Boris Bunnik switches over from the dystopic electro of his Versalife project to the Conforce alias by which he's better known. Classic Delsin material here. "Nomad" sets the tone with ominous techno drones, an odd kick meter, elastic bass and big-room creepiness. "Receiver" veers closer to classic Detroit techno tropes, with insistent bells providing the atmosphere over a telltale tom. The patient and precise production of the ep’s opener is still intact, but here it's bolstered by subtle hi-hat drops that feel momentous in context. B-side "Last Anthem’s" rugged kick drum signals this 12”s diversity, ringing in the most floor-friendly track on the record. Closer "Embrace" is a deep, dub techno track with just a sliver of melody, achieving Chain Reaction-worthy hypnosis.
Laid back, eastern-tinged acid from the German producer, whose huge “Moon Oddity” (sensing a theme?) on Dial deep-house imprint Laid placed the producer alongside Tin Man in his ability to coax new, emotional sound out of classic equipment. The title track uses a busy 303 bassline against a deep Juno progression, the overall effect not unlike a more narcotic version of Max D’s Cassette Arabic (L.I.E.S.)
Tales from the Night Sky Part 1
M>O>S continues to distinguish itself as the home of some of the most twisted and uncompromising modern acid sounds. Side one kicks off with “Gorgon’s” unruly acid line. “Poseidon’s Monster” puts PT’s Bunker lineage on full display and will appeal to fans of all things Wolfers. “Return to Seriphos” imagines an alternate past where Larry Heard came up in Chicago - hot, classic sounds with a modern twist. Recommended.
Fine techno from the Modeselektor-affiliated producer. A must for fans of early-Warp and the ambient and banging sounds that made early-90s UK such a heady place place. It’s all here, Twisted, atmospheric techno leads into Boards-esque vibers like End of Days. Recommended.
FREEFORM FIVE (FEAT. JULDEH CAMARA): Weltareh (Prins Thomas Remix)
Veteran Anu Pillai has taken some time off form the Freeform Five project to concentrate on producing artists like Lana Del Rey, Santigold and more. Here he returns in fine form for Eskimo. “Weltereh” is a spirited collaboration between Pillai and vocalist Juldeh Camara. The original has Camara taking MC duties over a krautrock-indebted monster. The instrumental focuses more on loping, disco meets afrobeat bassline. Prins Thomas ads Moroder-esque bass and some downtown horns and comes out with a remix that sounds like the best 80s-downtown dance bands channeling Can and Gino Soccio.
Hemp is Here
Reissue of super-rare cassette from 1985 mixing post-punk, dub and all manner of world and experimental esoterica. Amazing, prescient find not far from where Peaking Lights are landing currently. For fans of This Heat, Flaming Tunes, Flying Lizards, On-U and all all manner of scrappy UK DIY.
Albert Van Abbe
Sugar Lobby Series 12
Three numbered, austere techno tracks from the Dutch producer. Opener “Sugar Lobby 9191”, uses an insistent, brief bassline and bubbling snare to introduce a seriously dark synth theme. “...9090”, is more off-kilter, using what sounds like a distant piano chord and working its way into unsettling Drexciyan “funk”. Kangding Ray takes that track into darker, deeper territory, each percussion element has an equal and opposite reaction (ala Vadislav Delay). Van Abbe’s atmospherics are sullied by a filthy and insistent bass pulse. Awesome and otherwordly, with just a hint of optimism nested in the remix’s motorik conclusion. Closer, “9390” sends things out with an array of sampled and affected percussion over a simple bassline, showing just how much the right hands can get out of a handful of tones.
Hard as f*ck industrial techno from Blawan and Surgeon. Still here? Good. The producers trade on their mutual sadism and take it even further here, even compared to other SheWorkers/affiliates Karenn and Analogue Cops. Not a sound here that doesn’t distort, rattle or rear up and take off at 135 bpm (or thereabouts). Heavy!
Fear of Flying
Fear of Flying issue of some tough to find, choice deep house from the Nottingham producer. “Clear My Mind” is a perfect vocal house track with a deep chord progression. “Try” takes an obvious Moodymann influence, down to the quick-hit bass sampling as used on “I Can’t Kick This Feeling...”, and switches it up with some nimble organ stabs and rhythms (this track also appeared on an early Andrew Weatherall Essential Mix). “Til the Feelings Gone "and “Optimus” are on the same level, with the latter on that classic Detroit beatdown tip. Valuable reissue.
Trippy, funky house from Manchester’s Freak Seven (Rush Hour, New Religion) - sounding not unlike a more underground Hot Creations release, or a modern version of a Frankie Knuckles’ beater. The listener is given some respite from the insistent bass line and pitched down, spoken word vocals - a pristine house chorus comes in deep into the track, and the second half adds bright pads and even delicate guitar to the relentless rhythm. Sebo K swings the drums to add classic Jersey garage-house influence for his first remix, and also provides a dubbier reading.
Dalston appointment-only clothing/lifestyle boutique LN-CC has stepped into the vinyl game something fierce with this massive three-volume remix series gathering some of the heaviest hitters in modern, cosmic sound. On Volume 1, former A Mountain of One dudes Zsou turn PM’s “Walking Through Heaven’s Door” into a piece that sounds like one of the more paranoid emanations recorded the revered Spoon studios. Legendary italian dj and progenitor of the cosmic sound Danielle Baldelli takes on source material “Caracas”, and takes the already Balaeric/psychedelic song further out - adding a jumpy synth bass line and turning Manzanera’s subtle and masterful guitar work towards Nile Rodgers territory. The ESP Institute crew takes over for volume 3, perhaps no surprise due to the Lovefingers/BlackDisco crew’s deep connections to the fashion world. Japan’s Cos/Mes steers “Big Dome” from a jungle dub replete with squawking birds into full-on Holger Czukay “Cool in the Pool” territory with Blade Runner synth overlays. What!? Secret Fingers (Secret Circuit + Lovefingers) turns in the highlight of the whole series - a lilting, tropical take on Island - perfect for long sunsets, hammocks, or perhaps sending a long party out on a pleasant note. Float off. Volume 4 is a one-sider from the inimitable Theo Parrish which takes the cinematic original and gives it the Electrifying Mojo treatment, mixing new wave, funk and disco into the alluring stew. Fantastic looking packaging on each installment in the series.