Blastromen – Human Beyond (Dominance Records 044) – 9/10

Ambassadors of blue light have descended on the Earth. They glimmer, they roar, they vibrate behind the controls and are full of microchips, delivering a message of electro. No sterile-gloved research in a secluded lab but a spectacular demonstration of blazing energy to the world. The first album of the Finnish Blastromen ignites a party and captures the floor with vocoded vox, melodic layers and hectic breakbeats. Cold and beautiful title track “Human Beyond” sets the agenda, then the pace is upped in “Battlenet”. Vocoders speak and machines breathe in oriental-sounding “Follow The Command” and in heavier “Computer Simulator”. “Sky […]

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Marco Bernardi – Ist Das (Dirty Planet 003) – 10/10

Prepare yourself for a ride. “I Feel The Lies” flies with time machine to the days of acid house. True to best traditions of 80’s Chicago, the track spins around bubbling sounds and thumping beats, with the vocal part done by electro legend Keith Tucker. Cool, Aux 88 front man in a totally new role. Exium has mastered a remix of “Giro”, delivering thus the best techno track of 2010, in my humble opinion. Millsian jingles and darkly pounding four-to-the-floor arrangement is exceptionally good. Exium’s 2006 release “Unemotional” was my first encounter with the Spaniards – those who have not […]

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Surgeon – Fabric 53 (fabric105) – 8/10

Buying a DJ mix on CD sounds pretty moronic when the web offers zillions on podcasts for free. An exception can be made if both the form and content offer good vibes, like here. Metal-case release belongs to the series launched by the London club Fabric in 2001 and current mix session comes from Birmingham’s techno don Surgeon who kicks off with a field recording in the Tokyo underground. What follows is a patchwork of drums and loops that is sewn together with almost imperceivable borders between the tracks. It’s more sound processing than a mix and in accordance with the […]

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Stingray 313 – Sphere Of Influence/Sentiment [NakedLunch 006] – 9/10

Metaphers of oceanic fauna are very appropriate. “Sphere Of Influence” is a jellyfish floating calmly in the tropic floods of the Caribbean. Warm and even melancholic electro with hints of acid that, despite of certain softness, feels very deep and futuristic.“Sentiment” is a highlight of 2010 – hot-tempered stingray, who else, with burning electro impulses full of high voltage. The fusillade of powerful beats is smoothed by the vocal sample I love you and genuine jingling synths.A bit longing, but soulful and rough track in the same. Like for those who dress in black and wear masks but place a […]

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Michael Black Electro – Michael Black Remixes (Team Acre 004) – 7/10

Well, the artist name could have been smarter. But here we have Michael Black Electro or Mr Janne Hyttinen from Finland, on the crossroads of electro and hip hop, the latter dominating on this record.Author’s fellow countrymen hit with four remixes of MBE’s album tracks, full of rhymes and beats. A-side opens with Desto’s take of “Agape”, a tense hip hop with a sensible angle and like wanting to get closer to R’n’B.Then two versions of “Mustang” – artist called Clouds kicks off with piano and then slow but dull working-class rap starts rolling. Teeth’s version on B1 is more […]

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Mensah – Untitled Future Funk EP (H.E.N.C.H. 017) – 8/10

Miami Vice meets seismic bass in “1986 Was The Future”. Bristol resident Mensah Anderson presents a brighter side of dubstep, combining 80’s sound aesthetics, buzzing effects and tension-raising breaks. In fact the first track is even closer to electro and old school influences can’t be overheard. A catchy melody lends anthem potential to “1986…” and lifts the mood along the simple bass lines and vibrating drums. Halo of bygone times is also on “Acid Dub”, the opening track of the AA-side, that pays homage to the beginning of the 90’s. Fierce hoover sound along with hectic vocals and piano passages […]

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The Psychic Stewardess – Spiritual Foundation (Strange Life Records 037) – 7/10

It feels like sitting in your favourite cafe and knowing the menu by heart but still enjoying familiar atmosphere and those sweet cakes. The label and the artist tell what to expect. Another strike from Strange Life Records featuring Smackos-like floating and spinning vintage synths with a certain concept, including the identity of the artist. The Psychic Stewardess is presented as “a part time stewardess and psychic from the Californian desert town of Palm Springs” but do you really believe it? Just the label boss Mr Wolfers AKA Legowelt under another guise and even less smarter detectives can recognise his […]

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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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