Mike Parker – Aquaplano Ltd 02

Rating: 6/10 After a number of tense and slinky releases on own label Geophone, Parker moves on to Europe and continues his series of echo-filled compositions, now on Italian label Aquaplano. In January he did another EP, on German Prologue Music, including a Donato Dozzy remix.From this EP I would pick one track, “Arena”, that is a thrillingly hollow and brain-eating exercise lying close to Sähkö’s and Plastikman’s minimal monsters. Beatless and menacing cut touches with metallic tentacles and scrapes the skin.In “Acromion” pumping bass and drilling loops are all over the place but it lacks mystic power of the […]

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Various – Groove Magazine Sampler (Groove 128 CD 37)

Rating: 6/10 No doubt the artwork is a failure. Don’t think the robust a** on the sleeve belongs to the mag’s cover boy Nicolas Jaar who in the song “Keep Me There” hums along on electronics. One track is not enough to assess if it’s a ingenious work or not. Also in melancholic mood is Rajko Müller AKA Isolée (“Palermo Triste”) and Caribou‘s electronic pop song, remixed by DJ Koze, is neat but very unsurprising.The first three signify a lethargic start, but Agoria puts the things rolling with synthy “Panta Rei”, which still lies light years behind Unit Moebius’ classic […]

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DUST OFF: Future Sound Of London – Kiss FM, London, 1992

A history lesson: Many thanks to Rico Passerini from Berlin for sharing a Future Sound of London show on Kiss FM, during Christmas 1992. A parade of breakbeats and analog sounds for your pleasure, starting with euro techno dinosaurs like Ramirez and Datura and going to deeper electronica. At 28 minutes Moody Boys come with a mix of ragga-infected acid house and at 43 min Rotterdam Termination Source’s love-or-hate-it track “Poing!” brings up memories of raving 1992. At 54 min The Holy Ghost Inc, later Tresor recording artist, offers raw and ugly techno. Plus FSOL’s own sounds, many familiar samples, […]

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Function – Variance 1-3 (Sandwell District 13B)

Rating: 7/10 Hard to believe but this is my first Function release, although the guy has been around for more than a decade and recently moved to the spotlight with Sandwell District. Here is David Sumner’s solo effort on a techno label that shows the direction at the moment.Maybe the expectations were too high but I had to be patient to get to the essence of this record. The first two tracks are searching for techno’s ornamental angle. After a minimalistic and flimsy composition for the start, the following “Variance 2” is a rather dubby affair and does not stand […]

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DUST OFF: The Young Gods – The Young Gods (INTOX 011 CD)

Finally in 1987, I discovered that Mireille Mathieu, the lady with famous pot haircut, and Joe Dassin were not the only artists singing in French. And it was a rude awakening when The Young Gods hit the stage with immense charisma of the singer Franz Treichler, assisted by Frank Bagnoud on drums and Cesare Pizzi on sampler. They were not even French but Swiss and that in a proper way, representing country’s three main nationalities. They have been electronic punks of the rock scene with music that is difficult to place on the dancefloor. In fact it was “Did You […]

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Sandwell District – Feed Forward Test Session (SDLPLIVE1) – 9/10

October 2010: Graz and Berlin were the locations for Sandwell District’s (SD) test sessions. For the enjoyment of techno fans, for the days when Santa Claus was visiting, part of the action was made available with this release. And not only this: A single by Function and a full album by SD rounded up the end-of-the-year efforts of the Sandwell District label.It’s a solid techno record. Already first beats of the Berlin-side tell that the guys know the trade. A bold charge with thriving drum patterns that come with slight hiss and are later complemented by atmospheric layers and echoing […]

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DUST OFF: Plastic Noise Experience – Neural Transmission (Van Richter 1006 – 1995)

Unterschätzen Sie nicht die Macht*. Teutonic onslaught on American soil was the result when Californian label Van Richter hosted a release by Plastic Noise Experience (PNE), at that time a two-man project of S.M. Kalwa and Claus Kruse. “Neural Transmission” moves between industrial and EBM, and is a compilation based on PNE’s  three releases from the first half of the 1990’s. For the start a worldwide hit, rougher cover of Bronski Beat’s “Smalltown Boy”, but the rest is written by the band itself. “Serious Times” is an industrial song with smoother synths and lyrics but for the rest you get […]

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Vindicatrix – Hume / Unborn Vectors (Mordant Music 045) – 10/10

You can’t expect something ordinary from Mordant Music. “Hume” walks on the borderline of real and imaginary world, presenting first a theatrical performance by an uncredited and dramatic vocalist (Vindicatrix?) who is doing it in Fritz Ostermayer style. Electro-acoustic composition and sleepy bass serve as backdrop. This is for the first half of the A-side. Without interruption we move on to technoid part that is welcomed by cheering crowd and thereafter mixed with some drops of acid, to make your feet move.“Unborn Vectors” is another vocal performance, assisted by orchestral arrangements, various bass facets and percussion elements. At mid-track it […]

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EDASI – White Tie Black Noise (Trash Can Dance TCD052011) – 7/10

Gloomy twins have arrived. Two CDRs, as separate releases, full of noise and experimental sounds by EDASI. But the twins are not identical. While “Night At The Museum” could be effectively used in interrogations to make people confess anything to anyone, the other one can be used for other purposes. If to leave noise aside, the other CDR “White Tie Black Noise” offers several good finds. My favourite is “Die Lügenrächer” that features small ugly creatures that have dragged along own vocoder from a distant planet, to ride through nine and half minutes on subtle percussion and licking drone, occasionally […]

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DUST OFF: Heath Brunner – Untitled (V-MAX V-992 – 1995)

In the mid-nineties, Detroit labels had own very distinctive sounds ranging from Pulsar’s rabid 303 riffs to tight Millsian loops and UR’s futurist funk. It means that Lansing, Michigan, where V-Max Records was founded, had to choose an alternative path that meant faster and more experimental techno tracks and some electro. After first listening V-Max tracks seemed even too harsh and twisted, it took some time to get used to the sound. This EP is done by the label founder Heath Brunner aka Silicon, whose catalog includes releases on KMS, NSC and later on Clone-associated labels. It’s a techno record […]

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