John Beltran – The Season Series [DSR/D6]

BELTRAN, John - The Season Series

Detroit composer John Beltran returns to Delsin with The Season Series. A collection of subtle and colorful compositions of beautiful synth melodies creating heavenly atmospheres. A blissful walk through breezy spring fields where the gentle sunrays thaw frosty winter scenes. Whether offering up club-focused Motor City techno, futuristic tech-jazz, bubbly electronica or sofa-bound ambient compositions, John Beltran always wrings the maximum amount of beauty and soul from the machines he uses to make music. He’s at it again on “The Season Series”. Variously fusing swelling, almost classical chord sequences, stirring melodic refrains, effects-laden shoegaze guitars, effected vocal snippets and beats (when used) that touch on many of Beltran’s main influences (think IDM and Detroit techno), Beltran has produced a simply stunning album that amply rewards those who give themselves in to its positive, emotion-rich charms.

vinyl / CD

John Beltran – The Season Series [DSR/D6]

The Beneficiaries – The Crystal City Is Alive [AX087]

BENEFICIARIES, The - The Crystal City Is Alive

In 2018, the idea was introduced by Jeff Mills to address the lack of artistic collaborations within and from the city of Detroit/USA. The city had always been an engine of new innovative ideas related to music, art, dance, poetry and all other arts. It was thought of as a way to demonstrate the commonality people possess from various art forms and that by mixing ideas visions and perspectives together are might produce unexpected and often provocative results. The project started when Mills reached out to one of Detroit Techno’s founder and legendary DJ/Producer Eddie Fowlkes. Though the two are known and connected to Detroit Techno and knew each other for decades, they never worked together so the first few meetings and conversations were marked with finding all the common links that have built both of their careers. During this time, Mills wanted to find a third person for the project, one that was from Detroit, but not a musician. His idea and theory was that by engaging two other creative thinkers would most likely produce something unique as emotions would become linked together to find that common, but higher level. While browsing the web, Mills discovered a post that featured the Detroit-born poet Jessica Care Moore. Struck by her words and the energy she mastered to say them, Mills knew immediately that she would be the perfect artist to approach for this creative venture. As with most artists that grew up in Detroit, they immediately opened up the links in their past, present and future outlook. He presented the case and explained to her how he thought it might work. She liked the idea and agree to join. “The Crystal City Is Alive” (A phrase extracted from Moore’s words), puts the Detroit, America and the World on notice. The alarm has sounded and it is now time to mobilize all creative units to the frontline.

vinyl / CD

The Beneficiaries – The Crystal City Is Alive [AX087]

O-Wells – Ebecs [ORKL14]

O WELLS - Ebecs

Lennard Poschmann returns to Oliver Hafenbauer’s Die Orakel label with a brand-new EP under his O-Wells alias. ‘Ebecs’ showcases the Robert Johnson resident’s subtle, distinct approach to Detroit-ish, IDM & ambient-influenced electronic music. Opening track ‘Ectid’ is a free-floating introduction revealing a glorious acid undercurrent. ‘Bbmore’ demonstrates a different kind of approach with the same wistful ingredients, unravelling a tightly wound drum structure from the inside. On ‘Exolite’, the inverse unfolds, as Wells blends experimental textures and introduces stabs of cathartic and deep bass. Introducing the other half of the release, ‘Culling Virus’ is Wells’ take on simmering, paranoid electro. On the pairing of LL0P 1 and LL0P 2, he provides an intermission with two tense locked grooves before concluding the release with the cascading and dense ‘Shnuck’, a psychedelic transmission of complex layered sound design.

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O-Wells – Ebecs [ORKL14]

Leo James – Big Pressure [BL005]

JAMES, Leo - Big Pressure

Big Pressure – the fifth release for Body Language – sees Leo James combine elements of dub, ambient and industrial to create a record that is stark, tough and emotional. Though drawing on disparate influences, the music is unified by textures and timbre, repurposed vocal samples, and inhabits an atmosphere entirely of its own making.

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Leo James – Big Pressure [BL005]

Nordvest – Grøndal [SUCTION051]

Suction Records welcomes Roger Semsroth back to the label – having previously released 2 full-length albums with us under his retired electro-pop alias, Skanfrom. “Grøndal” is the debut vinyl release under a new alias, Nordvest. These days, Semsroth is best-known for his stark and minimalist techno project, Sleeparchive. The material on Grøndal – icy, melodic, and mostly beatless – is comprised of tracks that were originally released digitally as Sleeparchive, via Bandcamp. The releases were met with general disinterest from Sleeparchive fans, prompting Semsroth to re-brand them as Nordvest, before removing them from Bandcamp altogether. We’ve chosen 11 highlights from 3 of those digital albums, “Rooftops & Chaotic Streets”, “Scribbles”, and “Sleepless”, for a cohesive 11-track LP of austere, synthetic ambiance.

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Nordvest – Grøndal [SUCTION051]

Regis – Hidden In This Is The Light That You Miss [DNLP028]

Regis lets his rhythmic noise opus out into the world, a bruising and hauntingly absorbing album – his first since 2001 – dispatched on his pivotal label; Downwards. On a masterful twenty-year followup to ‘Penetration’, Karl O’Connor yields a definitive solo LP that distills his passions for sonic brutalism and bastardised Chicago tracks with syncopated UK swagger and reverberating warehouse ballistics. Its lip-bitingly gripping effect is testament to a resounding reputation as one of Industrial music’s most influential producers, and sees the artist bring his own influences – from Test Department to Jeff Mills – into line with his potent palette of narcotised tones. Recorded in Berlin with Einstürzende Neubauten’s producer/engineer Boris Wilsdorf, the album’s supple, spartan, and rhythmic gymnastics notably benefit from acres of icy room to roll around and lash out. Snagged around muscular bassline revs, and caressed with keys and vocals by postpunk catalyst Annie Hogan (whose recent turn for Downwards was a total revelation), the 9 tracks portray Regis at his leanest and most mesmerising, which is all the more impressive coming from an artist who’s deliberately held his line through club music’s mutations for more than 30 years.

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Regis – Hidden In This Is The Light That You Miss [DNLP028]

Rødhåd – MOOD [WSNWGBTZ001] FREE DOWNLOAD

RØDHÅD has continuously pushed the boundaries of modern techno to new hypnotic and theatrical heights on his Dystopian party-turned-label imprint, where he released his debut Anxious back in 2017. This time, RØDHÅD tunes into a place of reflection and reformation on his most avant-garde project to date: WSNWG – BACK TO ZERO. Intended to provide a space for solo releases, the imprint comes at a crucial turning point, as society circles in on itself during the pandemic. RØDHÅD christens the label with MOOD, his first ambient experimentalist release, comprised of his own solo archival material mostly from 2017/2018, working on a plane of spontaneity, devoid of set structures. The result is a life-giving, intimate and solipsistic work. Awash with field recordings, droning loops and subtle granulations, the sparse soundscapes on the 18- track album are deeply profound and satisfying. Crafting emotive textures through detailed layering of ethereal pads and simple synth melodies on ‘When They Returned After Midnight’ reflects the producer’s meditative sensibilities, whilst more beat-driven tracks such as ‘He Didn’t Seem The Kind of Guy Who Would Just Talk To A Stranger’ and ‘Pigeons Dancing On The Roof’ employ trip-hop beats atop washed synths and textural loops for a more downtempo affair. The album often has the dynamics of a sci-fi film score; the slow-building distortion on ‘A Huge Plume of Ash Rose From a Volcano’ carries a profound weight and substance, whilst the eerie ‘Like Sleepwalkers Ghosting Through A Dream’ breathes as if it had a life of its own.

Rødhåd – MOOD [WSNWGBTZ001] FREE DOWNLOAD

Nuron / As One – La Source [ASGDE031]

Nuron, the seminal and elusive producer in the realm of melodic and emotive techno, is back! Almost 25 years after his output on Likemind Records, Nuron finally re-appears on the Belgian De:tuned label with long-awaited new work that sounds every bit unique and fresh as back in the day. “La Source” opens with Nuron’s take on lush Detroit fused techno, a masterclass of mixing belly-fluttering synth arrangements with outstanding drum programming. Turn the record over for two exclusive Nuron remixes of As One (Kirk Degiorgio) tracks from the recent “Communion” album on De:tuned, resembling Artificial Intelligence vibes of the highest order.

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Nuron / As One – La Source [ASGDE031]

Cio D’Or – Fluidum III [SEM120]

Cio D’Or returns to Semantica with a new brand conceptual mini-LP. Self-styled “sound architect” and “music creator” Cio D’Or has been strangely quiet since releasing a ‘special edition’ of her “All In All” album back in 2016. Comeback EP “Fluidum III” is a fine collection of alien electronic workouts that sound like they were created via modular synthesis. What we get is six tracks built around watery sounds, swelling electronic motifs, spaced-out noises and occasional quirky rhythms. While some of the tracks – particularly “Climate” and “Celestial II” – boast deep but weighty kick-drum tracks in the techno tradition, for the most part the tracks are sparse, alien and devoid of dancefloor intent. The results are consistently alluring, albeit in a strange and spaced-out way.

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Cio D’Or – Fluidum III [SEM120]

Atoloi – Papier d’Armenie [AURALTD004]

Aura Dinamica continues its exploration into hypnotic, wide angle Techno with a dense eight track missive from Italian producer Matteo Ghiringhelli’s new project Atoloi. In equal parts subdued & transcendental, the album pairs intricate, polyrhythmic drum work with carefully executed and gently undulating atmospheric motifs to generate a moving and immersive listening experience.

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Atoloi – Papier d’Armenie [AURALTD004]

Noah Gibson – Press On [NE72]

Noah Gibson marks his first appearance on Northern Electronics with an EP of plaintive meditations on his innermost causes and conflicts. Acidic enthusiasm spirals out of control in innumerable ways across ‘Press On,’ routing us through the reflective atmosphere that hangs heavy in the background of the thrilling adrenal spikes.

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Noah Gibson – Press On [NE72]

Roberto Auser – Love and Saucers [AUS004]

Soothing synthesizer music and fantastic audiographic collage for fans and lovers of obscure ambient and jazzy minimal electronics. Original soundtrack to the feature documentary Love and Saucers (2017) […] Don’t sleep on this! Just 25 units made!

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Roberto Auser – Love and Saucers [AUS004]

BOA & Mathieu Deranlot – Merci Pierre [FS021]

Freshly-formed French trio BOA – aka Behzad, Ohes and Amarou – wrap themselves around the new decade and squeeze tightly. Joining forces with decorated French musician Mathieu Deranlot, they present four far-ranging deep electronic and ambient techno explorations that range from the dramatic-yet-beatless “Nitro” to the brooding, swampy slo-mo electrofunk of “Lumiere Electronique”. Elsewhere “Merci Pierre” teases and squeezes even tighter with its trippy triplets and sudden dive into deep dream synths before “Bonne Nuit” closes on another ambient tip, this time switching the urgency for lullaby arpeggios. Sweet dreams.

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BOA & Mathieu Deranlot – Merci Pierre [FS021]

Marco Shuttle – Ritmo Elegante [SPAZIO019]

Marco Shuttle is very much part of the Spazio Disponibile label family: he’s put out his Systhema album and various EPs with Donato Dozzy and Neel in the last couple of years, and now the Eerie boss serves up more of his immersive techno excellence. He starts off in slow motion, with the roomy ambiance and slightly spooky dub of ‘Ritmo Elegante.’ Of course it’s a track carefully filled with little sonic details that make it a very real place to be. ‘Arpex’ then switches things up with a super urgent, super supple acidic techno rhythm thats overlaid with a widescreen arp that sapiens space and time, and ‘Stairway To The Milky Way’ is a half time stepper though some trippy sci-fi jungle before ‘Qatarsi’ rides on a floating groove as sound effects pan all around you and traps you in a state of trance. These are expressive, hard to define and excellent electronics once again from Marco Shuttle.

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Marco Shuttle – Ritmo Elegante [SPAZIO019]

Yoshihiro Sawasaki – Neocrystal [MOMA001]

The Amsterdam based Modern Obscure Music label launches a new sub-division named MOMArchives. MOMArchives is a reissue label that will focus on electronic music. The first release is Neocrystal by Japanese producer Yoshihiro Sawasaki. It is a fantastic slice of mid 90s Japanese Ambient Techno that needs to be heard by a larger audience.

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Yoshihiro Sawasaki – Neocrystal [MOMA001]

Cosmin TRG – Protection 1 [PTC-1]

Protection is a new label established by Japanese artist Haruka, which seeks to explore the spaces where techno and experimental sounds merge, and club tools blur with home listening. Here this aim is achieved with precision and care by Romanian producer and DJ Cosmin TRG. The EP is distinguished by its intricate production and focused exploration, with each track finding a distinct balance between intensity and power. This record represents an impressive addition to Cosmin TRG’s discography, and a very fitting start for Haruka’s new label.

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Cosmin TRG – Protection 1 [PTC-1]

Healing Force Project – Sideral Escape [AMEN008]

Since nearly a decade now, Italian born artist Antonio Marini is going through a sonic adventure known as Healing Force Project. Discreetly building up his musical blueprint, he slowly reached a cult status as a visionary who is blending electronic music with free-jazz in an atypical, anarchic, spontaneous and original way. On ‘Sideral Escape’ the artist shows himself in his different facets ranging from ambient to jazz to techno.

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Healing Force Project – Sideral Escape [AMEN008]

His Master’s Voice – Transition [DSR-E10]

Mysterious German producer His Master’s Voice makes his debut on Delsin Records. With three mind bending originals and an absorbing Vril rework on board his entry on the Delsin e-series is a deeply immersive beat trip into another dimension. The roughed edged ambiance of ‘Fire Red’ opens the dance in soothing yet engaging fashion with superbly spacious soundscapes pulling you in and slowly involving into a foggy kick drum extravaganza. ‘Eve’ then offers a deep and propulsive electro groove with glitchy atmospheres. Lead track ‘Transition’ hits hard, an intergalactic trip on turbulent stuttering drums and whipping synths. To finalize an immersive EP, close friend Vril jumps in for a rework of ‘Eve’ where he smoothly connects the dots between his typical dark bass lines and blistering dub chords.

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His Master’s Voice – Transition [DSR-E10]