Jeroen Search – Protocol Omega EP [FIGUREX23]

SEARCH, Jeroen - Protocol Omega EP

Dutch mainstay Jeroen Search is a true genius of building linear grooves, either subtly breathing or powerfully bouncing. Minimalistic, hypnotic loops simply introduce the varied 5-track EP, followed up some by some heavyweight acid-house punchlines. The flip makes its name, changing course again in order to head deeper for a more heads-down exploration of the bleep-space nebula. Sitting firmly nestled in the center of the record, Magnet Tapes is that endless loop suspended in time and space, slowly working its way into one’s consciousness with every repetition. Search cleverly captures this moment to introduce some sounds beyond the structure of track and loop, challenging our conception of music yet playfully igniting the mind’s imaginations.

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Jeroen Search – Protocol Omega EP [FIGUREX23]

Exos – Indigo [FIGURELP05]

Indigo is Icelandic artist’s Exos fourth studio album, arriving almost two full decades after his last LP. In the meantime, the seasoned producer has never stopped to refine his production style, mastering an aesthetic that feels at once minimalist and yet richly detailed. Spanning the organic and the electronic, drawing from early dub techno blueprints and comprising the beauty of his austere homeland. From this Exos expands an absorbing atmosphere, sustaining the primal power of nature within compositions that hold an exalted presence yet never go over-board, instead, they gently push along even in their most intense moments thus vastly transcending the pure club context. The albums thirteen tracks are a sonic bliss to indulge in, each element is crafted so meticulously and balanced with care against its counterparts. Whether the luminous, spaciously glowing opening tracks “Reincarnation” or “í Skjoli Naetur ”the then-ensuing hypnotic techno-trips of “Sælureitur” and “Quad arcanum Leticia” and finally the deeply satisfying, dubbed-out backbone of the album’s main body – a series of Exos’ signature-style dub-techno cuts that he has been perfecting now for over 20 years. Seeing it all mesh together in this concentrated form, it’s the picture of an exceptionally experienced producer pushing himself beyond any limits to achieve his greatest feat yet. When the fog clears and the last tracks slowly roll out, the record leaves as smoothly as it had entered, allowing for reflection and contemplation of one of techno’s most exhaustive LP-efforts yet to date.

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Exos – Indigo [FIGURELP05]

Exos – Alien Eyes [FIGUREX03]

Making a surprise addition to Len Faki’s respected Figure imprint is the enigmatic Icelandic techno legend Exos with the Alien Eyes EP. He’s built up a reputation over the years for his skillful and diverse executions of techno, and is quite the expert at cavernous dub techno (much like his father Octal) on the sinister locomotive groove of “Pulp”, followed by the hypnotic tunnel vision of the title track and the mentalist depth charged weapon “Changing Planets” which is perfect for trancing out under the strobe light.

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Exos – Alien Eyes [FIGUREX03]

Jeroen Search – Monism [FIGURELP03]

All things come from and return to the same source – such is the theory of Monism; an ancient philosophy, but also accounting for the music of Jeroen Search. Dictated by an ethos of exclusively recording live takes and the only ever editing happening while a tune is being created, each finished track is imbued with that unique magic of the moment. Such too is the nature of Monism, Search’s first LP in over two decades of electronic explorations and personal as well as artistic growth. As with any of his music that has been released so far, the tracks on here hold a timeless quality, existing within their own frame of reference than – that is their immediate experience. Across a carefully arranged course, the album naturally unravels its many ideas, ranging from moments of pensive ambient pieces to thick washes of dub echo and layers of modulated synths, all while providing an endless array of hypnotizing bare-bone grooves in the process. A true Figure mainstay, Jeroen Search upholds his artistic relevancy without any reinventing or switching up the formula – rather by simply keeping true to his accomplished craft.

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Jeroen Search – Monism [FIGURELP03]

Jeroen Search – Endless Circles [FIGURE092]

After solemnly closing out the SPC-series in 2016, Jeroen Search hands in his second EP of the year for Figure. Carrying his signature style, these tunes embody the live-recording feel he is known for, perfectly executed and arranged in clean-cut layers. Both tracks on the A-side feature big and beefy beats, their generous sub-range creating ample space for the juxtaposing elements to effectively slice through, whether it be the penetrating bleeps of ‘Deduced’ or the piercing rides on ‘Interval’. Things get bumpy on the flip when the rugged but undeniable groove of ‘Steady Pulse’ firmly stands its ground against repeated onslaughts of flailing percussion. The jolty rhythms and tinkling loops of ‘Endless Circles’ may seem like it being the odd one out, but unexpectedly merge into an intricate mesh of sounds, making for a most memorable closer to this jam-packed EP.

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Jeroen Search – Endless Circles [FIGURE092]

TWR72 / Nocow – Figure Jams 003[FIGUREJAMS003]

Figure Jams is back with a another fresh and exciting pairing of artists. This time the record is a collection of pure analogue goodness, sparkling ripe with synthesizer magic. The A-side comes courtesy of duo TWR72, who happen to distill perfection through simplicity in their stripped-back productions. While ‚Polished’ is a pulsating bit of beatless yet captivating clean-cut loops, their other contribution shows their talent at crafting something lean, dry and punchy, which is still undeniably driving and hypnotic. Picking up on the synth-heavy theme of this release is St. Petersburg’s finest Aleksey Niktin aka Nocow. Inspired by the endless baltic winters, the producer packs his tracks with emotions that feel cold but not icy, engulfing the listener in winching waves of melancholic Electronica.

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TWR72 / Nocow – Figure Jams 003[FIGUREJAMS003]

Jeroen Search – Time Signature EP [FIGURE084]

A regular contributor to Figure SPC, it was Jeroen Search who both started the series and also put an end to its story. With this creative chapter neatly closed, he is now bringing his ever-impressive work back to the main label. Across the EP the Dutch artist doesn’t stick to one style, instead he lets his infamous machines roam about freely. They take us for a smooth ride along swaying dub chords and gentle ripples until bellowing eches slowly rise above a hypnotic groove.On the B-side Search then pulls out all the stops and barges right in with fidgety claps and whirling bleeps, leaving the track itself gasping for air. This is the renowned ferocity of his live act – carved into wax! Ensuing the sonic assault, a simple synth figure emerges stoically over an almost housy bounce as nostalgic rave strings bring the EP to an epic ending. Firmly rooted in the past while always looking forward, Jeroen Search clearly is still on the top of his game. He simply keeps coming up with timeless techno – time and time again.

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Jeroen Search – Time Signature EP [FIGURE084]

Lewis Fautzi – Elocution [FIGURE081]

‘Elocution’, the third Figure EP from portuguese producer Lewis Fautzi, again displays a high degree of versatility but still comes cleary cut for the club. Employing a rich yet spacious sound design, Fautzi creates cinematic scapes that are at once both brimming with the hums of colossal interstellar machinery yet at the same time leave enough room for a range of carefully sculpted elements to do their work. Whether it be the twisted acid arpeggio on opener Shizophrenia, the imposing drones underscoring the mighty Mirror or the propulsive percussion of centerpiece 37B. Testament to Fautzi’s talent of engaging arrangement, never do the tracks here feel hurried nor do they become stagnant – but rather given just the right time to ripe into their full captivating potential.

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Lewis Fautzi – Elocution [FIGURE081]

Viers – Re-L [FIGURE076]

Amassing almost a dozen EPs and an impressive album debut all within three years, the production powerhouse that is Jordon Saxton finally hits home on Figure. While developing various sonic identities at once, his first outing for the label as Viers is a strictly no-nonsense techno affair. This already becomes apparent on ‘Lain’, which carefully navigates with sonar bleeps and scanner sweeps through of nebula richly detailed textures. ‘Infornography’ is muffled in thick murk, its metallic synths unceasingly chipping away at rocks of rumbling bass. On the flip Viers changes his game yet again, crafting a beautifully fluorescent and dubbed out loop, making ‘RE-L’ pulse just as gently as it is booming. Finally ‘Protocol”s militant groove closes things out on a tough note. Hammering kicks and cleverly twisted tribal percussion make this one a nasty surprise to drop during peak time.

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Viers – Re-L [FIGURE076]

Regal – Monomyth [FIGURE063]

Regal is fully welcomed to Figure with his first EP. Showing off his ear for a twisted Acid line or two, Regal provides three tracks.The rising tension of ‘Monomyth’ is classic 90s acid, accented by the ear of a young man who is very much living in the present. Refined and tracky, Regal draws out every last drop of energy from a mere handful of well tuned ingredients, peaking his acid line sky high. The snaking, heads-down ‘Symbol’ fits very much with Figure’s 2014 manifesto – driving, precise modern techno, with clever arrangements that simple beg repeat listening and club play. The tweaking, after-hours vibes of ‘Pointillism’ continue this with a totally playable, bubbling minimalist killer.

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Regal – Monomyth [FIGURE063]

Philippe Petit – Figure SPC U [FIGSPCU]

Philippe Petit is welcomed to Figure SPC with this dextrous and inventive four-track EP. Ranging from the Euro-beat infusions of ‘Body’, with its menacing electronic palpitations, to the stuttering syncopations of ‘The Truth’, the bouncing, addictive tooly vibe of ‘Lost Again’, or finally the tracky, introspective chord-journey of ‘In Between’, its a varied and versatile EP from the hard working activist.

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Philippe Petit – Figure SPC U [FIGSPCU]

Jeroen Search – Figure SPC T [FIGSPCT6]

One of the true masters of modern minimalism, and one of the central artists on Figure SPC, Dutch artist Jeroen Search is back. Over three exciting and urgent new tracks Search hones in his skills in programming and arrangement to create yet more exciting and unique club tools. A refined and trippy journey into the cleaner, more funky end of the Techno spectrum, ‘Magnus’ works an airy, bleep-era riff atop snappy, tight drums and frenetic hat and ride elevations. Constantly lifting the energy, dropping it off with subtle tension, and bringing it back again, its a masterful example of the producer’s talents.Drifitng into more edgy zones, the darker and more sinister ‘Renaissance’ welcomes back Jeroen’s jacking house influences, as this groovy 90s-vibed jam takes off. A rough and totally out-there synth riff emerges from the forward pushing percussion to take centre stage, creating a moment of wild abandon!’Formalized’ completes the EP with a more abstract trip into dark dance. Classic techno bleeps and pizzicato synth patterns revolve and hypnotize in this reduced and frankly killer slice of paranoid genius.

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Jeroen Search – Figure SPC T [FIGSPCT6]

Len Faki & Markus Suckut – Skulls [FIGURE051]

Cover art - Len Faki & Markus Suckut: Skulls

Markus Suckut has become one of Figure’s key artists over the last few years. His early work on Figure SPC stood out as some of the young artist’s strongest productions around, while his debut full length LP, ‘DNA’ released on Figure in May 2013, saw a maturing producer proudly sticking to his talents. Those talents clearly lie in deadly, reduced basement techno, sub heavy, rough around the edges, yet highly accurate for the dancefloor. This meeting of minds then, is somewhat of a perfect match. Len Faki’s renowned high-end production and impressive back-catalogue provide the rock-solid foundations for the ‘Skulls’ EP. Over 4 tracks and 2 pieces of vinyl, the pair go deep into their influences and come up with an advanced, designed and suitably seismic sound. From the reduced and spaced cuts like ‘Skulls 1’ & ‘Skulls 3’, the pair offer contrasting textures and rolling percussion amidst a remarkably weighty bass-end. Fizzing hats and tripping technobleeps then complement a snaking, tribalist vibe in ‘Skulls 2’ which also comes with a straight-up Dub version.

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Len Faki & Markus Suckut – Skulls [FIGURE051]

Markus Suckut – DNA [FIGURELP001-3]

https://i1.wp.com/imagesaws.juno.co.uk/300/CS494955-01A-MED.jpg

German producer Markus Suckut has built quite a following, thanks to his distinctive, raw and reduced modern techno sound. Now he presents his debut full length, ‘DNA’, on Figure. ‘DNA’ goes even further in making a statement on his sound. There’s something of the classic German minimal techno lifeblood flowing through this album, and over 11 tracks (8 on the the double vinyl release) we are guided through very precise, tense and effective exercises in basement techno minimalism.

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Markus Suckut – DNA [FIGURELP001-3]

Roberto Bosco – Figure SPC L [FIGSPCL6]

Roberto Bosco is back for his third offering for Figure SPC, with a future-classic 4 track techno EP, intelligent and sensitive. Easing us into the thick of it, ‘Charming Noise’ takes humming, rumbling bass tones and a metallic clang as its themes. Slow burning and readily effective, its a brooding monster for the late hours. ‘I Just Can’t Breathe’ pushes the adrenalin up a few notches in a screaming, white noise attack on the senses. Bosco’s trademark heavy bass rumble and crisp percussion layers hold their own in this reduced killer. We’re then ready to embark on an emotional voyage as the masterful ‘See The Light’ emerges from the depths with its pushing acid bass and beautiful atmospheric melody. Classic strings and synths swirl and build in a tender and heartfelt piece of timeless techno. Closing the EP, ‘I Was Lonely’ takes the vibe into more reduced, after-hours zones with Roberto’s cool and low-slung take on the smoother sound of future-deep house.

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Roberto Bosco – Figure SPC L [FIGSPCL6]

Mutant Clan – Figure Spc F [FIGSPCF6]

The considerably epic ‘We Are’ fuses classic elements of tweaking acid, bright jacking drums and an extended, open-ended arrangement that floats atop a choir of celestial rave angels…! Built for cavernous techno meccas, or up-close and personal basement sweat-boxes alike.  In comparison the deep house tones of ‘I Feel The Sense’ retain the excellent production values that we’ve come to expect from this pair, and take a trip down a dubbed and shuffling melodious path.

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Mutant Clan – Figure Spc F [FIGSPCF6]