Hauntologists – EP 3 – 8/10

Derrida coined the term hauntology that in the electronic music has been  extended to the productions of Mordant Music and Ghost Box. Although the term refers to a ghostly theme, this 12-inch would not exactly serve as a soundtrack for creepy movies. Hauntologists, a series launched by Jay Ahern and Stefan Schneider in Berlin, has advanced to the third release that offers the same formerly known ample, undistracted sound work hovering between techno and house, in a deep and dark atmosphere. Knobs have been turned and FX used on the A-side to create a saturated and deep sound palette. B1 […]

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TV Victor – GRV Vol. 1 (NSP 08) – 9/10

Repetitio est mater studiorum, repetition is the mother of learning. The introductory lesson lasts 10 minutes 46 seconds and is titled “130509”. A blunt, even too blunt loop keeps going like Du**cell bunny, only the whole experience is not as soft and furry. It’s self-confident, sterile techno that advances in a majestic way, free of any rush. Hints of dub have been added, but the track bears only slight resemblance with Basic Channel or Chain Reaction releases. Darker feelings appear on the B1 or “010709”. It’s droning and thumping, more minimalist track from the hidden spheres of mind. The most […]

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DUST OFF: The Vision – Spectral Nomad (Metroplex 025) – 10/10

This music is painting pictures: Dusk has settled over the city, the Renaissance Center contours prominently rising to the skies. Elsewhere, a lonesome sad figure is dragging a grocery cart on cracked concrete that once was called a street but now screaming of decay. The city in the twilight. But then, you catch a suggestive and encouraging phrase ‘Detroit, Detroit’, put on spiraling rhythms. It’s difficult to find a match to the B1 track “Detroit: One Circle”, something that would capture as precisely the soul and passion of Motor City techno. This track is shining like chromed bumper of a […]

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DUST OFF: Vainio / Väisänen / Vega – Endless (Blast First 147CD – 1998) – 9/10

VVV – vicious, vibrating, volcanic. A joint ritual by Alan Vega, former vocalist of the protopunk combo Suicide, and Finnish masters of low frequencies Mika Vainio and Ilpo Väisänen, better known as Pan Sonic. Caution: Listening to this could harm your artificial pacemaker or other electronic appliances. A nasty start with “Medal”, that despite signalling pacifism sounds like an armada of armoured vehicles attacking. The pressure goes on with witch dance in “Incredible Criminals”, where roughly yelling vocal and darkly hammering machine music try to extinct each other. “Motor Maniac” roars like a large American vehicle – no, not a […]

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DUST OFF: Various – Minimal Techno (Fairway 034135) – 9/10

Now for something really dusty, on a tape: Could be the mother of all mid-1990s techno compilations. No time to lean back, it’s a full-on jaw-dropping trip of pulsating and pumping techno. Dating back to 1996, this compilation features landmark techno from many legendary artists and labels like 7th City, Synewave, Kanzleramt, Tresor, Missile and others. They all have a well deserved place in the techno’s Hall of Fame. The highlights are Joey Beltram’s rumbling remix of Gagarin Kongress’s “Astralleib” and “Scissorhands”, a dizzying percussive inferno by Tim Taylor and Freddie Fresh and elegant club fuel by Substractive Synthesis (Damon Wild). Impressive are […]

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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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Various – Sandwell District – Sampler Single 2 (SDSMP2) – 8/10

Enron would never have been collapsed if only the auditors would have been as precise as Silent Servant, the artist behind untitled opening tracks on both sides. Linear and controlled techno that sticks to hypnotic repetition but refrains from glass-shattering kickdrum assaults. It belongs to the same league of ozonized tracks known from Jeff Mills’s SITS series, but is too predictable to be outstanding.A1 goes straight ahead like torpedo cars on the Lake Bonneville,  with inhuman voice samples and an atmospheric passage at the end. B1 follows the same dry minimal patterns and is not too far from Ian Pooley’s […]

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DUST OFF: Regis – Gymnastics (Downwards DNLP2)

As Birmingham warhorses like Regis, Surgeon and Female are back in business, it’s time for a flashback. Gymnastics, a LP by Regis issued in 1996, is a perfect tool to fight obesity. Tight and banging tracks that are based on a metallic loop, serve well for intensive body exercise and guaranteed killing of excess calories. Will not spend any more words on this definition of minimalist hard techno.

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Speedy J / Monoloc – Armstrong / Pumpkin (CLR 031) – 8 and 3/10

Chris Liebing’s label has arrived to the 31st release but this is the very first in my collection. B-side is clearly the downside of this 10-inch: Monoloc serves us a “Pumpkin” that does not taste at all. It’s a common-sounding and dull techno track that’s going nowhere, despite of having a certain portion of metallic funk in it. On the flip, the upside that delivers naked and purist techno by grandmaster Speedy J himself. “Armstrong” is a menacing and deep track with fat basses pumping with confidence. Clearly an achiever, like Neil, the first-man-on-the moon, or Lance, the-man-living-in-the-saddle- whichever Armstrong […]

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Nuel – Untitled (Aquaplano ltd 01) – 7/10

Five untitled tracks on a limited and stickered white-label release. A1 is an animal with teeth of steel: hammering minimal loops remind of earlier Sähkö and Sleeparchive and sweeping acid lines fly all over the place. It’s a hypnotic and massive start but the rest of the EP is easier to digest. Ambient enters the game on A2 where beatless and calm sound textures prevail and I can imagine seagulls nosediving at a secluded beach.Alarmingly, B1 kicks off as another irrelevant minimal house track, with occasional noises and clicks, but then darker bass appears to improve the situation. B2 gives […]

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