BT57 sees Markus Gebauer AKA Interviews making his debut on Brokntoys. Having left a lasting impression with his previous efforts on labels Ortloff and Bitterfeld, here the Berlin-based producer showcases his throbbing blend of Italo, EBM and electro on a 4 track EP designed for primetime club action.
A Call Too Close is a digital compilation released by brokntoys to raise funds for Tottenham food banks. Music from Aldrich, Alex Jann, Barking, Constructive nature, Das Muster, Dez Williams, Eduardo, Isolated Material, Jauzas the Shining, Marco Bernardi, Poperttelli, Rings Around Saturn, Rugon, Sam Lowry, The Jaffa Kid, Timothy J. Fairplay and XY0815. All profit from the release will be donated in equal parts to the Selby Food Hub and Tottenham Food Bank.
The 10th compilation on the label, Cold Readings, brings together an array of international producers. Greek sound designer Pera Sta Ori returns to the label with the trippy Passive Concealment, followed up by Foreign Sequence bringing his own brand of shiny electro.
Omnidisc regular Shokh closes the A side with the head-down-take-me-back-to-the-rave Torotam. Opening the flipside, Weith returns with the breaks excursion Cognitive Dissonance and Scarlit Port wraps up the EP with the jungle-fuelled Layla’s Acid.
2020 was a tough year for almost everyone and definitely a year to forget for our scene. Events and gigs canceled, venues closed, artists lacking a way to earn a decent living and club culture facing a threat like never before.
In the midst of these events were several people / organizations who tried to ease the pain, offering out some comfort by releasing music to people for free or by pay as you want download. This was always done, but this year I noticed that more and more artists are doing this.
Here is a selection of albums and compilations I came across this year and that I think is worth mentioning again.
Having garnered an online cult following, painter and producer Youl Dirlès AKA R 325 makes his record debut with Mouvements. Across 5 tracks, R 325 runs the gamut through IDM, electro and breaks, creating an insular EP full of emotive, multilayered atmospheres.
Brokntoys return with the second volume of Casting Shadows this time featuring three secret gems selected by Intergalactic Gary. A true music archaeologist and one of the leading lights of the Netherlands’ West Coast scene for over 30 years, his knowledge spans across genres and decades. Opening proceedings on the A side, we go back to one of Andrea Benedetti’s acid classics – this time revisited at 33RPM, morphing it into a slow-burning dancefloor grinder. On the B-side, Italo disco duo GAG get a re-airing of their lost classic Flyin’ Bolero. QUAD, the UK duo formed by Mark Carroll and Pete Diggens, closes the EP with a deep breakbeat excursion originally released on Kinetix.
Cutting Room disembark on brokntoys for an EP of techno abstractions. Breaking their hiatus after their celebrated Steeplejack debut, ‘The Night Chemist’ follows up on their previous outing – and the beast has evolved. Across 4 tracks the Australian trio, formed by Connor Gibson, Eugene Brockmuller and Cosmo Feltham, distill foreboding atmospheres, crushed mechanical beats and turbulent Ballardian passages. The EP closes with a remix from Spanish legends Esplendor Geometrico demolishing Always Rock.
Thief of Sanity’ is shapeshifting duo Animistic Beliefs’ debut on Brokntoys. The 4 track EP is an ode to the past, drawing inspiration from political techno group Underground Resistance, as well as ancestral pan-tribalist music. Without compromising their signature Rotterdream sound, the dynamic duo deviates from their recklessly violent live-sets, tuning into more introspective and earthbound frequencies. By means of hypnotic synthesizer and bursting drum machine workouts, Xakalele and rbf.linh take you through their melancholy filled world, sharing with you their worries, hopes and fears in the form of a tongue-tied protest.
Poperttelli lands on brokntoys with a 5 track EP. Exotic Matter presents a collage of found sounds, weirded-out slow tempos, and rollicking grooves. On his first appearance on the label, the French producer and DJ continues to carve his unique path as previously heard on his Maturre and Lost Dogs releases.
Brokntoys presents “Cold Light, Low Tide” a free digital compilation of tracks from affiliated artists, featuring Black Propaganda, Obergman, K100 Signal, Trance Remix, Annechoic, Non Punire and XY0815.
The 37th installment on brokntoys sees the return after a long hiatus of audiofugitive Annechoic. Having carved her sound over the years, rw nw prt m hrw sees the DJ and producer inhabiting a crossover land between electro and electronica. Taking inspiration from The Egyptian Book of the Dead, the EP alternates dreamlike atmospheres with adroit club numbers. Through 5 tracks Annechoic deftly manoeuvres between the introspective and stargazing, offering a glimpse into the tapestry of a unique player
Arizona-based Jason McCracken makes his debut on brokntoys after a string of lauded EPs culminating in 2019’s Heavy Hitter. On ‘Paranoid Android’, the producer delivers 4 of his trademark bass-driven electro tracks, relentless machine music for the peak time hours.
Having debuted on the label with Drama in Decay, Gamma Intel returns after having become a regular fixture across European basements. His third outing sees the Rotterdam-based producer building on his previous output while incorporating an increasing wider palette of sounds. Automatic Illusion delivers his signature restrained and swaggering productions tapping into slow acid, breakbeat and electro.
If you ask me, DT Camp is by far the best electronic music festival in Europe. The remote location is very beautiful, on the banks of an emerald-green lake, surrounded by the wild forests of Lithuania. The crowd is equally mixed with local and people coming from all corners of Europe, all in search for the same thing. A serious rave! The vibe there is unbelievable. Everybody is on the same page, thee is a great sense of unity and freedom. And on top of this, if the weather is nice you can bathe into the warm waters of the lake.
The first of a new series of VA releases, Casting Shadows reimagines archival music through the eyes of our favorite DJs. Each volume is overseen by a different selector, inviting us to look through the peephole of their crates. Cutting the ribbon, we invite German luminary Mick Wills. Active over 3 decades, a perennial influence and looming figure across the wave and techno scenes. Wills refashions 3 of his favourites, giving them the trademark ‘Cut’ treatment for tender floors worldwide. The first track sees a crucially overlooked Baby Red Torres number 7” fully expanded to 5 am percussive meltdown business. Next up synth-botherer Paul Nagle sees his early tape emission‘The Mesomeric Effect’ re-cut by cool hand Mick, coming in hot & throbbing in all the right ways. Closing on a dramatic note, Kehrschliefe’s Leonid Brezhnev (previously on Polytechnic Youth) is opened up, ripped apart and smartly re-dressed, oozing class and menace. 3 cuts your way from one of our favourite basement surgeons. Look out for the second volume of Casting Shadows, carefully compiled by an interplanetary presence.
Having collaborated over the years in several projects, Endless Illusion and brokntoys join forces for a trilogy of EPs to showcase unique talent across the globe. Meeting somewhere across both label’s middle grounds, the first volume of Human Abstracts captures an array of international players operating at the fringes of the ‘floor’. Colombian duo Vltra Delta Drive kick off the EP with the tense, body-propelled El Complot. Santoine builds up the drama with the uneasy, percussive Transmission. Closing the Aside, Outermost brings his trademark ominous sounds in Mystic River. On the flip, cult favourite Konsistent weaves narcotic grooves on Paranoid Humanoid. After his knockout contribution for Move’s launch EP, Black Propaganda brings the EP to a close with the utopian Instrument Of Liberation.
8th Brokntoys VA compilation, spinning a web around fresh and old bloods alike. 5 cuts, 5 styles, everything you need to slick the floors with out of date smoke fluid. Tracks from Arp220, Obergman, XY0815 and Int Main Rigid, The Jaffa Kid and Oskar Telemann.
BT33 drags back Marco Bernardi for his 3rd solo EP on brokntoys. Plat + Form P.F. finds Marco run ragged through time, revisiting his sleeper-project Octogen’s lost 3rd album alongside his latest productions. Cruising the dystopia, the EP moves through unnerving melodies hung against stuttering rhythms. Handstamped and with screenprinted sleeve.
The 5th entry on the Discos del Quebranto series continues to rake the kerbside muck of ‘club music’, presenting 2 disparate visions from 2 label heads. KUMP’s mastermind Gil.barte opens proceedings with the stuttering bodysludge of Guédé and Egareur. Two kleine nightmusiks to drag you out of meatspace, with the Kyuss-ala-PCP throb of Guédé especially sure to find favour on fog-bothering 8 AM+ floors worldwide. Tempos pick up and lights turn down on the B-side, with Lostsoundbytes (Vastechoses label head), driving disintegrating delays and snares into 3 Belgiqué-nouveau tools, keeping the rhythm & textures bumping throughout.