31 October 2013

D.Carbone Meets Honzo - In A Bipolar Disorder (3TH Records 3TH003 - 2013)

The third EP of the Berlin-based 3TH Records sees Davide Carbone, a troublemaker from Naples, undergoing a split personality test when he meets self-invented alter ego called Honzo.
Carbone's own side asks hard heads to reserve the front seats for a stormy spectacle, opened by "Unconscious Tool", rushing through the highs and lows of indecent acid lines and colliding with the dark room walls. It's followed by dirty-gritty workout "Alternate Control", accommodating a nervous riff soaked in toxic sludge.
Honzo's inhuman nature, in turn, has abandoned straightforward programming for abstract and industrial noise. Slowly killing "Dissociation" bombs with acid bursts and disoriented voices from a robot bazar but the real annihilation arrives with "Seizure", a massive pile-up of ruthless noise, shrill signals and jolting percussion for a heavy industry experience. That's loud!

Buy vinyl from Juno
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30 October 2013

Ricardo Donoso - As Iron Sharpens Iron, One Verse Sharpens Another (Digitalis Recordings DIGIV061/2)

Since the vinyl debut „Progress Chance" on Digitalis two years ago, Ricardo Donoso has been the label's highly acclaimed artist and now the Brazilian returns with the newest contribution "As Iron Sharpens Iron, One Verse Sharpens Another", which is a staggering mix of fragile layers, flaming arpeggios and shuddering bass.
The master of synthetic harmonies keeps the one-album-per-year pace and the newest one, out on two separate EPs, exhibits the artist's poetic and captivating approach to the machine-made music.
Current work is his closest to dance canons, or could it be trance canons. Not comparable by BPM rate, the sound structures of Donoso’s album bear surprising resemblance with the 1990s psy-trance by the likes of Astral Projection, Man With No Name and others.
Subdued placidity of the introductory "Affirmation" is deceptive as it's followed by „The Sphinx“, raising from the imaginary dust to stand tall as a symbol of intellectual trance music. Elastic layers and veiled whispering are placed on Front 242 aggressive riffs with immense traction power. Then "Diagonal Environment" explores the different shades of bass and fluorescent pads and "The Old Straight Track" is dedicated to the Mother Earth, the warmth of dubs reminding of SEEKERSINTERNATIONAL.
Opening the second part, "The Redeemer" carries immense entrancing potential with endless repetition and echoing radio transmissions across the space. Playing in the same league with „The Sphinx“, zigzaging arpeggios lend to "Open Drawer, Full Of Masks" uplifting trance qualities and it targets most intensely the floor here.
For the next bass knobs are turned to the extremes in the floating „The Child Primitive“, where a a dialogue about the inferiority of the mankind is conducted with the Deep Thought. Plain machine language dominates in "The Master Game", the album’s coldest track heralding the arrival of technological singularity.
Needless to say, Donoso has once again completed an extraordinary album, mastered this time by John Tejada.

Buy vinyl from Digitalis or Boomkat
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23 October 2013

Terminal 313 Mix: Barely Under 140 BPM (self-made 2013)

A drawing from Fantastic Universe, December 1954
It's not quite that the grass was greener in the 1990s but it can't be denied that today the BPM rate of even harder, industrial tracks goes rarely over 130. It's like a border line between serious electronic music and cheap hardstyle productions for the masses. Although the beat frequency itself should not be an objective, if we only think about extremities like Moby's "Thousand" in 1993, fast beats have had certain appeal. All that brought me to a selection of tracks from, with a few exceptions, the last decade of the 20th century. Mostly acid and hardcore cuts that shook the rave nation, many of them my personal favorites.

Hunk (excerpt from the film)
Clara Mondshine - Lange Melodie Für Den Countdown
Dag Tribe - Legalize It
Tevatron - Dark Energy
Johannes Heil - 20.000 Leagues Under the Skin, Pt. 9
Illuminatae - Tremora Del Terra
Search & Destroy - What Kind Of Madness
Ra-X - Stafunky
Stomach Basher - Is This Happening To Me
Jeff Mills - Berlin
Terence Fixmer – Shout
Integrated Circuits - Patience
Spinning Atoms - Bubble Memory
303 Nation - Damnation
Freddy K - Good Reaction
Cellblock X - Toxic Trip
X-Crash - Sub-Conscious Overload
NRG - He Never Lost His Hardcore
Feeling of Passion - Wake Upp
Feeling Of Passion - Wake Upp (Hard Feeling Mix)
Johnny Violent - North Korea Goes Bang
4D - Hidden
Mike Henk - Connect
Cosmic Baby - Loops of Infinity (Contemplative)

21 October 2013

Charles Cohen - Dance Of The Spiritcatchers (Morphosis Reworks) (Morphine Records Redose-2 - 2013)

After opening doors to a number of contemporary electronic explorers, Rabih Beaini of Morphine Records has decided to uncover the works of the American musician Charles Cohen. Apart from artist's inner circle in hometown Philadelphia there are not so many people who would exclaim oh Cohen, yes we know. The 67-year-old expert of bulky Buchla synthesizers has focused on works for stage and exhibitions but has also teamed up with hair_loss from Metasplice, the link between Cohen and Beaini.
Preceding three retrospective albums out on Beaini's label in October and November, Cohen's first appearance on Morphine comes with two Morphosis reworks of "Dance Of The Spiritcatchers," based on the closest relative to techno in his catalog, as The Wire put it.
Beaini's versions are pretty similar to each other. A-side's cascading modulations construct something we can call an extended intro, being actually a beatless jam to exploit synth's possibilities. The essence of such a pristine kosmische piece is maintained on the B-side, which is guided by warm 808 rhythms making the single a neat follow-up of the fabulous first of Redose.

Buy vinyl from Hard Wax
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18 October 2013

dualit - dualit EP (Earwiggle EAR005 - 2013)

Release date is in October 2013
Two new faces on Earwiggle, German producers MasCon and Oliver Rosemann, are united under the dualit moniker for a rough ride on Sunil Sharpe's Dublin-based imprint.
Mechanical in-your-face four-tracker starts with rugged loops and drilling stabs in "Triton", followed by maritime deity theme "Proteus", opening with Blawan-style alienated vocal ripples and quickly substituted by distorted kicks and other instruments from the hard techno toolbox.
Top-end contribution comes from the enigmatic mercenary Bleaching Agent, when its asthmatic take on "Proteus" opens the B-side, sending cold shivers down the spine with Styxian horns and robust loops creating a perfect groove. Terminating messages are received from Jupiter's moon in "Thyone", tested positive for flammable substance with corrosive undercurrents. Of locked grooves concluding both sides the one on A reminds of early M-Plant.

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Dwellings - Don't Say Nothing (Trensmat Records TR039 - 2013)

Every noise has a note, believes Trensmat Records, a label located in Trim, Meath County and Ireland, increasingly pursuing deviant electronics to be cherished by open-minded dance floors.
Chris Haslam aka Dwellings from the Manchester group Gnod was already featured on Trensmat's big success "Gnod Presents ... Dwellings & Druss" and goes now solo with "Don't Say Nothing". Technically taken it's a reissue after an edition of 50 cassettes on Tesla Tapes and during 50 minutes the album will elegantly satisfy the needs for energetic noise and agile drumming.
The opener "Frame Speed" is already in full swing with rattling percussion and magnetizing synth layers. Crooked effects and mechanical pulses constitute an obvious invitation to slamdance in crushing "Drone Invasion", which could easily be the brainchild of a punk drummer.
 "Holographic Mirror" kicks off with mutated Donna Summer bass line to be soon overrun by sludgy reverbs and restless drum set, also very much alive in 10-minute piece "Wave Propagation" surfing on the tides of drone. And last but not least, seventeen minutes of the digital bonus "Under Gun Metal Skies", which is made of toxic steam, scrap metal and broken robots for a psychedelic soundtrack. Impressive showdown on smoked clear vinyl by Dwellings.

Buy vinyl from Norman Records
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16 October 2013

Subjected - Zero (Vault Series VAULTCD001 - 2013)

Dirty grey and menacing, the fortification stands there to unleash monochrome frenzy when Subjected meets with success the challenge of a techno album. "M" is a compulsory dark ambient introduction, preceding a set of pounding gear by the founder of Vault Series. Nothing else than noise and heavy bass can be expected from "Boom Boom", an apt ruler of the floor and a highlight along "Tool 1". No-nonsense digital package adding some weight to techno sets.

Rezzett - Rezzett EP (The Trilogy Tapes TTT012 - 2013)

Magic touch of The Trilogy Tapes is preserved when Rezzett's strikingly uncouth debut lands on the innovative UK label.
Detroit is vaguely calling in the first tones of "Firebomb", going on messy with distorted undulating chords and spiced up with EBM-style bassline. Next up is "Sutty", exposed to noisy interference on vicious drum set while downtown lights are switched off with a buzzing drone.
The B-side's "Yayla" runs on 45 RPM and claims the first prize here. Cascading low frequencies over glimmering pads and mean shouts lead it to tumultuous waters, before the rule of the rhythm from mid-track positions it to advanced dance floors. The lady with hat on the sleeve cartoon might alert those familiar with Old Lady Shapoklyak.

Buy vinyl from The Trilogy Tapes
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11 October 2013

Skirt - Wish In The Maze (SEMANTICA 28 - 2013)

Skirt's position as a flagship producer in Semantica's stable is reaffirmed with "Wish In The Maze" when the US-born and Birmingham-based Bethany DeMoss returns to Svreca's label shortly after excllent "Tumulto", backed by Yuji Kondo and Shifted remixes, and earlier co-op with Svreca ("Hymen").
The new EP is again a joint effort with remix support received by Inigo Kennedy and Ancient Methods. The 120 BPM original moves in the realms of dark ambient, where cycles of swirling pads roam on slow seismic bass, backed by voice modulations. Despite of doomsday aura, certain warmth is sustained deep inside the track.
Inigo Kennedy throws frothing loops over steadfast bass throb, thus eyeing increased floor compatibility. Notorious for its tormenting effect, Ancient Methods debuts on Semantica and reserves the hotspot for eight and a half minutes to mold the original with proven toolbox. Mercurial riffs and clanging beats result in another stunning piece by the techno crusader from Berlin.
Here we have three tracks of incisive techno science with restrained beat rate.

Buy vinyl/digital from Semantica

09 October 2013

Blacknecks 0003 (BLKN003 - 2013)

For the start the Blacknecks techno jet has been rerouted from London to post-season Rimini, as the explosive opener "Fash" summons the resort zombies under the shiny disco ball. Hardened Moroder-esque bass line twins with "Theme From Blacknecks" from the previous release, making a robust nod to Italo worshippers.
The return to usual belters happens on the B-side: "Four Cunts And A Badge" sees most sincerely the machines in pain and the track is fueled by furious kick drum going into the realms of hardcore. Distorted, acid-bolstered "Same Old Brand New You" is soaked in havocking synth noise to round up trashy floor fare from the anonymous duo from UK.

Buy vinyl from Juno
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08 October 2013

DUST OFF: Hobby - Rudern Im Stehen (Taktik tak 2001 - 1996?)

Croatian native Mate Galić was in the frontline of early German techno and hardtrance movement. Later he could not resist the call of shimmering screens when became a host for VIVA music channel, before moving to managerial positions at Native Instruments and being now the company's CTO/President.
The projects of Robert Babicz aka Rob Acid from Cologne have been integral part of the German scene and he's still busy releasing new material.
Although mainly associated with rave crowds the two have showed differing sides of their creativity, if only to mention Galic's Bion moniker and his and Babicz's one-off vehicle Hobby.
"Rudern Im Stehen" has well survived the years and offers four interpretations of hum-infected minimalism. After the disoriented start a vast polygon of bass testing unfolds in "K.O." while in "P.S." tense drone raises anticipation to become confronted with ticking percussion. In the presence of subs "S.O." emits stripped down minimalist tones while "S.W." is the most floor-friendly cut with subtle acid line and obscure voices. One of those underrated releases.

Endnote: Discogs indicates the release year 2001 but it might derive from the catalog number and is not officially confirmed. I ordered the 12" from Marko Laine's Mind Records in 1998 and some web sources indicate 1996 as the release year. Any comments on that are welcome.

03 October 2013

Yuuki Sakai - Yaghan EP (Subsist Records sub-d19 - 2013)

"Yaghan EP" by the Japanese producer Yuuki Sakai is another solid release on the Spanish imprint Subsist, which belongs to the top-end of digital-only techno labels.
For the start not much rush can be perceived in "Natalie" where ripples of new-age percussion are entwined with hammering passages. In "Yaghan" the bass impact adds robustness to tribal notes and "Pilsner" is nothing for jolly daydreamers as it comes dark and haunting with eerie drums and steelwork noise in the background. The gloom continues in "Villeta" before the torture room is entered with banging "Fabl 'O'".
Sakai's tracks land between Diskant's fired-up subequatorial drumming and banging industrial techno, having in the same a special twist.

Buy digital from Bandcamp