge in today’s techno, in Acid Planet and Drop Bass Network vein. This is hardcore, fellas.

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22 August 2012

Polar Inertia - The Last Vehicle EP (Dement3d Records DM3D003 - 2012)

After introductory narrative recalling a 1985 neurology conference in Chicago, mysterious Polar Inertia drops two long and thundering techno journeys on the French label Dement3d. “Major Axis” is an ode to machines, paced by monumental bass and rusty engine noises for brain-drilling shamanism. Emerging from the haze at a mountain pass, “Parallel Transport” continues the mind trip when hauling corrosive cargo. Stretching the definition of droning techno to a new level, Polar Inertia provides two mean cuts for big rooms.



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21 August 2012

SEEKERSINTERNATIONAL - The Call From Below (Digitalis DIGIV045 - 2012)

Rephrasing a movie hero: Digitalis Recordings is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you're gonna get. After excursions to synth, wave, doom or shoegaze it's time to taste some Caribbean-rooted sweetness with SEEKERS-INTERNATIONAL.
Combining traditional sounds from the land of dreadlocks with urban bass and abstract effects, the group underscores its ambition to abstain from an ordinary dub album. And it's easy to become addicted to the nine tracks: One can feel both the warmth of genuine roots'n'kulcha and the chill of metropolitan concrete jungle.
Starting with dub-coated techno chords perceived in deeper spheres of the rebellious opener "TouchRiddim" we see fro the other side a delicately swaying "DropletsRiddim", which is like a slow-motion take of Burial Mix series. Closer to vigorous dancehall action are endlessly looping rub-a-dub cut “Stop Motion” and “Large It Up”, a 74-second call to a wicked soundsystem night. After spiritual vibe in "InVoiceDub" and “HumbleWe” the selector is in charge in minimalistic “PlungedLightRiddim” with hiss and decelerated dubs.
While not slipping to the territory of often so-predictable dub techno, SEEKERSINTERNATIONAL is embracing the elements of IDM to enrich the post-Rhythm & Sound era in dub-influenced electronic music. Using all caps is well justified for this essential piece of ambient dub.


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16 August 2012

Powell - Body Music EP (Diagonal DIAG002 - 2012)


Diagonal is a rather new imprint, now presenting the second release with “Body Music”. Still have to find out who is Powell, the label founder and artist behind the new EP, but he’s leaving embossed footprints. Clearly it reminds of some prominent figures from the past, especially of DAF, which is not the Dutch truck manufacturer but epochal new wave group Deutsch Amerikanische Freundschaft. Can imagine Gabi Delgado swaying on the stage in the title track "Body Music" while also "Grand Street" and "Nude" are good for some pogo. "Search" is a slow-motion bass & drone intercepting secrets behind the closed doors while "Have It" is in a firm grip of a drum machine. A refreshing piece of wax with dark undertones from the abstract corner of techno.

Powell - Body Music EP [Previews]

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