Ten Harthouse tracks: Many faces of a ground-breaking label

Revivals are happening all the time and it’s difficult to say when one ends and another begins. However in 2017, there are some signs of trance factor making a return to the floor. Thus it’s time to recall the glory days of Harthouse, a Frankfurt label founded in 1992 by Heinz Roth, Sven Väth and Matthias Hoffmann, that essentially shaped ‘hard trance’ movement but explored other directions too. It’s difficult to remain limited to only ten tracks because in addition to the artists mentioned below, Metal Masters, Resistance D, Braincell, Jiri Ceiver and others had their highlights too. Today a […]

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NEW ELECTRO: Nachtzug, Obergman, Sync 24/Privacy/DeFeKT

  Nachtzug – Unspoken (Vortex Traks VTX 005 – 2017) Nachtzug’s five interpretations on the theme “Unspoken” are in line with the blueprint sound of Vortex Traks, when the German duo offers lulling midsummer electro with melodic pads and smooth synth sequences. “Unspoken 3” sounds so eighties, inviting to a sunset drink on Jan Hammer’s porch. Worth a mention is Nachtzug’s not as tranquil solo debut “XP Lore” on Possblthings, a label from Leipzig which is affliated with the recordshop of the same name. My favourites are acidic crawler “Transmit” and dub induced “Artificial Flavor”. Points: 7 of 10 Obergman – Quantum Eraser (Brokntoys BT08 […]

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REVIEW: Various – Unruhe (Enfant Terrible ET048/Gooiland 27 – 2017)

Enfant Terrible offshoot Gooiland Elektro comes with sweeping cuts between distorted techno and acid, from four artists who like it raw. Out since April this year, “Unruhe” is a loud compilation that begins with “Endzone” from Zarkoff, a Croatian artist whose machine escapades are reaching Ekman’s levels. Thereafter Roberto Auser, mostly known as retro italo artist, drops piercing stomper “Acidmother”. Justyna Banaszczyk aka FOQL from Poland is a new name to me but her crunchy “Certainly Not” is a robust experience with repetitive female samples. The best comes for the last: Jacob Slofstra aka The Untitled “Sleep Paralysis” hits with […]

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REVIEW: Conan O’ Donnell – Underground Psychosis (xerophkz XPKZ003 – 2017)

Detroit and Dublin – so far from each other and so close in the mind of Conan O’Donnell. Running his own label and alias xerophkz since 2015, the Irishman seems to belong mentally to the nineties of Motor City with raw techno productions he presents in the new EP “Underground Psychosis”. His robust tracks remind of early output from the Underground Resistance camp and are giving thrills to anyone who is missing new “Punisher”-type tracks from Detroit, so rare in recent years. The spoken word in beatless “Intro” delivers an ode to music’s vital role, affirmed by the following buzzing […]

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NEW INDUSTRIAL TECHNO: Ancient Methods, Headless Horseman, Rory St John

Ancient Methods ‎– The Asking Breath Comes To Each (Candela Rising CAN008 – 2017) (Guest) vocals in a sampled form are not so uncommon in Ancient Methods releases, if to recall tracks under the Room 506 moniker and for Metaphysik. In the debut for Candela Rising, four acts are contributing to the industrial beats with human voice, beginning with the shouting fairy Zohra Atash from Azar Swan in “Swallow Screw” and raspy intervention by Huren in “The Standards Will Come And Go”. After A-side’s straight industrial takeoff with dark wave elements, the other side adds some dreamy notes in “It […]

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REVIEW: Morah – #006 (Vanila VNL 006 – 2017)

The sixth release on Greek label Vanila offers a hefty dose of wild rituals from Morah’s distorted mind. With sluggish but hammering percussion, Greek madman delivers a rhythmic noise masterclass with plenty of obscured vocal samples. Unless you are in favour of ultra-slow versions, the vinyl has to be played at 45 RPM and even then it tends to insist a higher pitch. The tempo is actually a secondary issue because of vast amount of roughness found in the record. The A-side’s “Arpyies” is about savage, chugging rhythm and abnormal moaning from the mouth of creatures on GMO diet and […]

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REVIEW: Saint Abdullah – The Sounds Of Evil Volume 1 (Boomarm Nation / 7″ BOOMARM14 – 2017)

Saint Abdullah, a project by two US-Iranian brothers, was introduced to the world with the track “Mossadegh’s Revenge For 52” on Boomarm Nation’s spectacular “Family Album 2017”, a digital compilation from the experimental side of dub and world music. Prior to that, the duo had promised intense cross-cultural experience with some Soundcloud uploads and now Mohammad and Mehdi have completed their first album in digital and cassette format, accompanied by a seven-inch vinyl sampler on Boomarm, a label from Portland, Oregon. History and religion are important sources of inspiration for Saint Abdullah who are based in Brooklyn and Tehran, and if […]

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NEW VINYL: DJ T-1000, Inga Mauer, Silicon

DJ T-1000 – The Polymath EP (Third Ear – 2017) A strong reminder from Alan Oldham that he is not only an illustrator much in demand for sleeve designs, but a techno producer of experience. Already in the nineties, his Generator Records stood for Detroit’s rougher sound, with an impressive roster. Oldham has relaunched the DJ T-1000 alias with “The Polymath EP”, offering on the A-side no-nonsense classic techno. With thematic voice samples, the track “Liquid Metal” could be DJ T-1000’s anthem of the decade and especially the exclamation ‘I’m back’ in “Shapeshifters” may tell a bit about the future intentions. The B-side’s “Air Berlin” […]

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REVIEW: DJ SCSI – Tech 4 Life – Face Da Nation (Hard Beach Entertainment HBE005 – 2017)

Another gem has landed on Hard Beach Entertainment, with the label’s second EP from DJ SCSI who is making a leap from relative anonymity to deep appreciation in electro community. Initially regarded as ‘new’ artist, DJ SCSI actually debuted in 1997 for the Detroit label D-Bass but thereafter the alias holder Gari Romalis virtually remained silent – up to the beginning of this decade when he returned with a number of techno and house EPs, as I just found out. “Tech 4 Life – Face Da Nation” is a perfect showcase of Romalis’ talent and opens with “Communication”, a ‘+6%’ […]

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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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