Monday, January 22, 2018

The Midnight Manual - V/A (Midnight Shift)

Title: The Midnight Manual
Artist: V/A
Label: Midnight Shift
Cat Number: MNSX5Y
Genre: Techno/

A1: Barnhohl – Hodge & Gramrcy
A2: Rymdhattens Resa – Knutsson/Berg
B1: Power Grab – Mark Foreshaw
B2: Iron Boat – Harmonius Thelonius

C1: Joie Automoatique – Amato
C2: A Last Time For – INNSYTER
D1: Turbine – Thermocline
D2: The Gurning Veneer – Terry Lamborghini

A mixed bag, characterized mostly by an upfront urgency and occasional discord, it’s perhaps no surprise then to learn that when it goes slightly off the beaten track and explores a more organic side, as in ‘Iron Boat’, then one sits up and takes more notice. That’s not to say that there isn’t other good stuff to be discovered here as well. Mark Forshaw’s Detroit-inflected ‘Power Grab’ is as good as its word, and the tribal-infused dense breaks of ‘Rymdhattens Resa’ and the stark, plucked electro of ‘Amato’ all engage the synapses and the senses. Compilations which feel smoothed out have always felt a little suspect. This one has quite a few rough edges, thankfully.

Tuesday, January 09, 2018

Fiere EP - Com Sin (Sound Of Vast)

Title: Fiere EP 
Artist: Com Sin
Label: Sound Of Vast
Cat Number: SOV013
Genre: Techno

A1: Fiere
B1: Vedenie
B2: Miere

Straddling the nether regions of minimal and techno, Cosmin TRG is one of the genre’s more singular voices at large today, someone who, on this release, lets slip a glimpse into a world where layer upon layer of gossamer –like sound is held together by the strongest of sonic sinews. If I had to say what sound these beats make in my mind’s ear it would have to be that of a spider’s web vibrating under attack from a downpour. With ‘Vedenie’ being the most evocative of this particular sensation. These are high tensile beats which belie their apparent ragility in order to relay other worldly messages that ultimately emanate from closer to home.

Nocturnal Lullabies EP - Estroe (Rosedale Records)

Title: Nocturnal Lullabies EP
Artist: Estroe
Label: Rosedale Records
Cat Number: ROSE022
Genre: House

1: Borderline (2018 Version)
2: Borderline (D. Diggler Remix)
3: Nightshift
4: Slaapliedje

Both versions of ‘Borderline’ are wonderful. Diggler’s isn’t that great a departure from the original, but it’s more bass heavy, which gives it the edge over the more fragile ‘2018 Version’ in my considered opinion. There is also a shared sense of destiny at play here. Both ‘Nightshift’ and ‘Slaapliedje’ share a crepuscular sensibility with ‘Borderline (2018 Version)’ and contribute to the overall dreamy tone of the release. Not surprising when you see what it’s called. The type of more up tempo offering that one should play when getting into a floatation tank, if there are any still around.

Saturday, January 06, 2018

Infinite Dreamz EP - No Moon (Craigie Knowes)

Title: Infinite Dreamz EP
Artist: No Moon
Label: Craigie Knowes
Cat Number: CKNOWEP8
Genre: Electro

1: Exoplanet Vibe Cult
2: Infinite Dreamz
3: Mallet Fury

An absolute belter from start to finish. All three cuts are superb and nail the cosmic electro side of things with ease. You’ve heard it before but that doesn’t mean you won’t again and even though electro is now all the rage, you shouldn’t let that stop you from enjoying this. Each composition exists within its own stellar ecosystem, and it’s the bassier sounding ‘Mallet Fury’ (presumably named in reference to its staccato percussive thud) that makes the greatest impression on me; but don’t take my word for it.

Uzkzowz EP - DJ Noraki Presents ZZZ (Unknown To The Unknown)

Title: Uzkzowz EP
Artist: DJ Noraki Presents ZZZ
Label: Unknown To The Unknown
Cat Number: UTTU081
Genre: Techno

1: No Way Back Mix
2: Stir All Night Mix
3: DJ Haus “bodyheat” remix

Pretty disposable this, so I won’t linger too long. I can’t get ‘It Takes Two’ out of my mind while listening to it, and I thought I’d never have to subject myself to that again. Functional and overbearing, undoubtedly effective given the right environment, but not that interesting, or good even. If it’s the stroking of your primal urges you want, then tracks 1 & 2 will serve you well, but 2 is particularly dull. DJ Haus raises the standard with his mix, keeping it smooth and linear, but the rest is overdone.