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.

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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