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.

Buy vinyl from Juno
Buy vinyl/digital from Bandcamp

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.