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techno REVIEWS VC-118A


Information System Trust


9.0


VC-118A is about to release an album for Lunar Disko, but in the meantime, there’s this brooding four-tracker to contend with. While the title track and ‘Protocol’ are fine interpetations of dreamy electro, it’s the flipside cuts that impress. Straddling bassy electro and deep techno ‘+/-’ and ‘Eha’ are powered by menacing sub bass, doubled-up claps and hissing, insistent hats. Both tracks have an untamed energy that sounds out of kilter with contemporary techno — it’s precisely this outsider status that makes ‘System’ so essential.


Alex Cortex


Kille Kill 09 Kille Kill 8.5


Techno would be a far poorer place if Cortex did not produce music. On this release, his usual outsider approach is audible; ‘Future Acid’ drags 303 lines kicking and screaming over gated drums, while ‘R-Byte’ is even more aggressive, consisting solely of an all-encompassing wave of analogue noise that dwarfs the backing jack track. Cortex confounds his audience once again on ‘Mem’, with its glassy minimalism.


Bas Mooy


The Room At The End EP Perc Trax


8.0 Dutch producer Mooy impresses with a dense industrial techno release for Perc. Although this sound has been rinsed by countless second-rate acts, Mooy shows that when done properly — as is the case on ‘Fasad’ — fractured rhythms, eerie atmospheres and haunting vocal samples still sound powerful. Mooy also shows his dancefloor prowess with the pulsing groove of ‘Kneel’ and the clanging rhythms of ‘Loaded’, but his abstract approach, evident on the turbulent textures of ‘Pose’, really impresses.


D’Marc Cantu


A New World MOS Recordings 7.5


The US producer steps from Traxx and James T Cotton’s shadows to release one of his most rounded works so far. From the atmospheric synths of ‘Genetic Script’ and ‘Good’ to the more abrasive, doubled-up drums and bleeding acid of ‘Mobile Communications’, Cantu covers a lot of ground. Despite this, he sounds most competent when making


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menacing, underground grooves like ‘First Planet’ and ‘The Other Side Of House’.


Milton Bradley


Reality Is Wrong Prologue 7.0


There is so much droney/tunnel techno in circulation that it sounds like the norm rather than the exception. Despite this, a producer like Bradley can still throw adventurous shapes. He achieves this with the help of dreamy textures and acidic bass licks on ‘Trapped In Eternity’, while the Milan Kundera-referencing ‘The Unbearable Lightness’ sees Bradley distinguish himself with phased claps and bursts of jarring percussion. The menacing soundtrack on the title track completes the package.


Nick Sinna


Voyager (Remixes) Prime Numbers 8.0


Sinna’s recent Prime Numbers release gets the remix treatment from two of techno’s most respected producers. Conforce’s take sees him strip the track back and fuse an acidic bass with a DBX-style looped vocal. The highlight, though, is James T Cotton’s version. Focusing on a Hood-style minimal techno track, the atmospheric, eerie synths and spooky vocal samples cast the Jak Beat specialist in a brand new light.


Powell


Body Music Diagonal


8.5


The first Powell EP recruited Regis as remixer, but the follow-up goes further off the radar. Inspired by the wiry rumble of post-punk as much as the murderous bass of


Throbbing Gristle, ‘Body Music’ is exactly what its title suggests, a collection of primal, at times oppressive arrangements that connect on a physical level. In the struggle for supremacy, the fuzzy guitars and sparse but metronomic rhythm of the title track just about shade it.


Tr-One


Living In, Now Pogo


8.0


Tr-One made their name as house producers, but ‘Living’ is a proper techno record. Rasping hats and an insistent stabbing riff support layers of bleeding acid on ‘Herd Of Trains’, while the title track is more reduced, as a drum track underpins a repetitive vocal sample. Techno influences are never far from the surface and the clattering percussion and menacing bass of ‘Love Letter’ invoke Detroit’s darker alleys.


Various Artists


So Click Heels Downwards 8.5


Karl O’Connor goes back to the ‘80s for this collection of left-of-centre post-punk-meets- electronica. Deathday and The KVB’s contributions are full of theatrics, lo-fi production aesthetics and muffled vocals, like Ian Curtis fronting Bauhaus, while O’Connor’s own Sandra Electronics project splutters forth grungy drones. It could be argued that ‘Heels’ is merely an excuse for techno producers to get in touch with their inner goth, were it not for O’Connor’s other contribution — the spell-bindingly pretty indie of Six Six Seconds’ ‘Tearing Down Heaven’.


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Andy Vaz feat Niko Marks


Don’t Lose Your Mind Delsin 7.0


Detroit meets Germany as Vaz drops a sassy, jazzy groove, replete with sax solos, and Marks delivers a plaintive but sexy vocal. It’s refreshing to hear the label trying something different.


Nico Gomez, Emilia Rey & John Barokskki


Drops (Remixes) Poisson Chat Musique 7.0


This idiosyncratic label could have a pop hit on its hands, as the dreamy techno of ‘Drops’ is home to Rey’s soul-drenched, heartfelt vocals. Meanwhile, the remixes will appeal to underground techno fans, with Roger 23 and Break SL dropping bass and clap-heavy workouts.


Innerspace Halflife/Ike Release


Wind/Phazzled MOS Deep 7.0


Ike Release unites woozy chords with steely drums on ‘Phazzled’, but Hakim Murphy impresses most. Working under his Innerspace Halflife guise, ‘Wind’ features eerie synths and a wobbling acid line over a visceral, robotic rhythm.


Various Artists


Modularz 8 Modularz 7.5


Developer’s label goes from strength- to-strength with this release. The US producer drops ‘Heated’, a functional driving groove, and the heavy drums of ‘Dirty Drive’, while Shifted weighs in with a stomping, big- room take on ‘Drive’.


SHIFTED AVIAN


01. RROSE‘23 Lashes’ Eaux “Sandwell’s modular scientist moves onto his second single on his own Eaux label.”


02. BLEACHING AGENT‘9ml’ Mira “Undercover, lo-fi, raw techno for the first release on Avian’s new Mira offshoot.”


03. SIGHA‘Living With Ghosts LP’ Hotflush “Fantastic debut long-player from my close friend and collaborator Sigha. I’m quite


sure this is going to turn a lot of heads. Out this autumn on Hotflush.”


04. MPIA3‘Ely’ Avian “Second single from MPIA3; more bruising, full-on acid techno.”


05. REEKO‘Lynx’ Polegroup “Killer lesson in advanced syncopation from Spain’s Reeko.”


06. BRONZE AGE‘Coupling Symbols’ Bed Of Nails “Simply incredible uncompromising music from Kris Lapke of Hospital Productions.”


07. MILTON BRADLEY ‘Trapped In Eternity’ Prologue “Driving, deep and incredibly bleak track from Milton’s next EP for Cologne’s


Prologue imprint.”


08. SHIFTED ‘She Dressed In Grey (Static Version)’ Semantica “Track from my forthcoming EP on Madrid’s Semantica imprint.”


09. SKUDGE‘Man On Wire (Marcel Dettmann Remix)’ Skudge “Super deep house-tinged Dettmann version of a cut from the Skudge LP.”


10. VATICAN SHADOW‘Operation Neptune Spear Pt.2 (Live Mix


Rehearsal)’ Hospital Productions “Latest installment in Dominick Fernow’s sublime VS project. Essential listening.”


MONEYSHOT!


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