Flederlaus EP - Stefan Tretau (Heimatmelodie006)
Bettfluchthemmung (Martin Czubala remix)
Stefan Tretau debuts on Andre Crom's Heimatmelodie label with an accomplished four tracker. 'Flederlaus' skanks along with off-kilter synth stabs breaking the metronimic backing track and a spoken word saying "I don't need this shit". 'Bettfluchthemmung' comes in original and Martin Czubala mixes. The original is a dank, threat-filled journey through the darkside which, for some reason, reminds me of The Italoboyz. Martin Czubala's remix injects some funk into the proceedings and bounces along with Plastikmanish percussion. I prefer it to the two versions on offer, there is a muggy, pressurised feel to both though. 'Reiner Modern' offers something a little different to the rest of the EP, its more in-your-face and rawer and made for those dry ice moments. Nothing like a few contrasting loops going on to drive the dancefloor crazy. 'Camille' is a digital-release only track that, although it's described as a dj tool on the press release, still has more than enough subtlety to maintain interest.
Kardio EP - Andre Krom (Sender)
A polished and variety-packed release from Andre Crom. 'Adrenalin' is full of insect menace, and comes on like the bugs out of Starship Troopers in a disorderly phalanx ready for battle. 'Reha' jacks along nicely like what Chicago house would sound like if it had continued to evolve and not got stuck in a rut. 'Endorphin' has a concave feel to it that culminates in a regimental acid hoedown. 'Fieberkurve' with its playful sounding beats uses a muffled vocal sample that, along with Akufen-like stabs repetitively morphs into what sounds like manic laughter. The EP is an exemplary piece of robotic funk with four very playable tracks that could each find their way into most sets when the time is right.
Foundation - The Model (Underline)
Priests of Anacron
Stars End Tazenda
This EP comes slow on the heels of last years 'Prelude to Foundation' which I found to be quite a competent piece of work. The titles allude to some sort of science fiction parallel world and there's more than a hint of the cosmic about this ep. 'Terminus Interlude' reminds me of Model 500 while 'Aglomerarea Lemur' relies on a loping bassline to drive it. Without going into exhaustive detail this is a strong release that shows a conceptual approach and a breadth of versatility. 'Priests of Anacron' is a lovely, wistful bouncer that pops and bursts when you least expect it. 'Constant Expansion' has a nice kick and a wiry build while 'Stars End Tazenda' hits the right notes with its medieval cadences. Space music of the highest order from Underline.
The Garden EP - Dan Ghenacia (Freak n' Chic)
Freak n' Chic label boss Dan Ghenacia returns to recording action with this January-bound two tracker. 'Cycle' doesn't do enough for me to keep things interesting. It's a solid enough workout but lacks variety, a good piece of functional mixing gear though. 'Garden' is more appealing and sounds like a more confident piece. It strolls along and has a nice throb to it. It reminds me of something but I can't for the life of me remember what.
'Garden' saunters along while 'Cycle' is more hesitant. Two sides of the same coin. A good release, but one track is visibly more appealing than the other to moi.
Reduxtion EP - Acid Circus (Droid Behaviour)
Reduxtion (Agaric remix)
Uncle Jak (Audio Injection 1/2 Weird remix)
'Reduxtion' on its original form is a quirky, funky little beast with an off key melody and a skippiness that reminds me of speed garage. The Agaric remix is an altogether different propostion, taking things deeper and darker, but what I really like about it is are the background effects, that rush in and out and sound like someone tunefully screaming as they're being strangled by violin strings. Played loud this rocks. Unkle Jak is, inevitably, a Chicago influenced belter that gallops along and has some disembodied voices (I love 'em) sinisterly moaning intermittently in the mix. Audio Injection's mix is a bit sparser than the original, but has all funk elements intact.
Baby Moon - Itokim (Fine Art)
After the success of Basic Unit's 'Fedass' EP, Fine Art look to the east, Japan specifically, to consolidate their success. 'Baby Moon' is a deep, warm, analogous composition that begs to be played on a big system, having said that it's just as likely to make you curl up in a crepuscular ball as make you dance. 'Glittering Way' is a subtle percussive journey lit up along the way by lightness-of-touch synth stabs. A sophisticated release which, for me at least, reminds me of some of Ferox's more melodic moments.
The More Things Change EP - Tom Demac (Hypercolour)
The Clock (Live)
The More Things Change (original)
The More Things Change (Agnes Cardiff Headz remix)
The More Things Change (Agnes Wales Beatdown Reshake)
The live version of 'The Clock' really is hyperkinetic techno of the highest order. A keen ear for squelching that doesn't sound a million miles away from early Daft Punk lays a foundation for grooviness that drives things along nicely. 'The More Things Change' comes in three different versions, (quite why Agnes chose to christen his efforts the way he did is anyone's guess). The original is a restrained moody journey and while it simmers with a brooding intensity, is very different in tone from 'The Clock.' Agnes' 'Cardiff Headz remix' takes things down a notch, retaining the depth of the original but dispensing with the simmering intensity to drift off on a highway of analogue warmth. His 'Cardiff Beatdown Reshake' (what happend, did he bump into Craig Bellamy during a Wetherspoon's happy hour?) is a housier take on the tune which bumps along accompanied on its way by well-chosen squelches and some interesting background orchestral samples cunningly phased to make this a jack track that sounds just that little bit more menacing. Strong release from Hypercolour. All the bits are worth your time.