ELECTRO BITS: John Selway, Luxus Varta, Replicants, Transparent Sound

A few electro promos have landed in my inbox for a closer look.

****John Selway – Light Language EP (Serotonin SER025 – 2019) [Buy from Juno]

US electro label Serotonin has been back in action since 2017 and after a decent split EP by Neurotic Drum Band and Ulysses earlier this year, it’s the turn of label’s co-founder John Selway. In the new EP, the artist with a diverse back catalogue – including techno tracks on Tronic – doesn’t make it necessarily easy for the listener, when bypassing middle-of-the-road electro sound. This can be felt especially in skiddy funk “We Are Ready” with restless bass and echoing voices coming from the head of an insomniac. “Light Language” is a milder take of dub touched electronica entwined with exotic recital, while the B-side is filled with bulldog electro “Gravity Probe” and “Stars In The Gutter”, the latter being the best cut in my opinion.

****Luxus Varta – Colder (TRUST36 – 2019) [Buy from Juno]

TRUST keeps the funk levels at all-time high in the release from Luxus Varta. About 20 years after its inception, the Austrian electro label doesn’t allow any A&R misses and has signed an artist with experience on labels like Solar One Music or Brokntoys. First three tracks of the mini-album “Colder” are the rulers of the game, beginning with landslide bass and distant psyched out horns in “Flash Tension”. After one-night stand with anonymous robots in “Sex After Midnight”, “Kim’s Revenge” could be a score from a 1980s detective series.

*****Replicants – I Like The Way You Crunch (Electro Empire EE-006 – 2019) [Buy from Juno]

Dominance Electricity offshoot Electro Empire welcomes Tim Hannigan who lately appeared as Replicants on Earwiggle’s laudable compilation “Eel Behaviour: Moray”. Under various guises, the electro(nic) musician from Ireland has been around for a quarter of century and his new three-track EP keeps it as classic as it could be. The title tune “I Like The Way You Crunch” is stuffed with bold US electro funk in and in “Jiro (Extended Mix)”, a nine-minute tribute to the sushi chef Jiro Ono, bulky breaks are surrounded by calls of ghetto sirens. Thereafter “Jiro” is getting scratch treatment from DJ Mek with a number of radio voices, like snapped from Palm Beach stations.

***Transparent Sound – What Is Your Name? EP (Transparent Sound TS19-02 – 2019) [Buy from Juno]

“Meltdown Ride” was the 1995 debut release of Transparent Sound, both of the label and two-man group consisting of Orson Bramley and Martin Brown who collaborated over the years on electro and breakbeat tunes. The label had been switched off for almost two decades but this year marks a comeback with EPs from Empty Orchestra and now from the ‘house band’, run solely by Bramley. The first two versions of “What Is Your Name” arrive from electro’s dreamier side, the vocal one bearing synth wave influences. In a remix, Malta based artists Acidulant underscores his ability to control machine distortions for an acid electro charge.


***** = 5 points out of 5, etc.

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