Lok44 – Bous (TRUST025 – 2016)

Since 1998, DJ Glow from Vienna has been running a label that has trust in electro. After all the years, TRUST’s catalogue can’t called extensive but the label is putting out records at a steady pace and the lineup speaks for itself, with artists like Microthol, Epy or Clatterbox and a number of mini compilations from recent times. In 2003, Lok44 debuted on the label with “Ghetto Of The Mind” and after “Derailed” in the following year fell silent for a long time. Till now I was not aware about the background of the act that was so far spotted in my collection only with a remix […]

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Nikolajev – Nikolajev (Collect Call CC 003 – 2016)

Nikolajev, Robert. Despite of young age, he has become a reputed DJ in the Estonian underground and co-runs Lekker, a vivacious nightspot in Tallinn. A special mention deserves the fact that he has been part of the techno act Neue Einsicht that warmed up Ancient Methods at Kõue Heli Festival in 2013. After listening to Nikolajev’s debut on the Canadian imprint Collect Call, I’m not wondering why it became a Soundcloud success with about 12,000 plays, because not many new artists in 2016 can match Nikolajev’s premiere – and I’m not saying it because of being an Estonian. The A-side contains two robust, bass-heavy cuts, […]

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Various – MTRON001 (Mechatronica MTRON001 – 2016)

Mechatronica, a new label among the dozens that have sprung from Berlin, arrives with impressive mini-compilation full of underground electro magic. Mechatronica’s foundations reach back to the year 2012 when Italian DJ Federico Benedetti (ElectroDon) and Chilean artist Daniel Boubet (Trippy-H / Daribone), both later joined by the Danish DJ MEJLE, set up a music and party-promoting collective. Their events have attracted several famed electro purveyors, recent headliners being Rude 66, Morphology, Rutherford, etc. Thus the label launch is not surprising and the debut has all the ingredients of obsession, only when we take “Broken Electronix” by Sync 24 & Luke Eargoggle, an electro track close to perfection. Fireball […]

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Festival report: Tresor 25 years in Berlin

In the high season of open air festivals with sea and sun, the idea of being trapped inside the concrete walls of a former power station in the city of Berlin may not sound too appealing, but when an acclaimed techno institution celebrates its 25 years of existence, the stakes are high for joining the event. Therefore I headed to the German capital for Tresor Festival, a four-day showcase that attracted a fabulous line-up of artists and DJs, many them affiliated with the Tresor network before and now. The festival promised sleepless nights and restless days for the strong, which required advance planning […]

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Shitcluster – Meat Thief (Panzerkreuz 1027 – 2016)

The Hague’s loonies operating under the name Shitcluster have staged another freakshow of rhythmic noise, to disrupt ‘dance music’ as such. New distorted deviations by Charlie Watkins and Jan Duivenvoorden – the latter running nowadays the Unit Moebius Anonymous –  begin with two ramming tracks on the A-side that remind of Ancient Methods’ “The Whip” from 2009. The gruelling chug of A1 is led by hollow, bouncy drums and subtle complaints like coming from Sid Vicious’s taped mouth, followed by asphyxial feel of A2. The B-side opens with rubbery stabs and eerie clonks that are guided by rotating turbines like engineered by Vainio Väisänen Vega and giving the sensations […]

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VC-118A – B76 Over Land (Radio Matrix RAM-X-07 – 2016)

Samuel van Dijk’s VC-118A is airborne again, this time on Delta Funktionen’s label Radio Matrix, where the Dutchman affirms his position as a cutting-edge electro artist. Initially, van Dijk operated mostly under the dub-inclined alias Mohlao – still remember his track from “Full Circle”, the very first vinyl release of the Vancouver label Silent Season – but for a while it has been difficult to ignore his output as VC-118A, a vehicle for deep electro trips. Of recent releases, “Vlucht Naar Nachtschade” (Lunar Disko) and “Propulse” (Tabernacle) have landed in my shelf and the same applies for “B76 Over Land”. VC-118A’s further electro […]

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Gaja – Slaves Of The Future (Ophism OPSM02 – 2016)

Inviting to board a ship to the future, Captain Gaja steers a vessel that has collected its cargo from the bygone times. In the second release for his own label called Ophism, Italian-born Berliner Alessandro Gaia remains inspired by the sound of nineties, but has dumped monotone loop-driven techno in favour of sulphuric rowdy electro. Gaja, who still could be defined as a rookie producer, debuted in 2013 with in-your-face EP “Patterns” (Repitch), and soon thereafter launched Ophism with “Modern Passivity”, which sounded like a watered down version of the Repitch twelve. OPHISM 002 marks a major improvement when Gaja slams the […]

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Detroit Diesel – Dimension (DUM Records DUM 033 – 2016)

Kimmo Rapatti aka Mono Junk seems to be unstoppable these days: After making a personal comeback on foreign labels, the Finnish underground maestro rebooted his own DUM Records. Relaunched with new material by Coopers, the label aims at combining the past and the present, which means that reissues and new tracks/versions are going hand in hand. Under the sign of Detroit Diesel, Rapatti has previously released a couple of timeless EPs and on “Dimension’s” B-side he’s exactly bringing back the 1990s with stunning acid tracks produced over 20 years ago. Of them, “Fu-Dimension” is a filthy tool with distorted drums to match Edge Of Motion and […]

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Qnete – Grey City Anthem (ZCKR Records ZCKR12 – 2016)

Although young Bremen-based artist Qnete missed the train to the “Grey City”, a showcase of local electronic and experimental artists on ZCKR Records, his redemption comes in great manner with the one-sided single “Grey City Anthem” on the same label. A producer acclaimed for the releases on his co-owned Drowned Records and Lobster Theremin, Qnete operates on home turf with an electro monster spanning over 11 minutes. After a proper start with seismic bass and sturdy 808 sequences, another twist is added by acidic flashes closer to the mid-track up to the glorious end. For fans of Gesloten Cirkel, Privacy and […]

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