Steve Rachmad, aka Sterac returns to Luke Slater’s Mote-Evolver imprintto release the ‘Numbers’ EP, with four tunneling techno tracks. Kicking off the release is ‘Ghost 37’, which employs vacillating grooves, ominous synths and intricate mechanics before ‘Lost Track 22’ fuses sizzling 303s, dynamic drums and mammoth, alien-sounding modulations. On the flip, ‘Rey Fur 2.1’ keeps the energy flowing with a high-impact clapper featuring bustling fx and expansive tones until ‘Tr-15’ masterfully rounds off the EP with twisting synth flutters, rattling highs and hypnotic bass grooves intricately unfolding underneath.
As Morganistic, Luke Slater only released a handful of cuts-but among those was the album ‘Fluids Amniotic’, still widely praised today as a benchmark techno long-player. Regularly featuring in the sets of Hood and Mills, Morganistic’s dark, rumbling minimalism was, as the album title suggests, the sonic equivalent of being trapped in the murky, viscous fluids of some sinister alien womb. Slater unearthed the original DAT and reel-to-reel tapes and got them remastered by Matt Colton at Metropolis. Fluids Amniotic will get re-issued both on vinyl and digitally for the first time in 25 years.
UK techno mastermind Luke Slater resurfaces as Planetary Assault Systems on his label Mote-Evolver, with a crisp double-package of his signature deep-rolling, hypnotic big-room churners. As its name suggests, ‘Straight Shooting’ takes no byway to get its point across.
Reflecting on a career spanning three decades, Luke Slater is a true dance music legend. The British producer has not only been pivotal in the rise of techno but his work continues to play a vital role in driving the genre forward, particularly under his Planetary Assault Systems name. Following its launch in 2006, Slater’s L.B.Dub Corp moniker has been responsible for refreshing house music on labels like Mote-Evolver and Ostgut Ton, with the latter hosting the pseudonym’s debut album in 2013. ‘Side Effects’ is the project’s first body of work since then. “I wrote the tracks over the last year between being on the road as P.A.S. and playing a few L.B.Dub Corp house sets, which naturally evolved into ‘Side Effects’ almost accidentally” – Luke Slater Crashing stabs and a rolling hook inaugurate the album in ‘Reel One’ before the meandering ‘Night Time Hawk’ demonstrates effervescent effects and bursts of white noise. Commanding kicks and a moody bassline make up the robust ‘Edge 7’ whilst ‘IELBEE’ exhibits a bouncy aesthetic complete with intricate melodies. ‘Float When You Can’ is dark and ominous from the off but an echoing note sequence adds a glimmer of light, making way for the reverberating mechanics of ‘Bass Machine’ before leading into the twisted sounds and ghostly air of ‘Forever In A Day’. Nearing the end, ‘LBEES Jam’ is the most lighthearted track on the album with its twinkling lead melody until Slater rounds off the release with a soulful and vocal driven affair ‘All Got To Live’.
This new set of four highly concentrated cuts shows how effective Planetary Assault Systems can be at fueling the imagination by fusing together rhythmic and incidental elements into a unified, animated meshwork, without even a prominent melody to help out. Deep Heet Vol. 4 also showcases Slaters aptitude for choosing just the right moments to deviate from a steady groove.
Roog Unit is the new production duo fusing together the talents of Luke Slater and Ø [Phase] a.k.a. Ashley Burchett, the music being the result of many months of discourse and growing connection. The full dose of “Mesh” shows two producers clearly at their most focused and precise. Like their best work to date, it will get fans’ active imaginations churning – and leave them wondering what this collaboration has in store for the near future.
Having already unleashed a considerable amount of collaborative magic with the ”Planetary Funk: 22 Light Years” series of remix EPs, Luke Slater has now upped the ante with six full sides’ worth of material,all of them injecting the spirit of classic P.A.S. into new sonic organisms. Behind the controls: Marcel Fengler, Function, Psyk,Octave One, Kamikaze Space Programme, Lucy, Slam and Steve Bicknell.
More than any other UK techno producer, Luke Slater has remained at the cutting edge. This is partly due to his ability to make forward-thinking music, but as this new series demonstrates, he also possesses an uncanny knack for pairing off with other inspired artists. “Gated” is vintage PAS material from the 90s, its distorted rhythm lent a housey bias here thanks to Ben Sims’ superb remix. It’s hard to believe that “Dungeon”, available here in its original format, dates back to 1997, as its bleepy, tunneling groove and its ‘swarm of bee’ hums make for exactly the kind of hypnotic sounds that many modern producers try – and fail – to emulate. Completing this excellent release is a dry, tribal version of “Dunegon” by O [Phase] from Token.
Amsterdam-based producer Jeff Rushin’s Mote Evolver debut opens with “Coda,” which flawlessly builds anticipation as a shivering sequence slowly creeps in and out of the listener’s headspace, accompanied by sharp claps and huge subterranean kicks. “Facing the Truth” combines the same commanding kick sound with busy cymbal shivers. “Enigma” applies Rushin’s calm but forceful approach to what feels like a journey through a forest of translucent filaments. “A Figment of His Imagination” has the EP’s hardest edge, with intense hydraulic pumping and titanium-plated industrial pounding, yet Rushin’s deft programming and arranging skills elevate the track beyond a rote exercise in aggression.
Spanish producer Psyk (a.k.a. Maan or Manuel Anós) is an audio technician who makes good on his name; each of his new releases acting like a steely sonic probe to be launched into the as-of-yet uncharted depths of the psyche. His newest release for the Mote-Evolver label is solid and elemental techno as ever: it fits neatly into the label’s stylistic template of mesmerizing precision yet never forsakes individuality in order to do so. Like Psyk’s other offerings for this label, the new EP works its magic on the central nervous system with a perfectly interwoven blend of up-front anxious sequences and mysterious luminous undercurrents, making for an experience whose energizing effect lasts well after the record has stopped spinning.
Some new Planetary Assault Systems material from Mr Luke Slater is always a welcome sight and The Eyes Themselves finds the techno pioneer on suitably mind bending form. Issued naturally by his own Mote Evolver, this three track 12″ bristles with the sort of intense, physical energy that makes the music feel alive and somewhat alien with the title track a perfect embodiment. Across the six minutes, “The Eyes Themselves” develops from a dark throb into full blown techno psychedelia that possesses the ability to draw the more open minds into another dimension. Similar things could be said about “Strange Attractor” so we will draw your attention to the B side cut “Arc” where intensity is the predominant characteristic across the eight thrilling minutes.
After two succesful EP releases on the label, Psyk aka Manuel Anós is back on Mote-Evolver inaugurating his first full-length album effort. “Time Foundation” proves to be an outstanding collection that shows the full spectrum of Psyk’s sound and the range of skills as he expands and explores different depths and moods. Keeping the energy level constant at the peak, there’s no downtime in “Time Foundation”. And while 10 sharp-cut tracks are all armed with clean, streamlined groove and impressive sound design therefore may soundincredibly slick and effortless, once you listened closely – and they will demand your attention – that kind of breezing through swift force is only the byproduct of Psyk’s high caliber production ability to map out meticulous structures with a great detail.
Mote Evolver kicks off 2014 with Future Modular EP from Luke Slater’s Planetary Assault Systems alias, presenting sharp-as-ever fresh sound of P.A.S. that has enticed the audience as long as the mighty ‘Systems’ have existed. Never a stranger to a forward thinking sound aesthetic and with a title like ‘Future Modular’, P.A.S. packs the EP with 4 tracks (with digital-only ‘Subtracted Mix’ of the title track) that spark with Futurism and tightly channel the energy at the tip of the boiling point.
Luke Slater’s most well-known pseudonym Planetary Assault Systems is back in the fullest swing with ‚No Exit‘, a standalone EP following his famed ‚Deep Heat‘ installment series. ‚No Exit‘ unmistakably bears all the hallmarks of Planetary Assault System, from mind-tripping and floor-stirring hypnotic energy to the theme of pushing the outer limits of unknown territories.
Mote-Evolver’s ever successful Parallel Series is now on to its fourth installment, this time with two West Coast producers – Developer and Truncate – going head to head. Pairing of the two is uncanny in many ways given their close friendship and the geographical base they share, and appears to be the perfect choice to highlight the difference between their sound and style to realize the concept of Parallel Series: contrast & compliment.
Finally we are at the last part of the 2012 review. In the first part of our review, the preferences of our followers are shown, according to the number of click and stars. Top 3 albums of the years, top 3 EPs, compilations and mixes loved by our followers can be seen here.
In the second part, I presented some of my favorite events and performances from last year. For more details go here.
The legendary Mote Evolver is back with another ferocious slab of UK techno. Manuel Años aka Psyk gives a blow to the head as soon as the needle touches down on title track, “Distane”. Repetitive keys swing back and forth with mighty force; followed by “Isolate”, another triumphant techno bomb filled with muffled static and a feverishly hissed percussion. For the B Side, Psyk takes us further down the bouncing rabbit hole on “Rdmn”, and completes his rave injection with “Main”, an almighty, stripped number worthy only of a gigantic dark room filled with bass bins.
Mote Evolver return with another salvo of reworks from Planetary Assault Systems’ seminal record ‘Function 4’, originally released on the influential Peacefrog label in 2000. Marcel Dettmann returns with a “Base dub” remix which is a more stripped back affair than his more full bodied first attempt, concentrating instead on subtle rhythmic nuances. Lucy provides two remixes – one utilising a minimal breakbeat over shrill pads, and one that piles on the atmosphere with its swathes of reverb. And Shifted rounds it up with his slickly executed revision, with a rolling rhythm that’s packed densely around abstract tones.
Shifted’s ‘Crossed Paths’ is a record which pushes the formal possibilities of techno and is the first full length work to be released on Mote-Evolver. On ‘Crossed Paths’ the breadth of Shifted’s ideas is both subtle and devastating. As a producer Shifted’s methodology is like that of a sculptor, he works principally with textures knowing precisely when to leave edges raw and fault lines exposed. ‘Crossed Paths’ is constructed of 11 ominous cuts carved with precision and poise.
Having become something of a regular fixture in the Mote Evolver camp, Shifted is back once again to head up Side A of the second Parallel Series 12″. As you might expect, the techno comes bleak and throbbing from the Shifty one, although avoiding excessive heaviness over immersive progression and dubby FX. On the flip Samuli Kemppi plies his quirkier trade, using offbeat synth mess to counteract the steady rhythm of the bottom end on “Trans Neptunian”. “Detached Object” meanwhile fires off streams of interlocking sounds which spiral around the relentless kick for a classy exercise in techno restraint.