5 tracks of pure heat of various styles from members of The Black Lodge global family. A1 is entitled “Atmospheres” from the ever-talented Michigan producer JTC aka Tadd Mullinix [Bopside/Nation/Ghostly]. A2, entitled “Arreskni” comes from newer Chilean artists MU-GA, a track we released in digital format last year from their debut EP. Finishing off the A-side is Italian super-duo Sons Of Traders [SOT/Frigio/Black Lodge] aka Tans X Mike Tansella Jr. with the acidic cut “Indianapolis” also released last year by BL on tape and digitally from their first full length album entitled “Crollo Nervoso”. Side B blasts off with the early Chicago house inspired track “Passion” by prolific Dresden producer Sneaker [Uncanny Valley/Rat Life/Frigio]. Closing off the comp is a dirty warehouse banger/burner by e-spirit, a new alias from LA producer Delivery [LA Club Resource/Valcrond Video.
Tadd Mullinix returns to JTC, the moniker which helped define Spectral Sound, the dance imprint of Ghostly International. The EP is packed, but still playfully ambiguous; a club-ready set built to max out mixing boards with spacious and nuanced melodies and motorized percussion. Five tracks, each with roughly five-minute run-times, offering all but a few breaths in a quest for highly operative dancefloor hypnosis. The record wastes little time locking in; on the first track, “Innerloire Rendezvous,” a dense square kick plows through a brisk four-on-the-floor routine phasing over harmonious synth stacks of rubbery fifths and sevenths. The title track splatters a lenticular static spray between thumping kick, billowy melodic swells, and staticky clicks, snaps, and claps.
A group discovers a community of outsiders engaged in a ritual that invokes an inexplicable celestial event.
For over 18 years, Spectral Sound, the dance music imprint of Ghostly International, has thrived at the forefront of techno and house. Now, Spectral brings the past alongside the present with its latest release, a compilation that offers a vibrant cross-section of the current moment in underground dance music. Despite the wide-ranging selections on Spectral 139, a throughline of classic style and infectious energy emerges from the up-and-coming and established artists alike. Rising talents such as Minimal Violence, Russell E.L. Butler, and Earth Trax x Newborn Jr. bring unique perspectives to their hardware-centric productions.
Dark Entries returns to the New Jersey basement studio of Smersh to unearth an 18-minute jam session from 1989, backed with two contemporary remixes. “Sideways” was taken from a cassette titled ‘100’, which refers to a 100-minute jam session the band recorded to tape on June 12, 1989 in Piscataway. A frenetic hybrid of techno and acid with driving EBM style beats, “Sideways” weaves intricate industrial noises with synth melodies that drift in and out of phase. On the flip are two fresh remixes by different aliases of prolific Ann Arbor producer Tadd Mullinix. As JTC, he expands the sound palette, adding organ stabs and lush pads, drawing on Detroit deep house and UK garage. The Charles Manier remix features chanted vocals on top of an array of pulsating synths, stark percussion, and post-punky guitar effects.
Secret Studio Records presents 2 unapologetic acid tracks by 2AM/FM.
Tadd Mullinix’s Charles Manier project returns with a third double-LP, Luxus Steroid Abamita, an edict of nine new amorphous transmissions and clustered, clangorous, hemi-synthetic funk. This is experimental machine music: it’s inspired by the fringes of dance, but skirts petrified arpeggios and other stock Wave and Technopop emblems. Its spirit elicits Sheffield Post-Punk and Düsseldorfer NDW desiderata, but exploits are crisp, psychedelic, and expansive. Lyrics come as laconic Dada, sociopolitical impressions—in counterpoint to concrète tape smears, echoing guitar deluges, and entrenched in ever-shifting grime. A wide spectrum of density is proffered. Atmospheric zones are submerged, modulating knells. When tempos increase, sample & hold mutations make synthesizers sputter and writhe. The title track and opus,“Yopo (Calcium Tree)” carry this with heavy pulses—storming like locomotives.
Third time is a charm. The Analogue Acid Project by Todd Osborn and Tadd Mullinix resulted in two records in 2005 and 2006 that excelled at the fabrication of gritty acid jak tracks ow, Todd N Tadd alias TNT aka the dynamite duo finally returns. Their third outing and first one on Running Back, is a detonative reunion of old and new friends. With two previously unreleased beat tracks on one side plus carefully tailored reissues of Hotness (from the blue record) and Beat This House (from the red record), you get a box of dynamite sticks in various sizes for different situations. More than ten years later and still as explosive.
Two floor-smashing highlights from the gnarliest corner of the Spectral Sound library get a welcome reissue on the first limited addendum 12” to the Dope Jams NYC Volume 1: 2005-2012 compilation. Tripping back to 2005/4 on a raw, machine funk flex, Dope Jams track back over Todd Mullinix’s earlier chapters with two immense slabs of future tech. First up, his 2AM/FM project with D’Marc Cantu with “Poison Dart” a gritty late night Berlin lazer-fest. It’s followed by the wily, unpredictable data charges on “Bizarre Carnival” on which you can almost hear the machines hissing in meltdown. This is what flashbacks were invented for.
Series-A was the duo of Sam Anderson aka DJ Maestro and Dave Webb aka Kid Fresh. Sam and Dave both grew up listening to the sounds of the Electrifying Mojo on WJLB in Detroit. They met in 1983 at a DJ gig that they were both hired to play. In 1986, they collaborated on the Nu-Sound II Crew project. After developing a friendship with Juan Atkins, they became hip to the emerging new club sounds that were to become electro and techno. Their subsequent project, Series-A, was named after different car model numbers, but also hints at the evolution of humankind into a new species. In 1987, Series-A recorded the single “Evolution ? Technology” at Spectrum Sounds Studio in St. Clair Shores, Michigan. Their set up was a vocoder, E-mu Emulator III, Roland 909 drum machine, and an Otari 24-Track recorder. They landed a record deal with Satellite Records in Burbank, California, which had been founded by Pete Moore of The Miracles. After pressing 50 promotional copies, the label ran into financial problems, and the record never reached a full release. Taking cues Kraftwerk, Grand Master DST, Grandmaster Flash & Jam Master Jay, Series-A created dark electro beats in an era when sampling appeared to be the future of music. Lyrically the song addresses our species’ entry into the technological age. For this EP reissue, the 7” Mix and Dub Mix are included on the A-side. On the flip is a new remix by prolific Ann Arbor producer JTC, an alias of Tadd Mullinix (aka Dabrye, SK-1, & Charles Manier). JTC speeds up and expands the song to seven minutes. Drawing on influences from Ron Hardy to Jeff Mills, he drives around suburban techno landscapes while simultaneously launching the listener into deep space.
Following hot on the heels of Tadd Mullinix’s ‘Skein’ – Bopside’s second album release for 2016 comes from label owner Tadd Mullinix’s dancefloor destroying nom de plume who needs little introduction: JTC An 8 track concise body of work perfectly calibrated for DJ use and home listening alike, where the beats hit hard and the melodies linger in your brain. The self-titled LP starts with ‘Caskadia’ – a call to arms for dancers with call and response synth lines and broken beats. ‘Atmospheres Pt.2’ takes things out into deep space, and ‘Nexus Ship Core’ is an acid drenched burner with glacial synths. ‘Infoline’ then makes it’s first appearance in a remixed guise by Rephlex alumni Ed DMX, then closing out the album with its recognisable lead line in its original form. Things take a deeper turn with ‘Dusselmorph’ before the full on breakbeat assault of ‘Blitz Puff (High Position Mix) takes things up a gear, then dropping you off safe and sound, though a little shaken with ‘Atmospheres pt.5 (Hemi Mix).
Shad T. Scott under his Gosub alias releases this Sunday At Battle Ship Key titled EP for Barba Records, staying true to that initial principle. Its far away from just being good though, its beautiful and warm electronic music at its best, oozing chill and feel good moods. Original two tracks are accompanied with a remix by second time appearing on Barba – JTC aka Tadd Mullinix who this time nicely surprised us with his ol’ school NY style house beauty. Overall one fine classic record this, period.
Tadd Mullinix returns to the lesser spotted Charles Manier avatar for the second album release on his Bopside label, and the first under this guise following releases for Nation and Ghostly. The resulting 11 track album is mostly new material with a lineage of inspiration that can be traced back decades, from box banging EBM club trax to spectral beatless excursions. Drawing influence from a variety of sources but still a cohesive, engaging listen – ‘American Manier ‘ is destined to become a future underground classic.
Burek’s sister label Barba on its fourth release introduces Heinrich Dressel, project related working name of Valerio, a force behind MinimalRome label from Italy. His productions have been gaining serious attention amongst deeper electro connoisseurs who appreciate almost cinematic feel but still with an eye on the floor which resulted in quite a few moody smashers released on various EPs in the past. Three tracks here evoking familiar feelings heard before but still somehow they all sound fresh and drag you in wanting for more. As if this wouldn’t do it, there is first but, not last appearance for Barba label by mighty JTC who needs no further introduction delivering a remix. This time he cleverly uses sparse but recognizable parts of title track which he then transforms into relentless floor shaker where Detroit meets Chicago, if any such comparison needs to be made.
After over a decade of music on pedigree labels like Spectral, Nation, M>O>S, and Creme Organization 2AM/FM offer their debut LP on Bopside. Based in Ann Arbor and raised in the Detroit area, D’Marc Cantu and Tadd Mullinix are charged by a lifetime of midwestern soundwaves and the reinforcement of contemporaneous area innovators like Carlos Souffront and Traxx. Again, they join forces but with this monumental excursion into the ether of their very own techno/house universe. Sounds herein are cast from debonair techno funk, rumbling house grooves, italo acid, galactic swing – offering a diverse array that’s perfect for the album experience.
The Doomsday Initiative is a musical concept that the end of the world was here and doom was plunging to terrible sadness. Selected artists 2AMFM ( D’Marc Cantu & Tadd Mullinix) produced and created ideas of this planet we live on in an ideal landscape of doomsday.
Interesting collaborative release between powerhouse labels MOS Deep and Creme Organization. The artists behind the two tracks are Michigan duo 2 AM/FM aka JTC & D’Marc Cantu. ‘Starfist Lazerbeam’ is the first cut and is a slow, purposeful house track run through with a slithering, laser like synth that constantly changes shape. Muffled, filtered vocals are hidden behind and the arpeggiated line eventually lets up and gets a little funky as the icy percussion ticks on. Its a real pressure-building track with curveball melodies that are as beautiful as they are weird. On the flip, ‘Passion’ has raw analogue drums, ticking his and trippy melodies all dancing round each other in old school Chicago fashion. A nimble bassline also dances around the mix, bring with it lots of energy, stylish funk and a real sense of playfulness.
Rebel Intelligence was never the most prolific of labels, with its’ first three releases – a trio of excellent analogue workouts from Matt Whitehead – coming out over a two-year period. This fourth 12″ – the imprints first since 2011 – sees a new wave of artists bringing their synthesizers and drum machines to the party. JTC’s “Habit” opens proceedings, sounding not unlike a cross between classic EBM, sparse analogue deep house and pitched-down early Detroit techno. Automatic Tasty impresses with “Winters Evening”, a deliciously melodic chunk of Claro Intelecto style electro, before Elec Pt1 charges off on an intoxicating 303 acid tip (“Daytime Acid”). Finally, Abraham Cowley flies off into space with “Shifting Seasons”, a wonderfully evocative fusion of constantly building analogue beats, melancholic chords and eyes-wide-shut melodies.