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: Shifted – Drifting Over (Drifting Over DRFT001 – 2016)

Previously I have covered a few Avian releases but surprisingly this is my first review of Shifted’s solo work. Long overdue for sure, because the label founder Guy Brewer, whose real identity was carefully protected for many years, belongs to the elect group of today’s techno producers and his tracks are an obvious choice for DJ sets. After feeling tempted to cover his previous twelve “Six Steps To Resurgence”, the first release on Brewer’s new label Drifting Over is a real deal when the UK artist is going to challenge prevailing techno patterns with the material written three years ago. Shifted’s four tracks at 130 BPM are straightforward […]

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REVIEW: Various – Inversions 001 (INV001 – 2016)

For a moment, the world goes upside down in the first, various artists release from Inversions which is Power Vacuum’s new sublabel. What is expected to be another night out in the company of synthetic beat worshippers turns to a vintage-minded party to trigger enthusiastic exclamations from mature audiences and their sympathisers in music. And good so. Everything seems under the control during the first half of Cavern Of Anti-Matter’s “Bring The Hiss (Version)”. Although it’s not quite the parent label’s standard fare – such as acidic squeeze by EDMX or rowdy electro by Cylob – the track still opens as a retro techno hardware slammer from the 1990s […]

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Techno promos: –Story, /beyond/, D.Carbone, Zanias

Picked some releases from the promo folder to highlight those that have caught my attention.           –Story – Object EP (Koepel-I) Release date 26/09/2016 Along with cryptic spelling comes an exciting artist and label debut with deep house inclined tracks that make good use of bouncy drums and distortion the Rezzett way (“001”). A spontaneous fifer joins the dubby undercurrents in “002” and Planet E type majestic chords appear in “003”. /beyond/ – Now I See There’s Light (Urban Legend UL 002) Release date 25/09/2016 After having a track on Urban Legend’s inaugural various artists release “Phobos” […]

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SHXCXCHCXSH – SsSsSsSsSsSsSsSsSsSsSsSsSsSsSs (Avian ‎AVNLP003 – 2016)

Sssssnake chhharmers from Sweden, not only linguistically challenging dark knights from SHXCXCHCXSH who boast over 6,300 followers of their empty Soundcloud account, believe in the power of ‘s’ in the new album for UK label Avian. After initial rush to vitriolic roughness, when only to recall earlier catalogue entries by Shifted and MPIA3’s, Avian’s tastes have become more varied (Litüus, for example) and SHXCXCHCXSH’s album belongs rather to the experimental section. Instead of targeting sweaty techno caves with their previous Avian LP “Strgths”, SHXCXCHCXSH emits steamy, pixelated sound that constitutes the basis of most of the compositions. Consciously or not, many parts sound very familiar: one of the album’s best tracks, “Ssss” at […]

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Artefakt / Evigt Mörker – Konstrukt 003 (KON003 – 2016)

Dutch imprint Konstrukt had a flying start in 2015 when SHLTR debuted with revitalising tracks from techno’s brighter side. This year, the label continued with a split EP by Cassegrain and Sendai, and the next release comes from another combo consisting of Artefakt (Robin Koek and Nick Lapien) from the Netherlands and Evigt Mörker from Sweden. Compared to the label’s debut, it’s a pretty different ride. Four dark-toned tracks are destined for club escapades, without any ‘ifs’ and ‘buts’. “Ritualist” opens the Artefakt’s side, an air-cushioned, rhythmic track that would fit to the Northern Electronics catalogue. “Sacrum” is a reverb-struck big room provider, inspiring the engineers before heading to the Hyperloop testing […]

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David Morley – The Origin Of Storms (De:tuned ASGDE010 – 2016)

De:tuned is keen to put acclaimed artists from the past to contemporary context, either by reissuing old or presenting new productions. The LA Synthesis double pack was one of the 2015 highlights and after B12’s “Transient Life”, it’s the turn of the UK-born Belgian resident David Morley who debuted back in 1992 with “Evolution” on R&S Records’ ambient offshoot Apollo and was active in the nineties with a handful EPs. With “The Origin Of Storms” the Belgian label resumes the pursuit for abundant textures in electronic music, when Morley’s beatless synth variations are floating over ambient fields in the 12″+10″ album over 40 minutes of playtime. The […]

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Pär Grindvik – Isle Of Real (Stockholm LTD Sthlm LTD LP01 – 2016)

In the era of fast music consumption, when one can shuffle through the track-by-track streaming experience instead of buying a LP, the album format is luckily far from becoming obsolete. It’s still an effort that is meant to reflect the artist’s maturity, to look back to at least a couple of years of production experience. For Pär Grindvik, the waiting time was even longer, going back to the 1990s when he was in the heart of Swedish techno scene as DJ and record store owner. Preceded by a couple of split releases, Grindvik’s first solo EP “Monuments” came out in 2006 on his own […]

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Various – SEMANTICA 10.I / 10.II (2016)

Hard to believe that Semantica Records has been in business for a decade and even the previous milestone with the “Five Years Compilation” series feels like a recent event. Over the time, the label boss Svreca has managed to keep the touch despite of extensive catalogue and has attracted a stellar roster, virtually a Who’s Who of today’s techno. The label from Madrid has also played a major role for a minor thing called Terminal 313, because Svreca was among the very first label owners and artists who trusted my fledgling blog and shared information about the coming releases. Regular Terminal 313 […]

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Mattia Trani – The Hi-Tech Mission (PushMaster Discs PM015 – 2016)

Mattia Trani could be someone who decorated his teenage room with Transmat and Underground Resistance memorabilia and even if it was not true, his recent affiliation with Detroit-bred artists is remarkable. Several Motor City legends, such as Juan Atkins, DJ Stingray, Claude Young, Orlando Voorn, have provided remix assistance to the talented Italian, in the EPs like “313 Times”, “Over The Future”, etc. and in 2014, Trani was the first Italian DJ to make a podcast for UR. In the debut album, Trani is clearly under the strong influence of innovators, expressing his admiration with strong Detroit symbols both in […]

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