Church Boy Lou – Weep (Dirt Tech Reck DTR06 – 2015)

As a designer and photographer, Robert O’Bryant aka Waajeed was affiliated with Detroit’s hip hop group Slum Village and then gradually became a producer himself. Waajeed’s first own label was The Bling 47 Group, followed by the launch of Dirt Tech Reck (initially Records) in 2013. Closely connected to the Detroit techno headquarters Submerge, the DTR imprint can look back to a number of releases between street credible beats and soulful house, to present now “Weep” by Church Boy Lou. Waajeed’s new alias seems like an invitation to Sunday morning mess in the neighbourhood. The spiritual opener “Show Me” is […]

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Jack Murphy – Points Zero (Don’t Be Afraid SPE005 – 2014)

It is a peculiar relationship I have to some labels and artists, Don’t Be Afraid being one of them. Enjoying most of their releases, I am not too concerned when missing out some of the output. What prevails is a feel of safety, the knowledge they are around and accessible when I need good music. Luckily, I did not give a miss to Don’t Be Afraid’s newest four-tracker titled “Points Zero”. It comes from Jack Murphy, a San Francisco based artist who had previously released two EPs on Frozen Border sub-label Reference. His Digital Tsunami mix already indicated a good […]

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Timeline – The Conscious Dream EP (Underground Resistance ‎UR-087 – 2014)

Not as numerous as Underground Resistance’s super group Galaxy 2 Galaxy, Timeline follows the concept of the UR the Band. A project conceived and run by Mike Banks, and uniting artists like keyboardist Jon Dixon, sax player DeSean Jones and producer/DJ Mark Flash, Timeline is a travelling live collective standing for Detroit’s spiritual side. Whereas the perspective arising from house and jazz is not new for the headquarters of techno, when thinking of early UR productions or labels like Happy Records. As expected, “The Conscious Dream EP” reveals the smoother side of UR’s storm bringers, true to the proclamation this is not techno, this is high-tech jazz. The […]

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Orlando Voorn – Black Diamond (Outelectronic Recordings OUTA 002 – 2014)

Orlando Voorn has been credited for being the first Dutch producer creating the link between techno communities in Detroit and Amsterdam about 20 years ago. Ever since Voorn has been tagged as Detroit producer putting out tunes in the spirit of Motor City.A prolific soundwriter under numerous aliases, Voorn was very active in the 1990s with proto-rave tracks as The Nighttripper, electro anthem “Flash” (as Fix) or records on his own Detroit-based label Ignitor.Although never been actually away, 2014 is again a blooming year for Voorn with three EPs out before the album. The new LP ranges from dreamy pads (“Rewind”) […]

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S100 – Genesis EP (SEMANTICA 67 – 2014)

Having appeared in Semantica’s Nonnative series, Stockholm Ltd artist S100 revisits the Madrid label with a solo EP. The dance mob gets instant satisfaction in “Revoke”, a floor-testing exercise with droning vibrations and acidic synth stabs, that clearly overshadow “Pygmalion’s” linear simplicity.The B-side opens strong with limping and shaking outdoor party tune “Genesis”, based on sloppy bass line in The Drum Club stylee. For the end Eduardo de la Calle, a renowned purveyor of harmonies, swaps the techno tunnel for lavender fields with a deep house inclined remix of the title track. S100 – Genesis EP. SEMANTICA 67 by S100Buy vinyl/digital […]

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MGUN ‎– Some Tracks (Third Ear Recordings ‎3EEP-2013_10 – 2013)

It seems that artistically MGUN lodges in isolation, to be not distracted by the cookery in trendy music labs. A composer going his own way, MGUN has dropped classy releases on The Trilogy Tapes, Berceuse Heroique, Don’t Be Afraid – all choice labels in 2013 – and now on Hackney-based and aptly named Third Ear Recordings. Bluntly titled “Some Tracks” tells further tales about MGUN’s talent and bass obsession. Sounding both assertive and ethereal, lights are dimmed in revolving boogie funk “Extort”, introducing the rougher A-side. Serious fun goes on in “Mean While”, spelled exactly like this, which would generate […]

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Farah – Metal Irene EP (Don’t Be Afraid DBA014 – 2013)

Release date is in December 2013 Another outstanding EP by the UK imprint Don’t Be Afraid (DBA), which has found a proper place in Juno’s Top 10 of record labels. Set up and run by Semtek, DBA continues its impressive streak with “Metal Irene EP” by a new signing called Farah, artist formerly known as Darling Farah and having Kamau Baaqi written in his passport.The five-track EP is a proof of Farah’s great talent in capturing intellectual depth so often lost in today’s electronic productions.Those still under the influence of DBA’s earlier twelve by MGUN, salute the arrival of another producer […]

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Various – In The Dark: Detroit Is Back (Still Music stillmdcd011 – 2013)

Release date is in November 2013 Led by the luminaries like Rick Wilhite and Marcellus Pittman, the compilation “In The Dark: The Soul Of Detroit”, paradoxically released on a label from Chicago, was a high-resolution snapshot of Detroit’s deep house in 2005. After last year’s reissue of the album, the fall of 2013 sees the arrival of the next installment, again on Jerome Derradji’s Still Music. It comes as a triple vinyl and double CD, the latter containing a larger selection of tracks. Considering Still Music’s preference for soulful and dynamic dance tracks, the CD1 is unsurprisingly filled with sizzling […]

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Various – Nonnative 05 (SEMANTICA NNN 05 – 2013)

Nordic craftsmanship on the A-side of the Semantica’s fifth Nonnative release. For the start deep bass expert Juho Kusti from Helsinki narrates about “Twin Oaks”, throwing in sprawling dubs of Helical Scan standard and advancing confidently with swinging synth sequences, only distracted by deliberate cacophony at the mid-track.Hailing from the cellars of Stockholm, S100 are twinning by sound with fellow Swedes SHXCXCHCXSH when they create in “Ssabbron” strobe-dominated black atmosphere with monotone old-school acid buzz and repetitive minimalist signalling.On the flip Japan’s Imugem Orihasam researches the depths of “Excessive Self-Consciousness” with a trippy cut diffusing mechanical coldness and Semantica’s local Madrid scene […]

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MGUN – If You’re Reading This EP (Don’t Be Afraid DBA012 – 2013)

MGUN’s message is clear: If you are reading, feeling, breathing this EP, don’t be afraid of Detroit’s economical decay spilling over to the city’s musical heritage. Motor City’s MGUN aka Manuel Gonzales is a fighter and proves it particularly with his second release on Semtek’s imprint, after “The Upstairs Apt. EP” in 2012.The six-tracker is like a journey through different music spots. It starts with abstract late-night intro “Hand Over Fifth” and nothing predicts the storm arriving with “Proxy”, a vintage-minded acidic bubble bath compounded with raw modulations. Mighty drive continues in blackout-heralding “Funnel Vision” with highly efficient set of percussive […]

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