REVIEW: Black Merlin – Proto World EP (Berceuse Heroique BH036 – 2017)

In its beginnings, Berceuse Heroique (BH) looked like an adolescent rebel aimed at shocking everyone around. In addition to sowing disorder with harsh, nonconformist sounds the London label was notorious for provocative visuals that went beyond any taste. Still it feels quite the same when – after a break since Marco Bernardi’s hypnotic “The Dancing Clowns” – I’ve added two new BH releases to my collection. The sleeve art of Black Merlin’s “Proto World” – a long EP with over 25 minutes of playtime – sets the tone for the opening title track, which is ghastly enough to imagine a […]

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Metroplex triplets in 2016: Terrence Dixon, Arnold Steiner, Kimyon

              With three much-awaited Model 500 reissues, Metroplex’s year 2016 would not have been wasted anyway, but the futurist label from Detroit decided to live not only in the past and has expanded the catalogue by three new releases. Beside of Utensil, Metroplex was the place where Terrence Dixon cut his teeth in the nineties, using solely the Population One moniker for his rare appearances on the label. The tradition is kept on in the EP “Detroit City At Night” where the main award goes to the title track at B2 for its action-packed, after-dark snapshot with […]

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REVIEW: Ioannis Savvaidis – NSA Trusted Networks (Lower Parts LP12 – 2016)

Lower Parts takes a break from the usual repertoire of drum-heavy acidic cuts and changes the mood to sparkling ambient with “NSA Trusted Networks”, the debut from the Greek producer Ioannis Savvaidis. Coming in an edition of 250 copies with A3 poster and download code, Savvaidis’s EP is an admiration of classic synth compositions from the seventies, his tunes carrying the spirit of Jean-Michel Jarre and Vangelis. From recent times, parallels can be drawn with synth explorations by Freak Electrique or especially Ricardo Donoso, which means that anybody who is missing tunes of the late Digitalis Recordings should find a little comfort […]

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REVIEW: Various – & om det här är slutet är det vårt sista (offworldcolonies ltd. owcltd004 – 2016)

After Cloistral’s “Նվիրվածություն” mind-absorbing ambient deepness recorded in Armenia, another impressive release has landed on the Swedish outlet offworldcolonies ltd. with the title that translates like ‘if this is the end, it’s our last one’. The label’s fifth release comes from various artists, in a criminally limited run of ten cassettes that sold out quickly on Bandcamp but the digital version allows listening pleasure to those who missed out on the physical product. Label founder offworldcolonies delivers a knockout beginning with “Megalit . : / 0501”, heavy-hitting bestial drilling of 10 minutes in the crossroads of techno and power electronics – surely […]

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REVIEW: Morphology – Frozen State EP (Vortex Traks VTX 004 – 2016)

With “Frozen State EP”, Morphology has saved the best for last in 2016. After appearing on recent Vortex Traks mini compilation, the duo’s first solo effort on the label affirms that Michael Diekmann and Matti Turunen still have plenty of gas left in tank at the end of the year that has brought to us their brilliant tunes for Central Processing Unit, Abstract Forms and other outlets. In the new four-tracker, Morphology is soundtracking the struggle in sub-zero temperatures with crisp, mechanical electro that is soaked with acid bits of varied intensity. Straight from the opener “Frozen State” caustic dust is sprayed […]

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REVIEW: Reade Truth – A Bump Of House (Path Records Path-009 – 2016)

Reade Truth is an offspring of Big Apple’s legendary Sonic Groove and a true American techno hero. Maybe not as lauded as NYC fellows Adam X or Frankie Bones, the producer with civil name Reade White has been equally keen in spreading the message of electronic music since the beginning from the nineties. Given his experience Truth can be called ‘a veteran’ – a notion that would rather recognise efforts in the past than today. But with “A Bump Of House” on his own Path Records, Truth has completed a secret weapon for 2016 that serves both the techno and house factions. […]

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REVIEW: Jack Murphy – Knowing Something 1 (KS 1 – 2016)

After only three solo EPs – on Frozen Border sublabel Reference and Don’t Be Afraid’s Special Editions series – San Francisco resident Jack Murphy has decided to become a music publisher and launches his own Knowing Something imprint with a self-titled EP. The label debut can be only conditionally called techno because Murphy’s less-is-more approach aims at gentle, transparent sounds and if we were in mid-2000s, he could act as a saviour in the otherwise challenging post-minimal phase. The A-side opener “Haze” excels in mildness from percussion to textures of aquatic kind, in an exhibit of crisp, snappy minimalism. With delicate pads […]

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DUST OFF: VCF – Neon EP (Magnetic North magnet 005 – 1993)

Since early nineties, Russ Gabriel has been a driving force of the UK techno scene. He’s mostly known as the founder of Ferox Records, a label that is still around after more than two decades and just released Cottam’s new EP. Latest addition to Gabriel’s own immense catalogue was a recent split twelve with Steevio and it’s even difficult to count all his works under various guises. While Ferox mostly represented intelligent and in good sense funky techno, Gabriel’s own tracks spanned to harsher sounds too. A good example is “Neon EP” from 1993 under the VCF moniker on Dave Clarke’s Magnetic North, a label that has […]

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REVIEW: Komarken Electronics – Expanded Consciousness (Brokntoys BT 15 – 2016)

Brokntoys is not taking any breathers: after recent twelves by IPTWDIP and London Modular Alliance, the UK label resumes the stream of splendid electro releases with “Expanded Consciousness” by the Swedish act Komarken Electronics. Along with an album on Stilleben, an EP on Solar One Music and appearances on various other labels, Komarken Electronics has a number of self-released tunes under his belt but still the artist from the Swedish small town Kungälv could be considered as rather unknown in the electro world. However, writing tracks since 2006 means a remarkable experience that is reflected in the new twelve. Gentle pads are flickering in the […]

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REVIEW: Eomac – Bedouin Trax (Bedouin Records BDNX 001 – 2016)

Ethnic music has served as a source of inspiration for many artists and when speaking about Arabic flavour in electronica, the most merited producer might have been late Bryn Jones aka Muslimgauze. Radical both in his pro-Arabic views and sound writing, Jones contributed to the evolution of a particular subgenre without targeting too clearly the dance nation. Merging Oriental influences with synthetic beats is not a formula of success itself, because it requires creativeness and insight that is now available from Ian McDonnell aka Eomac, also known as one half of the Irish duo Lakker. The author of several notable tracks in recent years (my favourite is a remix […]

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