TECHNO **** Conceptual – Ossigeno 2/2 (Semantica Records SEMANTICA 152)
On the digital six-tracker, the artist from Italy is engaged in techno synthesis of various types. Opening with doom ambient, he proceeds to rougher fare. One can hear voices from mysterious rainforest in tripping “Not To Lose Sight Of You”, and “Sigil Of Lucifer” gets even fiercer. Like the beginning, also the end is dedicated to ambient, “Unique Charm” being a meditative electronic lullaby.
TECHNO *** DEAS – Fear EP (CLR111)
Chris Liebing’s label CLR will celebrate its 25th anniversary in 2024. The label’s banging specifics haven’t changed compared to the times when Terminal 313 covered its output. Now intense floor fare comes from the Krakow based artist DEAS who returns to the label with a digital EP. Four tracks for DJ crates, “Fear” and “Koma” being my picks.
WAVE/TECHNO *** Local Suicide & Skelesys – In Space We Roam (Iptamenos Discos IDI014)
Limited EP with four disco-minded synth cuts and two digital extras by Local Suicide. They are the founders of a label from Berlin and are roaming in space with Argentina-born Skelesys. The catchy wave pop of the title track recalls the Spanish duo SDH and “Surface Of The Sun” shows proto techno elements. Hold your horses during the Neu-Romancer remix of the latter.
TECHNO *** Syncom Data – Kein Machine (SD Records SSD27)
With acidic electro, the Dutch wizards Syncom Data give kudos to migrant industrial workers. Steadfast machine music comes in the original version with samples from a Roy Dames documentary and, the other being an instrumental version.
TECHNO **** Drumsauw, Unknown Code- Berliner EP (Virgo VIRGO021D)
Berghain or Tresor at 3 a.m., an homage to Berlin’s nightlife on Ilario Alicante’s label. The mid-paced title cut is the winner, a solid tool that partly reminds me of Dave Clarke’s “Protective Custody”. The other two, “Ostbahnhof” and “Schwärmen”, offer peak hour sensations of repetitive beats. Old school style executed with a fresher touch.
HOUSE/ACID/TRIBAL *** Butane – Underground Business Vol. 1/Vol.2 (Extrasketch EX48/EX49)
Butane approaches the 50th release of his own Extrasketch label, marking it with three volumes of “Underground Business”. Having previously conducted acid operations, the American artist has chosen a safer and housier path in the first one. “Let The Music Take You” is a laid back tune, while “Be Free” goes deeper with hints of tribal and “Rough Stuff” isn’t really what it may promise. At first listen, the second part is groovier and more appealing. Nods go to insomniac acid house “Rockstar” and growling synth lines in old school minded “Rave Juice” or “Sleaze”.
TECHNO/ACID *** Various – Psychonautic V.A. (TTR014)
Sweaty club techno with plenty of pounding bass and biting acid across eight tracks. Mostly new names for me and Berlin dominates as the home base of many artists. Katapult Duo, Mia Mad, Mia Mattiolo, Daniele Batty and Babopi are from the German capital. Other European locations are represented by Epta (France), Loris D’Ettorre (Italy) and Øberøn (Malta) who shines in “Bassline Enigma” with Gizz TV-type drums on heavy beats.
TECHNO/TRIBAL*** Tequesuca – Forbidden Memories II (Kuspkwa)
A digital label from Medellin, Colombia, comes with the second techno offering on the theme “Forbidden Memories”. Inspired both by the culture of natives and urban struggle, the tribalish opener “Hollow Earth” is a good DJ pick. Jolting synth line of “The Annunanki People” reminds of NX1, and its rushing remix by Hod likes it raw.
TECHNO/ACID *** Juliet Fox – You Better Run (MOOD089)
Two digital tracks of Tomorrowland-type protein techno, whereas the energetic title “You Better Run” is a proper big room hit. Acidic bass line, ethereal breaks and especially Fox’s gloomy whispers, make it a decent DJ weapon. Sounds like a sped-up version of Cheap And Deep’s “Words, Breaths And Pauses” with Uta Alder’s vocals.
TECHNO *** George Tounisidis – We Don’t Leave Our Dead Behind (Symbolism SYMDIGI031)
The Greek artist returns to Ben Sims’ label with a bass-heavy set of five tracks. Clunky rush “Rubedo”, acidic “Citrinitas”, and especially the beeping 909 driven “Nigredo” represent the release’s appealing side. Can’t ignore the feeling that the EP’s title is about the war in Ukraine.
TECHNO ** Sterac and Kr!z – Lightworks EP (Reclaim Your City RYCL019)
An EP you will meet at techno nights where it will get lost among the similar tracks. The Sterac side is funkier, where the A2 cut “Strike Icer” stands for his classic style and also recalls Robert Hood’s “The Pace”. The Token boss sticks to tense loops, the scrubbing title track “Lightworks” seeking a more adventurous direction.
TECHNO *** Kerrie – Transient Belief (Blueprint BP070)
Manchester’s Irishwoman Kerrie follows up last year’s debut on Blueprint. Though for me the Cultivated Electronics EPs were more appealing, she firmly manages sandpaper bass line and EBM stabs to match the label’s sound code. Without any real surprises, the drilling title track and mysterious “Theta State” are my favorites.
TECHNO *** Warlock – Stinger / Rush Rush (Peder Mannerfelt Produktion PM+08)
Of many artists called Warlock, the current one is a true crusader from techno’s very beginnings. Having started DJing at the end of 1980’s, Jason Alexander still bursts of energy with two fast-paced cuts. The knitting machine beats that are scratching the chiptune hardstyle and Spiral Tribe, are not surprisingly released on Peder Mannerfelt’s label. Certain minimalism and tinny percussion of “Rush Rush” appeals to me.
DEEP HOUSE / TECHNO *** Red D – Re-Fantasized & Realized (We Play House US WPHUS 6)
For remixing purposes, We Play House founder and owner Red D has granted to a few artists access to his recent album. Deep house is the theme of the A-side with reworks by Charles Webster and Kai Alce. After sultry grooves, Far Out Radio Systems pushes “Fantasize” through crunchy percussion, while San Soda’s swirling bass line carries a taste of DJ Skull and unleashes disco energy.
TECHNO/TRIBAL **** Nicolas Vogler – Dangerous Games (MALöR Records MLRVNL00)
The month’s Purpose Maker award goes to Nicolas Vogler who has picked the classic tribalish grooves for crowd control. As a producer from Brazil, he’s raised with rhythms, and it feels in the five-track EP. The A-side rules with “Engine Room” and „Caliente“, the latter as hot as the title suggests, and the rest fills easily a sweaty room.
TECHNO **** Nabil Hayat – Wave Shaping (Form1 FM14)
The four-tracker by the Australian artist stands out from countless techno EPs. Dense loops with a healthy portion of funk carry the title track and persistent ace bass retains control throughout the release. “Def” would fit into Axis catalogue. All four tracks are on fire and deserve a place in DJ crate.
JAZZ/EXPERIMENTAL *** Asher Gamedze – Turbulence & Pulse LP (International Anthems IARCLP57)
It could be a story about hip-hop in a jazz bar, when Asher Gamedze recites ‘turbulent times call for extreme measures’ in the opener “Turbulence’s Pulse”, but the rhymes dissolve and (free) jazz takes over. Drum and trumpet improvisations are filling dozens of minutes, my favorites being the swinging traditional “Alibama” and Live in Cairo bonus of “If It Rains. To Pursue Truth”.
TECHNO *** Olēka – Xenisation (Snork Enterprises Snork113)
Snork has been consistently delivering since 2006 and the newest addition to the roster is Dragan Lakic from Bosnia and Herzegovina. Opening with shuffled T.Raumschmiere reminiscent “Xenisation”, mightily reverberating “Fjord” effectively cleans the table and the B-side keeps the noise level up. Of the label’s releases from previous years, an EP by Ultrastation and the album “Hedonism, What Else” by Matthias “Lido Hotel” Schaffhäuser are worth checking too.
TECHNO *** Ribé – El Camino EP (SEMANTICA 149)
A day in the races at Semantica, when Ribé delivers droning and no-regrets tracks for intense floor exercise. The six-tracker ranges from the badass dashes “El Camino” and “Frecuencias” to almost industrial “Séquito”. Ribé has previously released a digital album on Axis, which explains jumps to the sci-fi realms (“Obscuro”, “Las Sombras”).
TECHNO **** Blanka – Transversal EP (SK11X017)
Blazing floor fare reminds of Tresor compilations from the end of 1990’s. The Spanish artist possesses the talent for funk factor and though she doesn’t break any barriers, techno DJs will be grateful. Four functional tracks, “Astral Dimension” being a real tip.
HOUSE *** Caim – Lupatan (Deeptrax Records DPTX-034)
Deeptrax continues a good run when Caim, DJ and producer from Amsterdam, debuts on the label with a smooth five-tracker. The strong B-side features blossoming pads and strings in “Eleco Coly”, while “Lupatan” aligns to the rhythms of Carl Craig’s 69 project and dubby “Kapura” comes with a hint of progressive house. From the label’s catalogue, I’ve preordered Tserg‘s “Dreadfully Distinct” and expecting to cover it soon.
TECHNO *** Various Artists – Actualize Part 2 (Rekids Special Projects RSPX50B)
The second instalment of the Radio Slave’s party pack, starting with ghetto gear (“F__K Em”) by the label boss himself. Slam is on a rush with “Beat Control” and Greg Gow (“Vengeance”) feels inspired by Chicago’s preacher man. Literally slicing cuts by Jeremy P. Caulfield (“Razor”) and Procombo (“Assault”), while Markus Suckut (“Flux”) goes airborne and Subradeon‘s soulful “The Love That We Have For Mother Earth” rounds well everything up.
TECHNO ** Ignacio Arfeli – No Machine (Volta Records VOLTA004)
Arfeli, an Argentinian in Berlin, is keen to introduce romantic notes to rough techno, like in “Light And Darkness” where pounding bass interacts with tender male vocals the EDM arena way. Lowering the BPM rate, “Talking To Whales” with trancey arps is the most interesting cut.
TECHNO *** Speedy & Steve – Speedy & Steve (Mote-Evolver MOTE065)
Sample ‘let your body learn’ would not be surprising in the industrial tinged “Reddo” that opens a collaboration effort by Speedy J and Steve Rachmad. After two solid techno cuts, hollow ‘house of god’ synth lead and minimalist sound palette add extra points for “Rotor”.
TECHNO/ACID **** Blazej Malinowski – Moods EP (Aquaregia Records AQR022)
Purring and tripping “Acid Theory” overshadows the rest of the EP by the Polish producer, while 747 remix adds dreamy notes and broken beats to the original. The A-side offers dubbed out and droning cuts from techno’s restrained end.
TECHNO *** Various – Actualize Part 1 (Rekids Special Projects RSPX50A)
Rekids have collected two dozens techno tracks, split between two digital releases. The highlights of the first part are from Mark Broom, his ‘come with me tonight’s the night’ sampled tool meant for poorly lit warehouses (“Late Night Rave Muncher”), and Gene Richards Jr , with a funky strike placed between Relief and Bonesbreaks (“Take Control”). DJ Sodeyama‘s upbuilding table tennis percussion (“Annahme”) pleases as well. Most of the bandwidth is dedicated stomping fare, with tracks from Dustin Zahn, FBK, Shinedoe and many more.
TECHNO *** Lee Ann Roberts – Alter Ego (NowNow Records NN10)
A techno bash from the South African-born Amsterdam resident Ms Roberts, the original „Alter Ego“ reproducing the feel of Belgium’s floor monsters from 1992 and matching tracks by Rebekah and Paula Temple. Tred’s nasty remix challenges digestible BPM rates with acid fumes and Spiral Tribe touch, while Milo Spykers‘ robust version comes with uplifting stabs. Don’t leave it behind for a fierce techno night.