21 February 2014

Mario Moretti - Spaziotempo (Bordello A Parigi BAP015 - 2014)

With its cheerful simplicity italo could be easily classified as odd phenomenon of the dance music history, expected to resurface only at dance parties for the middle-aged. But italo's appeal hasn't really been ever lost and the genre keeps coming back with new productions in 2014 too. A recent example is Mario Moretti's "Spaziotempo" EP, a teaser for the upcoming album by Lithuanian producer Andrius Kurkinas, released on Dutch imprint Bordello A Parigi.
Clad in a picture sleeve appealing both to car-crazy fathers and their sons, the EP's title track is an euphoric number with catchy rhythm and flying synth riffs, followed by Frank Underwear's "Drama Dub" version. First tones of "Multiverse" remind of end-80s euro house before arpeggios and sweet strains take the control, followed by "Rush", which skillfully negotiates curves encouraged by blurred female sample.
Utterly energizing and melodic, "Spaziotempo" is looking at the bright side of the life. Notwithstanding the fact that real-life Mario Moretti, a former terrorist and kidnapper, belonged to Italian Red Brigades.

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19 February 2014

Max_M / Fabrizio Lapiana - 1001 (M_Rec Ltd M_RECLTD1001 - 2014)

Flying high with Max_M and Fabrizio Lapiana, two Italian producers who know their trade. Split release "1001" features two straight techno tracks with atmospheric notes and it kicks off a new series of black label 10-inches, triggered by inherently political nature of techno as M_Rec Ltd's boss Max_M puts it. Whatever it means, "1001" is essentially a reflection of M_Rec sound, in this particular case well usable in the floor around the dawn time.

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14 February 2014

Various ‎– Paris / Berlin: 20 Years Of Underground Techno (Fondation Sonore 03 - 2014)

Release date is in June 2014
"Paris / Berlin" descends to places where the strobe lumens are in stark contrast to surrounding darkness. This is techno underground, researched and explained in recent one-hour documentary "Paris / Berlin" by Amélie Ravalec, a French film maker and scene activist. She runs with Gregorio Sicurezza the label Fondation Sonore, a preservation society of harder sounds, launched with thundering split EP by Kareem and Ancient Methods.
The beats of "Paris / Berlin" are now brought out as gatefold double LP. As the soundtrack of a retrospective film, the compilation features mostly previously released tracks from 1999 to 2012. However it's a telling snapshot of industrial techno's past and present, starting with nocturnal jab by Ancient Methods ("Fourth Method") while Regis goes by Downwards manual in "Baptism", a monotone banger with panicking vocal loop.
Rodz-Konez frontman Makaton drops bombastic rave villain "Coup De Grace" from a 2007 EP while Latvian artist Oyaarss fuses hardened electronica, brutal kicks and lyrically whispering elves in "Smaida Greizi Nākamība" ("Future Smile Soon"), the title track from the 2012 album on Ad Noiseam.
"Unknown" by DnA, a project of Ravalec and Dax J, is exclusive to this compilation and taps to the overall gloomy atmosphere. Adam X's EBM-inspired "Robot Rebellion in 2071" reflects the industrial past of the New York native and current Berlin resident. The hardest part arrives with the Swedes Archae & Grovskopa who demolish it like true disciples of PCP's special squad with thundering "Surface Tension". The final scalp is taken by Kareem, recalling the heyday of Zhark Recordings with militantly throbbing "Black September".
The compilation's BPM rates are mostly well above 130, partly hitting the realms of vintage hardcore slammers while keeping the groove for floor functionality.

Vinyl direct order
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13 February 2014

Ducerey Ada Nexino - Cycles, Children & Islands EP (GENESA004V - 2014)

Believe it or not, this is Yuji Kondo's first solo vinyl, released under the Ducerey Ada Nexino moniker on Scalameriya's Serbian imprint Genesa. Three of Japanese producer's tracks run on familiar shredded rhythms and spitfire stabs, topped with splintered vocal loops. The best pick is "Mouth Of Which" [witch?], stepping on grainy surface and assisted by secretive female reciting.
While Kondo deviates from techno's 4/4 fixation, Scalameriya's fiery remix of "Mouth Of Which" moves closer to linear DJ tools. Digital-only "Moon Phase Letterpress" is a crackling ambient drone, a compulsory part of many techno releases.
The new EP has much in common with Kondo's reworks of DJ Skirt and Sawf and recent own tracks on Inner Surface or Par Wax. "Cycles, Children & Islands EP" is pressed in grey and black marbled vinyl with the artwork by Russian photo artist Nadja Sveir.

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10 February 2014

ACID HALL OF FAME: Interview with Mike Henk / Pulsar Recordings (Frontpage July 1994)

Photo: Frontpage (July 1994)
It was like a flash in the night: The existence of Pulsar Recordings spanned over two years only, 1994 and 1995, but with eight releases the label's endeavors strongly influenced the Midwest acid scene in the mid-1990s. The man behind Pulsar, Mike Henk aka Mike E. Clark, came from Detroit, the city dominating the techno movement back then.
Instead on courting local or Midwest labels, those of Freddie Fresh or Woody McBride, Henk set up his own little shop to spread hazardous acid bacteria and Henk's rough cuts quickly hit the nerve of the underground. However he made one guest appearance on Fresh's Analog Records, with "Connect" for "Midwest Acid Harvest" compilation.

In 1994 Riley Reinhold aka Triple R from the German techno mag Frontpage interviewed Mike Henk about the label and his works. Here is a translation.

Mike Henk - the man from the mountains

We have not been used to such craziness from a Detroit label. From a place usually standing for roots and integrity, comes like from nowhere a new label praising acid. As fresh as on the day it was born, the 303 is thrown in like a concrete mixer to produce psychedelic cubes for our brain. Triple R spoke with Mike Henk, the owner of Pulsar Recordings.

FP: When did you start making music?
MH: I got my first piano when I was 12. I have experimented a lot with the music but in serious manner I have dealt with it for three years only.
FP: What did you inspire you to write first tracks?
MH: A bass drum
FP: What type of music did you listen in the past?
MH: 60s motown, R&B, rock, 70s disco, 80s new wave, punk, etc. Almost everything.
FP: Where do you live?
MH: I live in Royal Oak, Michigan, USA, two miles north from Detroit. The records are mastered at National Sound [Corporation] (Detroit) and pressed in Nashville, Tennessee, USA.
FP: Your 303 tracks are very untypical in American circumstances. Many US labels have abandoned offensive 303 sound. Why do keep this style?
MH: I'm addicted to 303 and it makes me horny.
FP: Your cuts remind slightly of D.jungle Fever records from Germany. The 303 is programmed as madly and it's the central element of the tracks.
MH: I don't know D.jungle in person but whenever I see their record I will buy it. But for some reason these are hard to get.
FP: Are you in contact with other labels from Detroit?
MH: No, not in the moment.
FP: Do you have a concept for your label?
MH: To break even.
FP: Is there a competition between the labels?
MH: No, only a difference in attitude.
FP: Have you previously released anything on other labels?
MH: Yes, but I don't want to speak about that. I make all tracks myself and maybe in the future I will release something on other labels too.
FP: Do you DJ?
MH: Not yet but I would love to.
FP: Who is the one you would like to produce together?
MH: With Freddie Fresh and Laura Grabb.
FP: Your second release is definitely harder than the first one. Does it indicate a direction and how will be the next release?
MH: No, not necessarily. The next EP has four untitled cuts and will sound somewhat harder. The release date is 28 June 1994.
FP: Because there are only editions of 500 and you hardly earn anything with that, do you have another job?
MH: I work in a recording studio in Detroit. At home I work under the name Mike E. Clark as mixer and producer for hip hop and rap groups.

Mike Henk Top 10 / July 1994
1) Walker - Schrei nach Liebe (Force Inc.)
2) Walker - Jungle Fever 7" B-side (DJ.ungle Fever)
3) Spencer Kincy - At Play (Cajual)
4) Love Inc. - Look Of Love (Force Inc.)
5) Patrick Sjeren - Acid Indiction Vol 1 (Pig Fuck)
6) Freddie Fresh - Analogical Mind (Dj.ungle Fever)
7) DJ ESP - Bad Acid (Drop Bass Network)
8) Alkahest - Universal Constant (Post Contemporary)
9) Basic Channel 006
10) Mike Henk - Dox 003 (Pulsar Recordings)

Top 10 All Time
1) Mike Dred - Kosmik Kommando (Rephlex)
2) Mescalinum United - We Have Arrived (Industrial Strength)
3) Ritch Lee - Rock So Hard (white)
4) Jeff Mills - Step To Enchantment (Axis)
5) DBX - Electric Shock (Accelerate)
6) Jeff Mills - Berlin (Wild Pitch Mix) (Pow Wow)
7) Telepathic - PSI 004 (Telepathic)
8) Cybersonik - Technarchy (Plus 8)
9) Moby - Go (Instinct)
10) Moby - Help Me To Believe (Instinct)

05 February 2014

Asolaar - Obliterate LP (Metaphysik MP101 - 2013)

Asolaar dwells in the electronic music's gloomiest corners and "Obliterate" sounds like terminal illness. Starting with corrupted hum, "Anxiety Disintegrated" impairs the orientation in time and space when scourged by aggressive pulses, followed by outlandish murmurs in "Piloto Muerto_a". Anarchist noise continues in "Piedra de Renos" and "Telsen" while the title track's groaning souls from the underworld are crushed by distortion and mean bass, reminding of Pan Sonic's hydraulics. Noise and doom grade remains high in the last tracks "La Gloria de Tlitlizen" and "Piloto Muerto_b".
Behind Asolaar is Darío Pinto from Argentina, his musical roots in the 1990s industrial metal groups Prozac and Audio Das Poly. "Obliterate" is not an occasional piece because Asolaar has run for several years Argentinian netlabel Sincro, which has been a publishing platform for a number of his digital EPs. His seven tracks of paralyzing drone terror are out on the German label Metaphysik as an edition of 300 copies either in white or in grey jacket.

Buy from Metaphysik: vinyl / digital
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04 February 2014

NX1 / Adriana Lopez - Grey Report 03 (Grey Report GR03 - 2014)

Instead of pretentious statements about delivering mysterious and timeless techno, NX1 and Adriana Lopez just give simple instructions: Move your a**. The label of the Colombian-born Barcelona resident Adriana Lopez reports for the third time, presenting a split release by Lopez herself and Samot & Surit aka NX1 from Barcelona.
In "GR1" the Spanish act gives a harder twist to the Basic Channel legacy with billowing synth patterns and "GR2" edges closer to mean techno textures. On the B-side the floor is taken over by Lopez's "A Secret Behaviour", running on a stringent and fat synth loop and passing the baton to another rough workout "Indicie". Proper tools for crowd control and a life-enhancing experience on the Grey Report label.

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03 February 2014

Blacknecks 004 (Blacknecks BLKN004 - 2014)

Harbingered by jolly good "Theme From Blacknecks" and "Fash" in the previous editions, the spirit of 1980s Italian club titans is even more present in highly energized bomb "All To The Cosmos, Let's Go!", the opener of the fourth Blacknecks installment. The track is an amalgamation of bold disco riffs and solid kick drum for an eloquent italo techno belter. Not sounding cheesy, the Blacknecks challenge Alden Tyrell to a friendly fixture and awake bittersweet memories of the ZYX generation.
On the flip "Hot Legs" step on the techno floor with stomping bass and a pinch of hi-tech funk. For the end a proper lunch, including peculiar British concoction called suet pudding, provides enough calories to speak out the title like "A Wandering Sense Of Disillusionment Eats The Soul Within This Decomposing Establishment Of Pain And Suffering (Bollocks To The Custard, Where's The Suet Pudding Edit)", the track itself sounding like an elongated electro rock intro.

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