28 December 2013

Tornaado - Instrumentaaltsükkel "Regatt" (Frotee Records FRO001 - 2013)

The year 2013 saw the birth of the Estonian label Frotee Records, in search of the Balearic beat of the Baltics and doing it with vinyl pressings of long-lost compositions.
The label debuted with an EP by a band called Tornaado, thus going back to the year 1979 when Lada, the Soviet worker's limousine, celebrated the ninth birthday and Pepsi hit some upmarket stores in Estonia. The yachting regatta of the 1980 Moscow Olympics was at the gate in Tallinn, the medieval city preparing for the event of sports and peace, actually boycotted by many Western countries.
The funk had arrived across the Iron Curtain a few years ago and also guided five Estonian musicians - Mart Telliskivi, Valdur Lehtla, Harri Klemm, Jaan Rello, Andi Muskat - to the foundations of deep groove. Exactly in 1979 Tornaado hit the nerve of time and recorded six instrumentals in the crossroads of soul, funk and even reggae, all meeting in the slippery disco floor. Rediscovered from the archives of the Estonian Broadcasting Company, the tracks titled according to the sailing classes of that time were remastered for a 10-inch full of sparkling tunes by the moustached crew in overalls.

Source: Frotee.net

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27 December 2013

Alien Rain - Acid Reign (Deep Sound Channel DSC002 - 2013)

Milton Bradley, founder of the Berlin-based Do Not Resist The Beat label, has been recently concentrating on the new Alien Rain project, now reaching the fourth release.
As the name of the title suggests, it's all about acid with vintage feel while the publishing platform is rather unexpected: After being launched with dubby excursions on the tranquil side, Shipwrec offshoot Deep Sound Channel takes definitely a surprising turn when putting out Bradley's battle tracks.
"Acid Reign" consists of two rough pieces of 303 techno, the A-side's hurling reverbs staying close to 1990s monsters by Woody McBride and affiliates while serious corrosive effect dwells in the flipside's howling monotonity. Alien Rain is improving with every release.

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25 December 2013

Anom Vitruv - Untitled EP (ZCKR08 - 2013)

Bonjour miserable world, says Anom Vitruv, a Swiss artist having previously released on Tabernacle and Offseason and now paying a visit to the experimental outlet ZCKR from Bremen, Germany.
Buried beneath abstract noise and distortion, the EPs three tracks feed the bad dreams, like in the rumbling A-side where chaotic soundbites interfere with bewildered voice and the track gradually adopts a distinctive synth groove before droning away.
B1's smutty dubs and vocoded storytelling are overtaken by angst-inducing noise that leads to the concluding statement you are going to die while the B2 track opens with dark ambient and pressurized loop before encountering a high-voltage grid for a long-lasting agony. Surreal and depressing sound documentations, in line with ZCKR's basics.

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19 December 2013

DUST OFF: L.A.M. ‎– Balance Of Terror EP (Hardwax HW-004 - 1992/1996)

In 1992, the same year when Drexciya debuted with the "Deep Sea Dweller" on Shockwave, they launched another alias on Hardwax, a label from Detroit techno's rougher area set up by Robert Hood. Hardwax's sound was much harsher than of M-Plant, Hood's main platform across the years, and it's reflected in "Balance Of Terror EP" with a slant of UR's punisher mindset of that time.
L.A.M. was deciphered as Life After Mutation and the EP’s six tracks reflect the fury originating from corrupted genomes. Wiggly synths slap like barracuda tails in "Radius Of Infliction" reminding of "Aquatic Invasion" while the gloom of "Nuclear Facelift" is alleviated by the deep-sea-dwelling pads in the finale.
After the A-side’s fluorescent outerlude "Meltdown", pest control squad feels aural imbalance in quirky "Hostile Bacteria" and disaster coverage, spelled out as we are on TV, happens in "Toxic TV" with braindance meeting militant riffs. For the end with raw and angry electro-techno is served in "Death Toll“, a direct transmission from a zombie ballroom.
In 1996 Hardwax made a repress of the EP and another one was added by Clone in 2003 with the bonus track „Irradiated“. The Hardwax EP is another masterpiece by Detroit legends.

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Various - 1112013 Stopping Outwards (Stochastic Resonance SR006 - 2013)

Operating out of Rome, Stochastic Resonance issues the first vinyl after a handful of digital releases since 2011. Representing the lesser known experimental camp from Italy, the "1112013 Stopping Outwards" gets a beatless start with low-frequency resonance in Akamoi's "Little Black Box" and roaming bass and clicks in "Three Phase" by Ynaktera. After mediocre electronic lounge tracks by El Cosmonauta and Mariano the best pick starts with muezzin's remote call introducing Ghostphace aka Matteo Silvestri from Rome. In "Rome Boredom" wall of distortion collides with caustic sequences for a post-techno experience, followed by another strong contribution by Scual with cathedral spirit meeting gloomy electronics in "The Fade Of John Gray".

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18 December 2013

Abdulla Rashim - Aksum (Abdulla Rashim Records ARR006 - 2013)

Since the launch of the self-titled imprint, floor-conscious Abdulla Rashim has undergone steady artistic evolution. Firstly jumping on the droning techno bandwagon, Rashim quickly detached his sound from trendy tropes. Now the label's sixth and most fulfilled release is once again inspired by the skies above Ethiopia and the country's ancient Aksum kingdom and with a total playtime of 30 minutes it might be called Rashim's first album. In many parts it's more stripped down than previous EPs but still accentuates Rashim's fascination for repetitive tribal textures.
Introduced with speedy staccato reminding of Nico's "The Wire", the Nubian-rooted bonfire ritual begins in A2 with bursting stabs and crawling percussion while A3 is like sitting on a giant Ferris wheel gradually making faster rounds.
Black strobe is indispensable when the opener of the B-side hits, intense loop-driven cut with the best Purpose Maker elements and a suspect for floor success. After dubbed-out factory aesthetics in B2 the aurora borealis is embraced for the conclusion, last two tracks tapping into the mystery tales Northern Electronics, Rashim’s new experimental imprint. All in all, “Aksum” is the label's and artist's highlight to date.

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16 December 2013

These Hidden Hands - Remixes II (Hidden Hundred HH004 - 2013)

The remix potential of the self-titled debut album by These Hidden Hands, a project by Tommy Four Seven and a mastering engineer called Alain, has materialized in the second rework installment with three equally blistering tracks.
A survivor from techno's antique times, Uwe Schmidt aka Atom™ shows great artistic form in "When Told", recalling Schmidt's Lassigue Bendthaus years. The voice from electric cabaret keeps repeating when told while EBM drumset is paragliding to surprising ambient fadeout.
Kangding Ray elevates the cylinder pressure with "Diesel", nailing it with sinister drums and Green Velvet-like modulations. In "Isopod" Ancient Methods, the warlord of pitch-black sounds, sends out subterrestrial commandos to encounter the hazards of plague-infected areas. Easily one of the best remix EPs in 2013.

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12 December 2013

MGUN ‎– Some Tracks (Third Ear Recordings ‎3EEP-2013_10 - 2013)

It seems that artistically MGUN lodges in isolation, to be not distracted by the cookery in trendy music labs. A composer going his own way, MGUN has dropped classy releases on The Trilogy Tapes, Berceuse Heroique, Don't Be Afraid - all choice labels in 2013 - and now on Hackney-based and aptly named Third Ear Recordings.
Bluntly titled "Some Tracks" tells further tales about MGUN's talent and bass obsession. Sounding both assertive and ethereal, lights are dimmed in revolving boogie funk "Extort", introducing the rougher A-side. Serious fun goes on in "Mean While", spelled exactly like this, which would generate notifications by the neighbors due to tremors from beneath being fused with modulated alien speak. B-side opener "Fiber" is hued by lighter pads stepping over a neo-disco groove while in "Mask" signals and hi-hats are placed over a fat stomp and "Taft" goes dizzy with a psyched-out groove. An EP offering plenty of variety between techno and house.

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Fabrizio Lapiana - Antimatter 2 (Attic Music ATTIC002 - 2014)

The second part of Fabrizio Lapiana's "Antimatter" series sees the Italian drop two techno tracks, of which "Robirds" is a simple dark builder. Of different quality is "Cobots", kicking off with brassy hum and hysterically spiraling signal brought forward by bass pads when the helium-driven vessel goes airborne for a scenic view over the wastelands. The B-side sees the fellow Italian Claudio Fabrianesi to implant low frequency vibrations to "Robirds", topped with a modulating psy-trance groove and claps when silver bullets are dashing in the air.

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09 December 2013

Stave - Trust EP (Trensmat TR040 - 2013)

Mechanical witchery by Stave, a project from the mind of Chicago's Jonathan Krohn, is unleashed in the end-of-the-year release by Irish label Trensmat. "Trust EP" goes further from the label's recent jittery percussion into the realms of throbbing and harsh machine language.
Any wellness desires are trampled under the heels of iron when in the opener „Trust“ a vermicular drone is overrun by massive industrial whip, succeeded by multi-rhythmic warfare "Anon“ with eerie horns and murmuring monks. On the B-side demontage resumes with Israel Vines's fierce remix of „Tower 9“, with ghastly moans and industrial breakbeats towering over an obese kickdrum. Stumbling in traces of slag "Erox" does not quit the familiar landscape and offers a postgraduate course for the fans of Caustic Window. Of two digital bonus tracks, the annihilation scale is elevated in „Break“ with purgatory beats not far from the likes of Ancient Methods and Kareem while „Erox (Version)“ sees a cattle broker presiding over a frightened herd. Save our souls.

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04 December 2013

Farah - Metal Irene EP (Don't Be Afraid DBA014 - 2013)

Release date is in December 2013
Another outstanding EP by the UK imprint Don't Be Afraid (DBA), which has found a proper place in Juno's Top 10 of record labels. Set up and run by Semtek, DBA continues its impressive streak with "Metal Irene EP" by a new signing called Farah, artist formerly known as Darling Farah and having Kamau Baaqi written in his passport.
The five-track EP is a proof of Farah's great talent in capturing intellectual depth so often lost in today's electronic productions.
Those still under the influence of DBA's earlier twelve by MGUN, salute the arrival of another producer from Detroit, the city's timeless groove dwelling in the opener "Cloudy Apple", a track that deserves to be called techno funk.
Soft chords and sampled deep house vocals emerge in "Speak In The Spotlight" while "Humming" zooms in to micro-organisms with surface noise and light drone elements. With the appearance of  "Lockhead" electro is redefined with vibrating fibrous loop with boogie claps before dub and reverb abstractions end the story with "Pieced Apart".
In "Metal Irene EP" deep house tropes share the compartment with technoid vibes, whereas the record's main quality lies in diversity. While some producers believe that the power of a print insert and colored vinyl compensates two mediocre tracks, Farah has used the wax capacity in full, both physically and mentally.

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02 December 2013

Various - Feral Grind (Submit Recs SUBMIT002 - 2013)

Perc Trax has been an emblematic outlet of the UK techno scene, rough in its artistic approach when nourishing energy for the floor. Certainly allured by the electronic music's industrial past, label owner Ali Wells aka Perc decided to delve deeper into the hard-edged experimental techno when launched a new sub-label Submit with a symbolic collaboration between Wells and Einstürzende Neubauten earlier this year.
Submit's serious intentions are affirmed with an invasive compilation titled "Feral Grind", where a glimpse at the artist roster flushes away any fears of encountering midrange techno.
In "Electric Bathwater - Beachboyswhenyoudie" the hairdryer is exclusively used for the electric shock when the Tennessee artist Housefire merges splashing low frequencies with hardened shoegaze and choral chant. After distorted EBM-approved amok in "Braces On My Fangs" by James A. Donadio's Prostitutes, the unknown face behind Bleaching Agent strolls in scrapyard in "Yellow Corduroy Wall", void of any beat assistance. Another provocateur Pete Swanson extracts a tampered bass line in "Pleasure Averse" and applying filtered drum'n'bass in "Trogdog", Trogpite joins sorcery guided by a growling voice Alan Vega could be proud of.
When grinding rhythms and nasty kick drum hit in Profligate's "Swarm" no one is standing at the wall anymore. What might be kinky couple called Henry & Hazel Slaughter - in fact the zillionth alias of John Olson - expresses subdued rage in "Breather Fat: Take Four", followed by noisy onslaught in "Final Love (Feral Love Dub)" by Burial Hex and Mincemeat Or Tenspeed's "Drooman".
After a sudden rhythm change, "Face It Fast" by The David Russell Snake triggers body convulsions and "UX I" by Hive Mind touches the extremes of drone and bang science with a snake-charmer effect on the audience. Exclusive to the digital version, DAF bass line meets Sheffield school of electronics in "Lowest Temptation" by the Type recording artist Indignant Senility.
"Feral Grind" is a spectacular night out with distorted and crunched soundbites, from the artists hailing mostly from the (smalltown) America and confirms that Perc's new sublabel has taken a very welcome direction.

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