In pandemic times of telepresences and social distancing, Live At Robert Johnson and Leipzig’s own Riotvan team up for a magical musical mission. Encompassed by the graphic design of Michael Satter & Panthera Krause, each of the five tracks has been created by teams representing both label crews and their environs, rendering a truly synergetic effort. A1 is Roman Flügel & Rebolledo producing deep and wide Star Stuff with arpeggiated bass riffs, haunting vocals and melody. A2 sees Jennifer Touch & Chinaski setting off on an electroid Synth-Pop trip, with crafty 1980s synths, drums and vocals. A3 is New Hook and Perel teaming up for a Cosmic Disco tinged track, featuring unique spanish-english vocals. The flipside kicks off with Fort Romeau & Panthera Krause on B1, heavily into a stereophonic and proper Italo soundscape. Horkheimer & Peter Invasion & Gregor Habicht conclude the EP on B2 with a wicked technoid Breakbeat along a modulating bass line and, yeah, a looney laugh befitting these crazy times.
‘Star’ is Perel’s Running Back debut. Picturing Perel’s development as a recording artist on the one hand and the hardships everyone had to experience since the world has been changed by a pandemic on the other, making it – in her word words – „an EP about crossing the „physical distance between the people I miss and love“. Opening with the riveting vocals of Star („This song is literally a love song for my people“), the three pieces also show Perel’s growing versatility as a producer. The tried and tested neon disco lights interchange with darker tones, uplifting and affirmative moments (Tour De Perel) rotate with contemplative and pondering intervals (Internal Monologue). Yet, by no means Perel is whistling a sad tune. Her melodies are as always deep, distinguishable and delightful to dance to.
Born and raised in Indonesia, Omar Joesoef built this EP with samples of old records of ethnic music that he has found in an abandoned radio station on Java island. Named Lokananta, it is one of the first radios setting up in Indonesia in the 50’s. The recordings in Omar’s EP come from rituals and meditative chants of one of the last tribes still living in the ancient way, completely disconnected from the modern world.
Sekhem, the Grenoble based label is back with his second various EP. This one welcome international talents like Moya 81, Do Or Die and Davide Piras as well as the very talented french producers Mohammed Vicente.
The Exit Planet Earth vinyl series continues onto it’s 5th edition with a finely balanced release of electro, techno and breakbeat cuts. Carl Finlow – ‘The Oberth Effect’ kicks off the record with a mind bending trip to the dark side of electro, delivering a masterclass in multi-layered synth sound design, rolling bass lines and Finlow’s expert production. A fellow electro master, Plant43 delivers his debut release for 20/20 Vision – ‘Forcefield Deactivation’. The flip side features a collaboration between Hong Kong based producers Mr. Ho & Xiaolin (Klasse Wrecks). ‘No Change To How I Feel’ is a unique sign of the times. A deep techno track served with a heavy 4/4 kick, perpetually evolving arpeggios, quick fire hats and a haunting vocal. Leeds based producer Alfred completes the release with a sound forged from intricate drum sequencing and strong chords and melodies. Alfred is an exciting new talent that manages to connect the dots between breakbeat and electro.
Detroit based electro and techno artist Francois Dillinger (Natural Sciences, Blind Allies, Dionysian Mysteries) collaborates with LDI Records owner Lloyd Stellar for the imprint’s third vinyl release. Machine Men EP sees the pair working in a deep and contemplative sonic world, inspired by the potential future where the relationship between man and machine becomes blurred. The story of this EP takes place on a future earth, at a time where technological performance enhancing implants push identities of human and machine into a gray area which is no longer binary. On this earth, conservative groups oppose this development, stuck in the idea that machines are subordinate to humans. The EP explores this oppression of different ideas around identity, finding parallels with the same discourse and challenges that today we see in modern society and the fight against conservative, populist right wing politics to create an accepting and equal world. Specializing in moody, atmospheric electro, LDI Records (Lloyd’s Dark Imperium) are an essential label to watch.
You would think that a small country like the Netherlands has very few isolated places, but buried in the south-west corner you will find the region of Zeeuwsch Vlaanderen. Just before the Westerscheldetunnel was built in 2003, the area was only reachable by ferry or over land through Belgium. By the late 1970s, in the region’s small city of Terneuzen, a group of like-minded music lovers were inspired by punk music and formed a series of bands together. A number of the musicians first met in high school, and it is here where we find Danny Bosten (Das Ding) and his label Tear Apart Tapes. If you played music you had to have a label to release it and because you had a label you needed to make music. It was a logical and circular process, and despite being isolated, nothing stopped them from bringing new music to Terneuzen. Up till today the label releases cassettes just like in the olden days as well as a string of 7-inches with new music by Das Ding, Les Yeux Interdits and Ian Martin. Each of these releases carries a similar visual aesthetic to the label’s early 1980s output. All of them sold out quickly, but luckily they are now collected here on this LP.
Cavalry Stone duo its back on Soil Records along side with another Soil Records member like Rambal Cochet and a very warm welcome to Toni as he already work with the group Moken also already on the crew. A quite different way of EBM with two remix that goes from industrial to Goa/Trance feeling.
!Bang Elektronika started in 1986 as a solo project of Dave Rout to develop his electronic music wanderings. He recorded material off an on, but most of his time was spent working on Techniques Berlin, a band which he started with Andreas Gregor in 1985. The first !BE release was the “Audio Beat Warfare” cassette on Bombshelter in 1989. For the second !BE tape, “The Rhythm Screams Electronic”, also released in 1989, Andreas contributed with some vocals. After these releases Dave was moving into more EBM / industrial sounds and wanted some harsh German vocals for the new tracks so he asked Andreas to sing on some of them and join permanently the project. Their first release as a duo was the cassette entitled “Aktivierung!” on Shadow Records in 1991. Time after, the project was put on hiatus with just some sporadic releases and a few shows, until 2011 when they did their first and only show in Berlin and release a compilation CD. This year the band is celebrating their 35th anniversary releasing their dance floor stomper “Aktivierung” for the very first time on vinyl. This release includes, along the original version from 1991 and the b-side “Ich Bin So Ätzend!”, two new killer remixes crafted by Randolph & Mortimer and The Horrorist.
Exarde is an independent label from Moscow. Riccardo Buccirossi can be an example for many artists both musically and in terms of productivity. Co-founder of Imprints Records and the owner of Metropolita, Amazing Stories, and Elma Rivaga, he has composed 4 floor compositions under his new alias – Transcend∆nce. These compositions he calls “energetic and hopeful to dance again” and he definitely didn’t bend the truth with that statement.
Marius introduces his first release on his own label Juicer. Boot up, clean up and start energizing with a mix of natural sugars, vitamins, and minerals from this Juicy compilation.
Native Mexican Leo Leal returns on Binh’s imprint Time Passages with a new 12” EP “Antimateria”.
VEYL welcomes Harlem to the label for a new seven track album titled ‘Bait’. The Stockholm-based duo of Martin Thomasson and Johan Skugge bring a vast history of production behind them, operating since the early aughts and known for their work in dub and minimal techno. ‘Bait’ ventures into new territory for the project, delivering infectious strains of body music, new beat, industrial and beyond coupled with soul-stirring vocals which quickly dig beneath the skin. The release is about everyday manipulation, soft power and persuasion. We exist in a world in which corporate management techniques are deployed in our everyday lives, nudging each other for short-term gain, slowly hallowing out any lasting trust while ultimately all being crushed by a hyper-capitalist system. From the opening synths of the title track to the ominous ending notes of ‘Night Vision’, we also uncover funky grooves and diabolical floor shakers which remind us of something from the past but exist perfectly in this corrupted new world.
Tel Aviv based producer E-bony debuts with his first EP, thus joining the dark forces of our infamous sister label Wrong Era. “Stray Cats” is six tracks killer EP with rumbling basslines, cutting edge synth sounds, and an unstoppable rhythm that hits you in the stomach and takes you for a spin with no way back. From the dark electronic sounds, to howling cats like synths flying through your ears. E-bony puts his machines to full operation and gets a remix by no other than disco heavyweight Franz Scala.
Through darkness diamonds spread their richest light… Part three is here with Hyboid from Germany, Discobeton from Germany/Bulgaria, Daniel Monaco & Futuristant from The Netherlands/Italy and Captain Mustache from France.
As a New Era beckons globally, Manchester’s primo Manctalo merchants – Red Laser Records – quietly unveil their latest clutch of specialist space-age kinetics. A fifth-kind encounter enabling users to bridge the continuum of dance & interaction between our Earth-dwelling selves and the inter-dimensional overlords. Containing three brand new movements in machine music from our treasured production stable of Kid Machine, Bob SwanS and Il Bosco; it also houses an honorary appearance from revered Danish spearhead Flemming Dalum, who serves up a particle-splitting redux of a lesser-known proto-techno nugget from Belgium.
Best Record Italy presents a reissue of Model 11-29’s “Wot Times,” a particularly inspired work by the legendary Sangy that transforms “Rapper’s Delight” into a slice of Italo-balearic ecstasy. On the vocal version, drums sit between disco and electro as they boogie down to a breakdance beat, with greasy funk basslines slapping and sliding in support. Solar dub chords pulsate through anthemic pattens, pads blow across the mix like a warming ocean breeze, synth leads sparkle in coral colorations, and those classic Sugar Hill Gang lyrical flows are reconfigured into an ebullient spoken word rap, which is then morphed by futuristic fx and interspersed with shouts, grunts, and call-and-response chants. On the flip, the instrumental version walks with more of a sexual disco strut, resulting in a summertime seaside cruiser overflowing with dazzling synthesizer displays, as organ chords generate mirage visions, gemstone leads shimmer through swells of tropical mist, and acid-laced Italo pulsations work the spirit into euphoric beach dance hypnosis.
Athens Of The North get themselves in party mode with a fourth EP from East Coast Love Affair. There is some series fun to be had in these tracks, with side one. ‘Confrontations,’ being a rebuild of a rare disco funk 45 by Homegrown Syndrome. On the backside is ‘Shake’ which goes deeper but still has plenty of dance floor appear. It has tropical perc and whirring electronics that just scream ‘dance’ while the actual screaming vocal reminds of Moby classic ‘Go!’ These are hefty tunes, rare as you like, but immediately accessible and high impact.