Thursday, November 29, 2018

Rising - Antigone (Token)

Title: Rising
Artist: Antigone
Label: Token
Cat Number: TOKEN88LP
Genre: Techno

A1: Rising
A2: Sands of Time
B1: Perchance to Dream
B2: Lost and Found
C1: Out There
C2: Duality of Mind
C3: Infinite Limit
D1: It Follows
D2: Irreversible
D3: Love Field

This is Antigone’s debut album and it’s a patient, well-disciplined realization of what I would hope is the artist’s imagination. This much should be obvious I suppose, but in a genre as claustrophobic as techno, it may need to be said more often than should be necessary. It’s not easy to make something which is truly unique within this genre anymore. The machine funk trace elements of one strain or another always seem to be present and form another layer of veneer on what has already been absorbed. What has kept me listening to this collection over the past few days is its symmetry and ambience; two very important techno characteristics that distinguish this album and raise it above the level of the mundane. It’s a bit too clean at times, but the space within which Antigone operates is both figurative and hallucinatory and, although most of what has been produced here feels safe within its cyclic realms, the restraint and maturity which adorns it is notable.

Monday, November 26, 2018

The Snake Bites Twice - Posthuman (Craigie Knowes)

Title: The Snake Bites Twice  
Artist: Posthuman
Label: Craigie Knowes
Cat Number: CKNOWEP13
Genre: Techno

1: Steal the Show
2: Cobra Structure
3: Polywater Acid
4: Down 2 Jakk

Electro and acid, the devil’s dumplings of electronic dance music. Seen by some to be no more than house/techno inflections, and by others as genre and sub genre respectively. Without going into the detail that I already have, I’d just like to say that the acid dominates on this release by Posthuman, with the only track free of it, ‘Steal the Show’ being an electro banger with a rave sensibility. That doesn’t mean that it’s the only composition to stand out though: ‘Polywater Acid’ journeys into a stoned hinterland for most of its last three minutes; ‘Down 2 Jakk’ is distinguished by dramatic metallic swirls which raise it above the merely mundane and ‘Cobra Structure’ has a funky shuffle that will test even the most double-jointed dancer. Craigie Knowes are signing off a great year in fine style.

Oscillate tracks 001 - D. Tiffany & Roza Terenzi (Oscilate Tracks)

Title: Oscillate Tracks 001
Artist: D. Tiffany & Roza Terenzi
Label: Oscillate Tracks
Cat Number: OSCT001
Genre: Electro/Breaks

A1: Electronique - Roza Terenzi
B1: Spirit Alien - D. Tiffany 
B2: Spirit Alien (Jayda G Esoteric Mix) - D. Tiffany

An interesting release this, which incorporates electro, drum and bass and a Jayda G  remix, which remains true to the original’s spirit while being very much of itself. Roza Terenzi’s ‘Electronique’ is a wonderful track: euphoric electro  with break beats which steadily builds and  relies on disparate elements to come together and provide a stream of mind melding moments. It’s versatile and will build at the beginning of a set, as well as raising the temperature just when needed. It’s subtle, and much more than the sum of its parts. The original of ‘Spirit Alien’ is a cosmic drum and bass excursion and is very understated. Jayda G’s remix goes down a similar rhythmic route, but makes frictional use of percussion and vocal samples to further emphasise syncopation and mood. An interesting release that refuses to be pinned down.

Friday, November 23, 2018

S.T - Rings Around Saturn (Brokntoys)

Title: S/T
Artist: Rings Around Saturn
Label: Brokntoys
Cat Number: BT30
Genre: Techno/Electro

A1: Saturnine
A2: Pulp Tech
A3: Apocalypse Lite
B1: Event Strike
B2: Perfect Crime
C1: Online Spectre
C2: World Interior
C3: Uncanny Soul
D1: Non Place
D2: Automatic Memory
D3: Mirage

A varied and interesting release this one. Flitting between augmented and reductionist strains of electro, techno, IDM and cosmic synthwave Rory McPike has created the soundtrack to a Hieronymous Bosch animation. If the garden of Earthly Delights were set to music, the result wouldn’t be too dissimilar to this. There’s chaos, but also order, a little like the third law of thermodynamics. Above all though, this collection glistens with energy and evokes a dawn of time scenario where fish are just about to grow legs and oversized planets hang in a purple sky. It’s an imaginative, evocative collection of compositions, each of which contributes in its own small way to the construction of a primitive, parallel universe.

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Hypnagogia LP - BNJMN (Delsin Records)

Title: Hypnagogia 
Artist: BNJMN
Label: Delsin
Cat Number: Techno
Genre: 131DSR

A1: Atoms Speak
A2: Swarm
A3: Glowed
B1: Titan Dome
B2: Hypnagogia Pt. 1
C1: Theta Wave
C2: Indub
C3: Moth Lines
D1; Hyonagogia Pt. 2
D2: Over White Peaks

I never knew of the existence of this word until introduced to it via the Dopplereffekt/Objekt split release of a few years ago; ‘Hypnagogia, also referred to as "hypnagogic hallucinations", is the experience of the transitional state from wakefulness to sleep:’ one of my many faults is maybe wanting track titles in electronica to actually have a relationship with the music, and not be random throwaway inscriptions. This isn’t the case here, or maybe I’m overthinking things. That BNJMN feels that this is his first “cohesive body of work” since ‘Black Square’ on Rush Hour back in 2011, however, is a sentiment I feel is worth taking seriously, true or not. Whatever the case, the album is a serious collection of mood setters, and hinges, for me at least on the two eponymous compositions,  which provide the peaks around which the other pieces coalesce. 

Sunday, November 11, 2018

Counterfeit Soul Vol 2 - Frazer Campbell (Counterfeit Soul Records)

Title: Counterfeit Soul Vol. 2
Artist: Frazer Campbell
Label: Counterfeit Soul Records
Cat Number: CS002
Genre: Deep House

1: Glad It’s All Night
2: Laurenz Hill
3: Alexo Kneel
4: Mr Green’s Envy

Frazer Campbell flexes his sonic sinews with four tracks which, judging by their titles, owe a debt to those in question. The tunes are tight and bouncy, as we have become used to, and there are various other embellishments to raise this quartet well above that of the purely playful and functional. Campbell keeps things understated throughout, and leaves it to the samples to do the work when necessary, but they wouldn’t sound so good without the grooves. Both ‘Glad It’s All Night’ and ‘Alexo Kneel’ rely on this approach more, with the beats being more upfront on ‘Laurenz Hill’. It’s probably the sunrise evoked by ‘Mr Green’s Envy’ that I find the most touching though, which ensures that each composition offers something a little bit different from its predecessor.

Immortality (ft. Paris Brightledge) - One Last Riot (Paranoid London)

Friday, November 09, 2018

In Heaven - Passarella Death Squad (Passarella Records)

Title: In Heaven
Artist: Passarella Death Squad
Label: Passarella Records
Cat Number: PASS004
Genre: Techno

1: In Heaven
2: In Heaven (Violet Remix)
3: In Heaven (Norman Nodge Remix)

With a name only marginally better than ‘PBR Streetgang’, the music had better be good. Thankfully it is, although I found it totally predictable in tone. A drone, a throb, and a deadpan vocal to accompany a martial beat are the cold wave components of coalescence. Techno lawyer Norman Nodge, a living personification of the black t shirt doesn’t overdo the remix to his credit, while Violet’s emphasizes the break beats which feels sonically a little muddy in parts, but it’s ok. T'artwork is good as well. 

Monday, November 05, 2018

Mix for the Motherchip

Athnatos – Dopplereffekt (Leisure System)
Cold Colony – ERP (Semantica)
Bodypop – Metamatics (Shipwrec)
Astral Flex – Reedale Rise (Kondi)
Pt. 2 SUEDO21 – SW (Sued)
Snow Banks – 214 (Klakson)
Lonely Planet – Pollen (Tresor)
Afrogermanic –UR (UR)
Lost – J. Roland (Lonely Planets)
Fadin’ Away (Heinrich Mueller Remix) – The Hacker (WeMe)
Shell Script Magic – Life Recorder (Acting Press)
Glyph 03 – Archetype (Was/Is)
Future City – The Advent (Kombination Research)
Vohx Continues V1 – Adapta (Frustrated Funk)
Humanity Nill – Will Web (Di’jital Axcess)
Sepsis – Versalife (Trust)
You Don’t Know – Drexciya (UR)
G Club Live – Reflective Souls (Hard Beach Entertainment)
Forget About It – Galaxian (Foul Up)