27 September 2013

Tuomas Rantanen - Nychthemeron in Madagascar EP (City Wall Records CW077 - 2013)

Madagascar, a remote island in warm oceanic waters where aye-ayes are cozily hiding in tree branches. It might be a perfect setting for a "Chill Out in the Paradise" soundtrack but Tuomas Rantanen, a student of philosophy from Tampere, Finland, believes in the opposite, in hidden magic and darker undercurrents.
"Morning in Madagascar" is a rude wake-up call from techno's bloodthirsty side where the origins of violent bass tap into the assaults launched recently by labels like Pennyroyal or Perc Trax. Starting as well with a dark ambient intro, "Day in Madagascar" does not allow any rest either when it's pounding through to the end of the A-side.
The closed circuit continues in the "Evening in Madagascar", which retains the same hard-line industrial techno approach before signs of fatigue emerge during the night-track with more constrained BPM rate and varied textures intertwined with the murmurs of natives. This is beat music, shamefully in digital format only.


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24 September 2013

Jerome Derradji - A Bump In Da Raw (stilove4music037 - 2013)

Release date is in October 2013
Stilove4music is an offshoot of Chicago's Still Music and boasts a sizable catalog of black-label house releases. Now the first 12-inch in 2013 is announced for October, produced by the label owner Jerome Derradji and expectedly inspired by the Windy City's musical heritage.
"Getloose" is hectic party fare for fast hip movement, like influenced by the recent showcase of Sunset Records Inc. on the parent label. A merrily rolling track for the disco house ballroom.
But the real treat comes with the B-side's gigantic bomb "Raw Bump", which is a fierce tribute to Dance Mania monsters and reminds of Green Velvet's most retarded moments. Dripping of distorted bass and absorbing acid lines, decadent machine noise rams the floor throughout ten minutes. Just sweat.


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23 September 2013

Beau Wanzer / Svengalisghost - Untitled (Russian Torrent Versions CCCP 02 - 2013)

The plot is clear: First the hammer hits the head and then the sickle cuts the throat. Decorated with communist visual identity on the logo side, the Russian Torrent Versions add another level to the immense hype surrounding Ron Morelli's L.I.E.S. when the label's shooting stars are engaged in a new series that looks very limited, maybe it even is.
Sporting phony cyrillic letters and playing with the stereotypes of Russian internet behavior, two pals from the L.I.E.S.'s Chicago camp like it noisy and dirty. Especially when Beau Wanzer fills the A-side with two bouncing Trax-rooted workouts. Drum machine showdown "Hey Hey Hey Hey" is the real achiever here, followed by more rectangular "Hoedown".
The B-side belongs to the sanguine Svengalisghost who flirts with rocking vocals, first over crude synthetic beats in "The Booth" and secondly over distressed sonic foam in "Dark Mistress". More Л.А.Й.С. for the people, what else.


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Endnote: I prefer the written side not the logo side here. It's the same story as with Dopplereffekt  - despite of highly valuing their work I have never really understood the appeal of communist symbols in their visuals.

22 September 2013

Hannu Ikola - Triplane EP (Etherwerks ETHER 002 - 2013)

New techno from Finland: After the debut earlier this year, Helsinki-based Etherwerks owner Hannu Ikola comes with the second EP of three differently shaded tracks. Grim opener "Black Ingrained Dust" is exposed to the smog covering the industrialized wasteland and would easily join the camp of Repitch and Perc Trax. The B-side's floor-animating "Escape Pod"  is the undisputed winner with Pan Sonic-esque inflated loops and a whiff of dub while at the end dubby chords in smoothly rolling "Pylon" hail the last days of summer.



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19 September 2013

Wochtzchée - T400 (Wochtzchée - 2013)

Estonian producer Taavi Tulev is mostly known for his Wochtzchée project and has completed a new digital/CDr EP called "T400". The textures of the title track indicate electronica sitting in the front row of the release with compositions moving between electronic clicks & cuts and deep modulations.
In "Jääkiired / Ice Rays" fragile layers come up, hovering in the distance like aurora borealis in the Northern hemisphere while the shadowy side with some EBM notes appears in "Masinkaja Masinaga / Machine Delay With Machine", later flowing into comforting electronica. Dissonant "Algusemaiguline lõpp / The End With A Taste Of Beginning" combines abstract notes with backing synth-pop rhythm.
The physical format is a little design wonder as the CDr comes in acrylic glass which can be opened only by breaking it. Because the format holds only 50 MB of data it's good for one audio track.


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18 September 2013

Various - Jerome Derradji Presents Kill Yourself Dancing (Still Music Stillmdcd010 - 2013)

One can't deny unique aura of the Chicago house heritage and those archives seem endless, as tracks from the scene's very young years resurface time after time.
Still Music owner Jerome Derradji is on a mission to explore the vaults of the Windy City, now continuing the tour in Chicago's b(l)ack catalog with the story of Sunset Records Inc. from 1985 to 1989.
As expressed in jacking rhythms of the title track "Kill Yourself Dancing" by Razz, the compilation includes a cross-section of tunes that might have been ripe both for the US and Euro floors at the end of 1980s, as a fusion of italo and black disco funk.
It contains cuts for Mediterranean resorts (Master Plan's "Electric Baile") and psychotic soirees ("It Could Be Acid", "White Knight Jacks" by White Knight), not forgetting theatrical jackers ("Demons" by White Knight again) and sensual smoothness ("Jail Bait" by Ben Mays).
Euphoric highlight is horn-backed "Face The Music" by Boom Boom & Master Plan in two mixes while soulful girl power comes up in Matt Warren's "The Way To My Heart". Intermezzo "Doo Doo Da" reminds strongly of the similarly titled techno track later dragged to the world fame by Robotman aka Richie Hawtin. All in all a nice flashback, which, however, sticks to the dominating Chi-town club sound and lacks more experimental cuts.



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17 September 2013

Various - Our Beat Is Still New (We Play House Recordings WPH NEW BEAT 1 - 2013)

Something for the class of 1988. The Belgium-born new beat phenomenon has remained, surprisingly, largely untouched by the high tides of revival. Now exactly a Belgian label We Play House has launched a series of mini compilations on the theme.
"Agent Orange" is killing us softly with classic new beat synth stabs and Arabic sample centered on el purtugal or orange. The artist name Azab & Crybaby does not ring a bell but Juju & Jordash, the producers behind it, certainly do.
On his road to the world fame, Anonymous Are DJ Ironfist has set up a clapping beat box parade in "Frog March", not being able to be separated from his piano. On the B-side TC & The Maxx Paxx, the alias of JD Twitch from Optimo, proclaims this is Belgium in stomping and acid-smelling "Just Like That". For the end Prins Albert is hot on the heels of Throbbing Gristle and Jarre in "Dies Ist Belgien", topped with quaint German spoken word for sweet and sleazy moments in the vintage corner.
Actually four EPs are planned, with many well-known producers joining the game under the new beat-styled monikers. Back to the old school.


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16 September 2013

Abdulla Rashim & Axel Hallqvist - Sorunda (SEMANTICA 58 - 2013)

Release date is in September 2013
Two pristine tracks made in Sweden by Bondegatan's boss Abdulla Rashim and newcomer Axel Hallqvist. This is techno but because of purity and transparency "Skog" could be a World Wildlife Fund approved composition, reflecting Rashim's recent soundwriting for own imprint. Crystalline pads enjoy the company of velvety bass for offering pleasure both to sci-fi dreamers and floor addicts. B-side's "Mark" goes more to the darker side with grated half-stepping beat.

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12 September 2013

Portable - Albatross Remixes (Süd Electronic SÜD-013 - 2013)

A release that should not be overlooked. Cape Town native Alan Abrahams aka Portable emerged during the much-cursed minimal craze in the noughties, though being among most remarkable proponents that time.
Since 2002 Portable has been running own imprint Süd Electronic that dropped this spring impressive "Albatross Remixes", which is definitely not worn out and even goes better with every play.
The original features Portable's modern bard qualities on deep-sea bass resonance. Kowton lifts the track to the realms of complex tech house while the B-side gets a brusque treatment by Detroit's legendary Anthony "Shake" Shakir.



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11 September 2013

SNTS - Chapter III (SNTS03 - 2013)

Italian SNTS imprint taps into the saturated market of droning techno with another anonymous release to supply dark moments to the floor. Despite of several genre tropes "Chapter III" will find a place in respective DJ bags.
Starting  in "S7" with atmospheric loops and distant hum which reminds of recent Abdulla Rashim, it proceeds to foggy half-stepping "S8" and pulse-upping panic statement "S9", to leave "End I" to conclude the game with flowing ambient. Grey marbled vinyl of 200 copies.



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MGUN - Blunt Run (Berceuse Heroique BH 003 - 2013)

Launched in 2013, Berceuse Heroique is a vinyl-only label from London having already attracted an interesting set of artists. After Ekman from the Netherlands, to return soon with insane acid single, and Gesloten Cirkel from Russia, Detroit's Manuel Gonzales aka MGUN has now parked at BH.
On the A-side he makes it simple when pumps up "Blunt Run" with a seemingly effortless kick drum, leading us through playful chimes and vintage house elements to a block party. On the flip "Laser Jam" is reminiscent of Newcleus or Arabian Prince, with vocoder charm and rudeboy vocals dipped in casual electro beats and oriental snake charmer horn. Close to MGUN's electro joint "Jijijijij$ijijijiji" from the recent "If You're Reading This EP" on Don't Be Afraid, only disappointingly cut off before the three-minute mark.
As usual from the BH, it's 180-gram black label, coming with a politically charged A4 insert. Despite of this 12-inch sounding a bit too basic, this label has got balls.



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10 September 2013

Tom Dicicco - Under The Aquadrome Pt.2 (Run Out Run RUNOR1002 - 2013)

One of UK's young techno guns, London producer Tom Dicicco launched his own Run Out Run imprint with a floor-friendly first installment of the "Under The Aquadrome" trilogy. The second outing mainly exhibits his dub-influenced side, with one remarkable exception.
After being tested on the floor, at home and in the car, the spell of the the opening track of the "Under The Aquadrome Pt. 2" is hard to cease. Rolling percussion on glowing sound sinusoids make "Physical" a track that deserves often-abused references to UR's hi-tech funk and embodies The Martian's best moments. Dubs move to the frontline in three following cuts where aquatic "Grainy Days", by sound like a rainy-day-theme, stands out of the rest. On the flip throbbing "Excavation" and bright "Merk" continue travels in deep rhythms.



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06 September 2013

_moonraker - Lowjit Vagrants (The Trilogy Tapes ‎TTT009 - 2013)

The Trilogy Tapes is wittingly engaged in cherry-picking of the young and promising - M GUN, Anthony Naples, Tuff Sherm, to mention only recent artists in the label's catalog. Now it's the turn of _moonraker, the act having debuted in the electronic scene in 2012 and made up of two artists from Philadelphia, Jason Carr and Kenneth_Lay, the latter having previously created fuss with V.Hold as Metasplice.
The _moonraker operators have been assigned a machine enslavement task, executing it with twisted synth loops and noise processing. Starting with the A1 track "Oronimbus", which evolves from high treble levels to biting oscillations for dramatic tensions like in Godard's movies, maybe because it has something common with "Canicule" by French act Nôze from 2003. Agile kick drum introduces "Plot Query" for chaotic electronics with rigorous beat impact while on the B-side ambient pads introduce "Cyan Lean" to a seagull symphony, tinted with fuzzy slo-mo percussion.
But all the previous has been a foreplay to "Tilt March" where sheer noise and tampered drums collide in an eleven-minute disaster theme with toxic dust rising from the Purgatory, similar to rude expressionism of Container and its consorts of blender techno. Now you all have been vaccinated.



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04 September 2013

ARC# - Untitled (Deep Sound Channel DSC000 - 2013)


Deep Sound Channel is a new vehicle of the Dutch Shipwrec posse from Nijmegen and the debuting double pack offers a number of color-themed techno variations.
The opener claims the main prize: In "Grey" growling bass modulations are soaked in delays and noise particles, leading the track beyond the no-mans-land of generic (dub) techno. Affluent bass groove in "Blue" and deep house smell in "Violet" are followed by organised machine noise in "Purple" while cascading pads of "Red" seek the company of lighter sound waves and "Pink" expresses faith in the better tomorrow under darkening skies.
Surrounded by tranquil atmosphere, the album offers both deep bass abstractions and buoyant ambient-minded cuts. It's claimed to be analog and „one time“ project by some Dutch artists affiliated with some well-known labels and releases, who yet wish to remain unknown for this project.



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03 September 2013

Spherical Coordinates - Fixed Zenith EP (PoleGroup 017 - 2013)

Release date is in September 2013
At first instance "scjkn-13", the standout track of the new EP on PoleGroup, sounds like Mike Parker. In fact Spherical Coordinates is a collab of Spanish producers, the label owner Oscar Mulero and Christian Wünsch. Earlier this year the duo appeared along Parker on a various artists EP by Wünsch's Tsunami Records.
Throbbing loops and deep modulations dominate the A-side, starting with "scjkn-06" and going one level up in "scjkn-13". More constrained B-side features dubs and signal in "scjkn-15" and Purpose Maker's tribalistic notes in "scjkn-09". For the DJ bag.




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