Speedy J / Monoloc – Armstrong / Pumpkin (CLR 031) – 8 and 3/10

Chris Liebing’s label has arrived to the 31st release but this is the very first in my collection. B-side is clearly the downside of this 10-inch: Monoloc serves us a “Pumpkin” that does not taste at all. It’s a common-sounding and dull techno track that’s going nowhere, despite of having a certain portion of metallic funk in it. On the flip, the upside that delivers naked and purist techno by grandmaster Speedy J himself. “Armstrong” is a menacing and deep track with fat basses pumping with confidence. Clearly an achiever, like Neil, the first-man-on-the moon, or Lance, the-man-living-in-the-saddle- whichever Armstrong […]

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Nuel – Untitled (Aquaplano ltd 01) – 7/10

Five untitled tracks on a limited and stickered white-label release. A1 is an animal with teeth of steel: hammering minimal loops remind of earlier Sähkö and Sleeparchive and sweeping acid lines fly all over the place. It’s a hypnotic and massive start but the rest of the EP is easier to digest. Ambient enters the game on A2 where beatless and calm sound textures prevail and I can imagine seagulls nosediving at a secluded beach.Alarmingly, B1 kicks off as another irrelevant minimal house track, with occasional noises and clicks, but then darker bass appears to improve the situation. B2 gives […]

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Harmonious Thelonious – On Stages EP (Diskant 02) – 8/10

You will be well boiled and cooked when listening to that. A cannibal feast is introduced with “Angewandte Muziek” where dry and fierce percussion accompany the track. Crowd shouts and synth drum wildfires leave no doubt that you have been stranded on a remote island somewhere in the Southern hemisphere. Planet of Drums and Raoul K would send greetings. “On Stages” is based on a spiralling bassline and jack elements. With shouts and whistles it creates an impression of live performace – that explains the title as well. On the flip, “Makeshift” runs on a wooden xylophone groove and softer […]

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DUST OFF: The Possessed – Black Blood (PCP 009 – 1992)

Skulls at large again. Planet Core Productions’ (PCP) hardcore machinery plays with breakbeats but manages to create even darker and gloomier atmosphere than in their usual kickdrum-infected rave monsters. The tracks do not suffer under self-imposed speed limit and relative slowness makes them even harder.“Black Blood” is massive: starts with obscure rubbing sequence, followed by fierce breakbeats, symphonic strings and evil voice samples. “Manipulator” quotes a horror movie dubbed in German and then the mass of breakbeats and hoover sounds makes it another intensive trip. On the flip “The Lord Is My Avenger” begins like a meeting of Middle Eastern […]

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Kasper Bjørke – Standing On Top Of Utopia (HFN Music 04 LP) – 6/10

A good present for a young-at-heart lady celebrating her 52nd birthday. She definitely remembers the disco days and is fond of pop music. Well, Scandinavians have done a cute record full of disco hooks, guitar riffs and honey-like vocals. I have to admit my doubts before the purchase as it sounded “too pop”, and really, the opener “Young Again” would fit well to afternoon radio shows from Dublin to Minsk, as does “Alcatraz”. The next, “Dasko Vanitas”, is different: an instrumental piece that lets disco balls shine and pours in some hefty bass, on the backdrop of well-measured beats. “Animals” […]

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Roland Sebastian Faber – Gropiusstadt EP (Aube 009) – 6/10

Every German, or more exactly Swabian, dreams of building a house. Or they did, if we consider that nowadays about a half of the population prefers to live in a rented space. Like in the Gropiusstadt region in Berlin where the apartment houses are reaching to the sky like huge walls of concrete. Herr Faber has engineered another synth record with German precision. Unfortunately A-side’s “Löffelkinder” is a lifeless disco-esque composition, where soprano ‘uh-ah’s mix the sound picture a bit. On the flip the title track “Gropiusstadt” lets the synth sing in a merry way heralding the dawn of a […]

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Markus & Kristian / Town Of Tomorrow – Hän Malli On / LXIX (Huge Bass 002) – 10/10

A-side of this 2002 release can’t go wrong: the world famous “The Model” by Kraftwerk, like played by the group itself, and sung in Finnish. Some may say it’s blasphemy but here we have a strange-sounding but high-profile meeting of the electronic music greats and Finnish school of electro. The lyrics are funny and singing of Markus and Kristian may require some improvement – but I like it. On the flip a funky and rough electro song praising a number that signifies sexual position. We see also former Formula One champion on the label but I doubt he has any […]

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Tony Rohr + Dietrich Schoenemann – Stovepipe EP (Nachtstrom Schallplatten 017) – 8/10

A drop-dead serious session by Rohr and Schoenemann, and by their remixing friends. It’s music of November, sounding like the moments when you have stayed inside and hear whirlwind trying to unroof your den. And the weather forecast tells it will not be any better.The original is a creeping and slowly pulsating wall of sound that is built around one central sequence. Metalogic’s dark and trippy remix reminds in some parts of “Times Fade” by Phuture The Next Generation. On the B1 a remix by Alland Byallo who raises the tempo in a version with unoriginal dub techno sounds that […]

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DMX Krew – The March To The Stars (Strange Life 038) – 7/10

Ed DMX rocked the Tallinn Art Academy in May 2002 with a blazing live set, along with Cylob who among other tracks manipulated the masses with his techno-electro version of “What Shall We Do With A Drunken Sailor?” Now on Legowelt’s Strange Life label DMX Krew gives daylight to a new Cd-R that is more wave and pop than electro. Certainly he had piled up a lot of analog equipment for this one. First tunes are happy cartoon music with disco and funk influences, not too challenging. “Lip Chime” and “Tension” are more abstract and slower letting out some NASA […]

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Robert Hood – Alpha / Omega (End Times) (M-Plant M.PM6) – 7/10

Good to have here somebody from the 313 area again. Hood made the comeback of the year in 2009 and is still busy, preparing a new album and current 12-inch gives a preview of what is coming. “Alpha” is a functional techno track but too common-sounding and too long. I would not give more than 5 points of 10.But “Omega” is a killer. Starts with a metallic sequence and then charging drums take the control. It’s a massive monster reminding of classic Detroit and Berlin releases and sucks you in like a vortex. Impressive and makes to wait for his […]

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