Core (Black) / Two Moons
Gaffa Tape Records
TBR: 25th May
Gaffa Tape Records fasten themselves to the electronic music scene in style with this new release from Prequel Tapes. Pushing the pressure even further than before with head-searing body music that motivates the masses, Prequel Tapes shows his hand on this, the beginning in a string of releases and shows. Planned collaborations with Russian visual artist Ksenia Mozhayskaya, or nomoreless, are on the horizon. This will include live shows, a must see video, and associated artwork. Having been mixed by none other than Belgian producer and performer Peter Van Hoesen, the release clearly is destined to be enjoyed in every room size imaginable.
A melodic white noise pierces the anticipation fuelled silence, what could be described as a broken electric guitar buzzes and whistles over distorted hums. A beat penetrates the mist of sound and pushes a pattern imprint onto the fluffy formations. New tones slowly emerge in small numbers, shy to embrace the ever growing palette of waveforms. As one by one new sensations gradually trickle in, the bubbling frenzy of sonic coagulate thickens. All breaks into swelling energetic surge, and with a click of a button, a bass driven beat throws in a significant forward motion. Velocity increases as bar by bar the heavy duty industrial techno throws us further out into mechanical space.
When Two Moons begins, a powdery synthesiser creeps over a fragmented landscape. Once it has reached a certain point, additional sounds begin to twinkle like artificial stars in a sub-terrainian sky. The droplets start to fall like globules of digital rain, coloured like children's sweets and merging with the still active white noise gently warming up the whole piece. Penetrative tones nudge ever further into the bubble of headspace created by the framework of the track, dripping with puncturing vibe and timbre. When the last bars unwrap themselves the pressure subsides to reveal only the crackling fire of what ought to be sticky vinyl.
Look out for Prequel Tapes on tour,
28 April - Warehouse / Palma De Mallorca
18 May - Vakant Kater Blau / Berlin
25 May - Under Festival / Riga
21 June - Arena / Berlin - LIVE
Perc & Truss
Leather & Lace Remixed
TBR: 25th May
We all loved Leather & Lace, it made a real mark on the rave scene much to the delight of its creators. In honour of this amazing mover, three big names on the producer circuit have made it their business to play with the files and find a unique way of delivering this dance-floor dynamite. As each track is based on the same foundation, the work involved in production really shows through with every offering standing individually proud as a uniquely flavoured piece.
Ghost In The Machine take the A side rendition, following from their bursting through the underground veil last year. Having made a name for themselves with kick drum and Reese bassline formulations, it's no surprise to find them utilizing these tools in this pounding remix. The track begins with a heavy distorted bass drum which sets a pace perfect for moving around to. Some distant siren like synths swell to fill the mix alongside lots of noisy percussive waves. It builds like an approaching train and as the body of sound begins to throw itself past our ears with bars like carriages, a roar of energy pushes everything forward. A delicate early breakdown allows for an interesting tangent into rumbling melodics in the bass section and it's soon joined by the second passing body of mechanical metal and motion.
After an enchanting and technophillic nine minutes of pulsing beats and flowing high energy nuance, we're allowed to take a breath and take heed of the other two mixes adorning this already worthy offering. Pinch shuffles over from the Tectonic homeland to show his stuff on the second instalment. The Bristolian sound is rich with retrotronic waveforms that create spacey and nostalgic flurries of programmed notes. A broken and sporadic beat reveals the energy of this track, the build up shakes like a resonating scanner preparing to operate. High end dominates the early composition, rumbling high hats frame a blip based antique electronic sound. Additions of modern sampled effects and nicely tweaked synths keep the pins in place while a playful mix of digital seasoning spices up each bar with evolving sensations. As the bass kicks in, the whole track is turned upside down with the original scoring of cymbal and synth becoming a skin to a much more substantial skeleton. The same experimental ethic is applied to the bass and drums, with effects and changes bringing in adapted sounds with every few turns of the disc.
Unlike the sounds they may be known for, Mumdance and Logos take on the challenge of coming down to earth to create a dense and floor-filling version of this already classic track. With inspirations taken from epics such as Eye-Q and Bonzai, it's safe to say that these guys know what they're doing. A rich and bass heavy intro starts the scene and some echoing samples ring out over the horizon. It's built upon with unison cymbals which creates a driving and beat filled pulse. This breaks down to allow jumpy and distorted synthesiser notes to dance in circular loops which become a helix of sound among the rhythms. It is all too much for the landscape as in a clever breakdown, the entire track shifts from noisy blips and intense pulsing beats to high end raging synths which seem to roll in like slightly wet clouds. The trance feel that's topped by techno and rave style rhythms brings a fantastic sensation of energy.
All in all, this single may have the same track three times over and yet they stand so significantly alone from each other, only a hardened listener could tell. Every option takes home a different set of instructions and reveals a brand new working of the much loved ingredients. The inspirations that come from each of the three tracks are unique and from their groundings new sounds and directions can grow. If this is a homage to Perc & Truss, then count me in.
Wax Poetic For This Our Great Resolve
TBR April 27th
Deadbeat is angry. Upon releasing this astounding long play record, Deadbeat released a statement which leaves its intent without any doubt. Referring to a racist and senile old man at the controls of a world power whose friends control the majority of wealth on the planet, we can only assume he's been watching the YouTube. Deadbeat makes it clear that although we are angry, and rightfully so, human rage is not the answer to this complex problem. Destructive anger only causes more problems, constructive anger on the other hand focusses our excess energy into something positive. This album is a way of standing up and saying “No More” to all of the powerful men and women who are playing dice with people's lives.
Deadbeat has titled the tracks of this album after his own friends, immortalising their relationships in sonic clarity. Martin begins the record with a warm and flowing distorted voice recording and synth combination. The French words spoken slowly and softly are then paired with another voice proclaiming and emoting. Ambient sound waves jostle on the undercurrent, bobbing the words upon their resting surface tensions. Experimenting with chord and effect, the track explores a deep and poetic message. It fades to allow the clicking of drums to grow from distant places into the foreground.
A selection of percussion instruments are tapped in an almost playful array which is matched with a chunky bass line. Extremely pessimistic lines ramble on in a self deluded mind meld accusing world governments of being some kind of sick machine. Thanks for the electricity for making this album with, but you suck. The angst is thick and gloopy, with an almost anarchic disdain for the gifts of civilisation Steve and Fatima delve into the immature side of problem solving. It's clear that these guys hate politicians, the people who made it their life mission to bring about change and progress. Of course, if after a different life with different events than you they don't agree with you exactly, then they're working against you. Sure. I guess we all have a right to an opinion, unless you're a politician of course. Droning notes mirror the droning complainant who with an American accent, bites the hand that feeds.
It's over, thank goodness, and a smooth click track with a warm echo begins to create something a little more like music. An ethnic twang reverberates from left to right in a sub melodic spongy mix. It's soon accompanied by a silky vocal, possibly German (Forgive a man for not knowing everything), and it brings about a dancing change to the pace. A beat progresses from the near chaotic garden of sounds the music has previously unveiled. Some catchy fills and a digital bass line with an attitude of the 90s hiding somewhere make this track feel like part two of the record. Piano attempts to formulate a dominant melody section but its over powered by metallic rhythmic cymbals. It drips with musical class, swerving on a slender pole, swaying from one side to another.
Argenis and Cristobal roll into view with a tribal drum-fest that revolves like a wobbling record on a funky coloured turn-table. A deep and woody African voice begins to talk about something, again, I'm not sure what. This album is meant for the whole world, and there's something for everyone it seems. For me, the music is good enough as it is and it's not important to know what the guy is saying. If I can go on what the English version was, I may be disappointed. It's got a delicious groove that's helped along by an oddly familiar wind instrument. Verging on the kazoo, but with a basis in accordion, the voice adds a fragrant colour to the beat centred composition.
We return to the French speaking realm for Chato and Avril. A synth beat pounds away on the tuneful loop that serves as a landing place for the volley of calmly spoken words that seem to drizzle like coulée. The melody matures and bass adds new directions to the pace and flow of sound. Looped vocals begin to form another layer of tempo making an interesting shift in energy once again. The album has picked up from where it began, the vibe is fresh and inviting. As it closes on a high, the final note draws out into a dimly lit horizon.
Next comes a wave of sonic tingles and light as a synthesiser pens a thick line of fluffy sonics. More instrumental voice work take a hold, a male vocal is looped and run in a peculiar repetition. Perhaps it's being played backwards. I like the unusual nature of the feeling it delivers, a flurry of drums in the background snaps my awareness to the other half of the track, making me pay attention to the evolving bass and synthesiser mix that takes control and begins to dance. Hebatallah and Bashar translates into a catchy and exciting track, it's got character that stands out. It makes a perfect intro track for what comes next, as a slinky and magnetic rhythm crawls from the remnants of before.
A digital saw with a wave that sways from one extreme to the other in subtle pitch bending begins to form a melody over a droning and breathy underlay. With an almost reggae vibe the melody explores the key its in and starts to turn in circles to find the best fit alongside the ever changing bass. The coming together of three or four melodies brings on an intense amalgam of sonic directions that pinpoint right in the middle of the head. Thomas takes the energy from before and pushes it further into technology before breaking down the sound to reveal a German soliloquy. It serves as a middle eight however as before we can settle into the story the music starts again bringing back the moving beats and plucky bass.
Me and Marco takes us straight into a living room as a strange instrument casts an atmosphere of eerie calm. Some drums begin to create a warped wall that builds into a wobbling plasticine of synth and drums of various pitch. English vocals in a Caribbean accent make an interesting change, this time the content is a little more mature. There's still a lot of emotion there, showing passion and headstrong integrity. Momo and Yuzo brings a hypnotic repetitive drum beat that could almost induce a trance. Vocals spill over like brandy over ice before a piano begins to jab funky notes in various tangents.
Eleven tracks in total, each one experimenting with vocal, spoken word, and rhythm, we're left with a fun and cultural album that leaves us a little bewildered. A plethora of inspirations have created the subtle differences between the tracks and the constant beat based formulation means we know where we're at even when it's doing something a bit different. It's an album that is worthy of a lot of interest, and I wonder how many of the Electro Review readers can understand every language here? There's a few.
TBR: May 11th
World music and electronica clubland pioneer Aïsha Devi returns to the album section with DNA Feelings. A dualistic medley of sounds crafted in honour of science, spirit, and personality, the release places this sensational Swiss soundsmith on the centrefold. Aïsha's Nepalise-Tibetan heritage mingled with her European grooming and nurture join in a celebratory collision of inner world and its outward expression. Eleven individually mastered tracks sit tight on this artistic and nutritious serving of sound.
Enchanting vocal opens the album, evenly spaced with pauses of nothing, creating a vibrancy within the anticipation. As the expressive voice matures and expands through its first moments, it pulls in industrial and scraping percussive pangs from the sidelines. A shift in mood pierces the drum skin as effected melodic voice begins to paint a layered image against subtly growing underscores. Echoline atmospheres shimmer with reverberating glow as fathoms of sound craft ever evolving distances between each other. Again, a mood swing adjusts the pace as the track draws to a close. Space age whistles and computerisations move slowly against a blanket of night. DNA ☤ ∞ promises a hypnotic and enthralling journey of music.
Dislocation of the Alpha carries a sense of post modernism, archaic horns curdle in a throw of mystery while spoken word and experimental vox bring out abstract images. Oddly conforming subtle percussions give a backbone to this mixing pot of emotion and indulgent sonic wanderings. As it slowly glides past and over the nearby horizon, DNA Feelings begins. More vocals crest from the waveform in pockets of rich personality and humming warmth. Synths which bounce from watery beginnings start to draw melodies which form ever changing drifts and spring. Relaxing droplets of notation resonate with ripples of intent, expanding into the void which glows in the mountainous soundscape.
A new found energy pushes through the oriental styled ambience of before. Deep and resounding, an expanse of passages and gapes create a network of semi-solid resting points between palpitations of interesting sonic expression. A tune with an inhaling quality starts to grow like a balloon within the spaces, almost drowning out the previous layer. As it builds to breaking point, all falls silent for a brief intermission. Hyperlands takes us to a distant field, sunlit and well tende yet strange and new. Suddenly the tranquil environment is torn apart by the massive cacophony of an engine. As quickly as it arrived, it disappears again. A lack of Doppler effect gives it a spooky and haunting quality which is validated by the choice of synth and the slow melody.
Inner State of Alchemy takes a dancefloor direction and throws us in a siren based deepend, full of magnetism and energy. It soon dissipates into ambient and abstract vocals which muse on secret thoughts. Bringing new directions with voiced song, looped and layered into expanding bubbles in the silence, the anticipated return to the energetic side of the track snaps everything into some kind of order. It's over all too soon, and just as we learn how it all fits together everything alters once more.
Harmonised vocals sing in the new number, a sludgy yet classically enjoyable synth stab gives rhythm and new layers of sound continually add momentum. An arpeggiating shrillness with increasing intensity draws the track into ever higher areas of sky while organic and interesting instruments anchor the kite to Earth. The experimental edge is sharpened as the album progresses, ambient and relaxing drones of emotion are matched with sporadic and loose flurries which keep the music continually on its feet. As Genesis of Ohm meets the halfway mark, the mixed sensations of sound suddenly break into oceansong, the sound of natural waves ending the track in peace.
Time (Tool) is a simple speech, made by a machine, talking about what we are in spiritual terms. Whether we take the word of a robot about the most intimate of secrets is perhaps the real question here. It's a good job the spirit is one of entertainment. Time Is The Illusion of Solidity takes a nod towards the notion of quantum reality and links it with spiritual thought. The electronic voice continues to describe its vision for humanity, we're invited to listen while space sounds and bells resonate through the brief age of track ten.
We end the journey with a high end gambol through seemingly eternal fields, blades of sound join the sky like giant grasses while watery backdrops begin to close in and wash the scene with beauty. This artistic album makes no excuses and does something so fresh and different that it's hard to put a defining word behind it. It's an electronically produced album yet with the instrument of human voice taking the centre stage, a truly unique distinction.
Hellzone Megapunk EP
TBR: April 13th
Perc Trax break open 2018 by scooping up Scalameriya from his own Genesa label and relentless touring and putting out a follow-up record to 2016's Kepslok. Two years have passed since Scalameriya has worked on Perc Trax, and undoubtedly he has some new moves to show them. This three track number signifies that business is better than usual with a mighty anime mech artwork and a trio of individually worked mixes.
It begins with a tribal bass beat that bounces along in a smooth and easy to dance to tempo. It's soon replaced by some distorted garbled voices and general white noise that almost sounds in time As it flows through the initial wall of sound, the rhythm section is reintroduced and it all makes a lot more sense. Dirty and noisy, the thumping intrusiveness grabs the base section of the body and yanks it towards the mass of people already dancing. Hellzone Megapunk as a track stays rational and yet remains completely outside the box. Industrial infused techno with percussive nonsense create a sparkling pie of meaty proportions.
Another train like push of sound thrusts Crucible into action and as machine gun style snare fills rage into the first chapter, bass and added effects give the full sound. Rhythmic festivities which would make an awesome light-show pound and strobe in twirling loops of ever evolving flux. Swishes from left to right with swinging distortions bring out another layer to this highly mixable track. There's plenty of space for filling in and utilising catchy fills with this first B side. The second B track, Let My Flesh Be Your Sacrament, continues the journey of dance-floor profundity. A rhythm much like the previous one repels any notion of change and yet everything else shifts towards razor like synths and crackling rhythms of sound. Another layer of drums join the pulsating bass which peaks above the sludgy distortion its coated in.
Almost a combination of A and B to make C, this EP is a powerful and interesting dynamo of inventive techno. Pointed truly at the dance floor,with a high energy arena of inspirations and technology, Hellzone Megapunk makes a lot of noise and entertains with a unique style.
Deep Sea Frequency Records
TBR: April 13th
Time Spent Away With You has launched DJ Seinfeld into a world of his own, and after completing remix tracks with names like Pendulum and Omar Souleyman, it's time for a new release. Sakura has an amazing cover image of a distant future world with a red brown desert and an orange last chapter star. Digital grids and a sphere mark the electronic direction of this otherwise space orientated and almost psychedelic release. Sakura cherry petals lay on the image, as if an offering to the spirits within the tunes.
IT opens with an elastic bass tone which with retro style digs deep into resounding pits of well timed tone. Melodics from the under-section are dropped as far as they can while a simple and repetitive tempo is kept up with by a high-hat/snare quick step and roll. Suddenly the mid enters with piercing and dynamic melodies which although formulate a chillstep resonance, the overall picture is really unique. Ambient drifts of digitised tone dwindle over the energetic rhythm until all that's left is the bass drum and the hi-hat/snare.
A fade to silence marks part two, and after the title track the mood is set for fun and lively synthesised grooves. Sagrada starts with a hollow sounding pulse and some slap drums which begin to plot out a melody. Shakers add sprinkle to the catchy tempo and the next phase begins as glassy bells start to twinkle in the distance. Throbs of deliciously obese bass knead an even path through the finery and it's tail-gated by sultry vocals and synthesiser cosmications. It breaks down to a simple stone beat melody and remains calm in its potential for a brief section before the bass draws down the sound from its lofty hiding places.
Shuffling distortions begin to rev the room once more as a swirling twist of sound revolves around the solid tempo to celebrate the entrance of the third number As Belvedere enters its main section, bouncy water reflected notes cast a mysterious composition over the grabbing and insistent beats which pin it all together. More vocals give clarity albeit in monosyllabic expressions of suave. A clever breakdown of course is a necessity in these situations, and we're not left wanting. A silky melody continues the thread while volumes disintegrate into gentleness. The pressure rises and the snappy drums kick back into their sitting position while a combination of all the flavours reveals itself in a juicy earful.
We are treated to a bass and melody club sandwich in the final number, Battery pulls out the royal flush to complete this obviously well constructed EP. A capacious under-section builds huge foundations of waveform for intricate patterns of melody to swim through. Euphonic polarities jingle on either side of a well balanced fulcrum which holds all the power as it remains focussed and calm. Like the eye of the storm, in a heavy weather vessel we plunge onward into the synthesised universe of sound.
The EP thrusts itself into our awareness with amazing power yet holds back while communicating the subtle and equally as vital energies within. A clever transition between force and flow gives a dualistic edge to an otherwise forward facing and classically floor filling selection of unique mixes.
Rowan Blair Colver for the Homunculus Media Group
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