REVIEW: Arcanoid, Jimmy Edgar+Ideograma, Plant43, Annie Hall – 10.X. (SEMANTICA 10.X – 2017)

This year, Semantica Records’ glorious decade in music is celebrated with the anniversary series, a journey through global techno, involving artists from Sweden to Japan, from France to Argentina for mostly four-to-the-floor, tripping tracks. The ten-vinyl batch is now peaking with “10.X.”, dedicated to electro that has not been an uncharted territory for the Madrid label, if to recall thematic tunes from Ed Chamberlain, E.R.P., Boris Divider and many others. Gladly the contributions from all artists  – everyone of them has previously appeared on Semantica – are diverse on their own way. Spanish producer Arcanoid opens with a symbiosis of synthwave, […]

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REVIEW: Dez Williams – Forlorn Figures In Godforsaken Places EP (Mechatronica MTRON003 – 2017)

Still when the influence of Dez Williams’ track “Only Way I Know” on the recent Mechatronica sampler is hard to disappear, the producer from Holy Island off the Welsh coast returns to Berlin’s electro imprint with a new EP, which is the label’s first solo effort after two mini compilations. Although qualified for conceiving nasty acidbangers, from the very beginning Williams’ special love has belonged to electro and here we have another proof of his trade skills. “Xen” opens as a standard electro track that would match I-F’s classic output with growling 808 and laser sword stabs, the vocal part providing […]

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REVIEW: Vertical67 – Morphed Reality (Brokntoys BT18 – 2017)

Thomas Pahl is a visitor from Berlin on Brokntoys. When he’s not exactly busy at Vortex Traks, an electro label he runs together with Naks, Pahl is making music under the Vertical67 alias. The project’s first digital tracks came out about ten years ago and “Morphed Reality” is Vertical67’s second appearance on the London label, after contributing with acid-soaked frosty funk “Distortion” in recent mini compilation “The Glowing”. The A-side is dedicated to swerving uptempo cuts, the opener “Far Away Lights” rolling on coarse 808 kicks while wriggly 303 and subtle vocoder action furnishes the title tune. The B-side rests on the […]

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REVIEW: /DL/MS/ – Rogue Intent (TRUST29 – 2017)

TRUST from Vienna calling with “Rogue Intent” when Dan Lodig, who was behind last year’s Lok44 EP, returns to the label with Martin Sovinz under the project name /DL/MS/. TRUST is regarded as electro outlet and while the duo is not going to dispute its style preferences, their peculiar view on combining mechanical beats and voice samples offers a few surprising, quality moments. Inheriting some elements from IDM, the rather lingering opener “Indisciplinado” is difficult to categorise when it travels from artsy surroundings to sticky bars with hardly audible background voices. The next track “Yep” starts with hollow medieval drumming and Oriental strings […]

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REVIEW: Galaxian – Blowback (Foul-Up DOWN3 – 2017)

This has been waiting to happen, a truly remarkable release on Foul-Up, a Danish-run label from Berlin that launched in 2016 with “Limerence EP” by Misantrop, a project by the label founder Nicolai Vesterkær Krog. After a LP from Metalized Man earlier this year, the third release of the label keen to explore the electronic fringes enters the electro cluster with an eight-tracker from Galaxian, which is a mask-wearing alter ego of the UK producer Mark Kastner. Galaxian’s proven industrial take on the genre is reflected in the convulsive opener “Truth Seizure” and in abstract thrusts of “Parasitic Seduction”, sounding like a […]

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Techno promos: black., Konstrukt, Subapical, Taapion

J. Lydén – 4.44 (black008 – 2017) A strong release from black., a label run by Albert Williams who drops a remix for the EP by J.Lydén, a Finnish newcomer with a sound close to fellow hardliners Tuomas Rantanen and Boner M. In “4.44”, the highlight is Judas’s supercharged dash with stinging stabs hinting to Mike Parker.     Svreca & Retina.it / Nuel – KONSTRUKT 005 (KON005 – 2017) Spanish-Italian connection on the Dutch imprint Konstrukt where Svreca’s and Retina.it’s collabs offer simple, ethereal functionality with machine whispers. On the other side, Nuel’s “Luna” is a more granular affair touched […]

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REVIEW: Yuji Kondo – Faces Past (10 Label TEN005 – 2017)

In this decade, Yuji Kondo has been one of Japanese techno illuminates, operating either under his own name, as Ducerey Ada Nexino or taking part in various collaborations, including Steven Porter – Kondo’s project with fellow countryman Katsunori Sawa, and not an actual person as I thought a while ago. To the present day we had to wait for Kondo’s first album that has now appeared on his and Sawa’s imprint 10 Label. Kondo’s LP is crafted with skill and intuition for sounds that are feeding the imagination. Entire album is placed under the veil of surrealism with only a few 4/4 […]

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REVIEW: Planetary Assault Systems – The Light Years Reworks (Mote-Evolver MOTELP03 – 2017)

Dating back to the early 1990s, Planetary Assault Systems has been Luke Slater‘s project for functional tracks ever since. In “The Light Years Reworks” acclaimed techno troopers are overhauling several P.A.S. goodies from the past, the seminal “Planetary Funk” that appeared on Peacefrog from 1993 to 1999 being a central source for remix interventions. The triple pack released on Slater’s own Mote-Evolver imprint is far from being just another rehash of old school era. Slater himself comes up with three live edit or reworks of which “Surface Noise”, the original being vintage of 1996, is hardly leaving anybody unharmed. Tense, […]

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REVIEW: 6D22 – Ištar (Zeinkali ZNKL 001 – 2017)

The year 2017 started with two new release announcements from artists who in my view share something common in sound and it explains why they both have appeared on the same label, Mathematics Recordings from Chicago. This time John Heckle and Giorgio Luceri go separate ways when the UK producer prepares for April a double pack on Tabernacle, which gives a promise of warm gusts between house and techno that may recall John Beltran’s tunes from the nineties. Using the 6D22 alias, the Italian Luceri has the honour to launch Zeinkali, a new label from Tbilisi, Georgia. When listening to the A-side, the description ‘harmony house’ started […]

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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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