“Before This” is the third studio album by London based techno producer Ashley Burchett and the first release for his label Modwerks. The culmination of three years work, this project has been produced almost entirely by Ø Phase from the music to the artwork to the accompanying videos.
Phyxix is a collaborative project formed by Ø Phase and Matrixxman.
Token readies the third installment of the Ø [Phase] Versions series, that pays homage to Ashley Burchett’s illustrious discography, reissuing new mixes of classic material. On this third edition, Burchett turns in new, peak time interpretations of tracks Espresso, Obscura & The Crossover – alongside a stunning remix from fellow UK Techno auteur Steve Bicknell, who reworks Token classic Xylo 3.
Over the last 10 years Token Records has grown steadily, both in size and stylistic breadth. The aptly-titled Momentum comes as a celebration of the close-knit family of artists amassed throughout the label’s running. The record is a fitting collaborative project, with every track on the album produced by two longstanding and well-respected artists from the label’s roster and especially commissioned for the release. This type of collaboration is intended to showcase the specific sound of the label, developed through 10 years of careful curation, as well as bringing out the individual identities of the artists involved.
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.
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.
It’s some 15 years since Ashley Burchett first donned the Ø [Phase] moniker to lay down some surging London techno for Cosmic Records. A decade and a half on, he continues to impress with the moodiness and atmospheric intent of his hypnotic dancefloor concoctions. There’s much to enjoy on this second full-length – his debut album, Frames Of Reference, dropped in 2013 – from the intergalactic electronics and Drexciyan beats of “Remote”, and the looped marimba melodies and sludgy pulse of the title track, to the bleak, ghostly hypnotism of “Increment”, and hustling broken techno of “Nep-Tune”. This is proper techno for the dancefloor, with enough subtle variations and neat ideas to please all but the pickiest of listeners.
Belgian techno powerhouse Token welcome back another label regular in Ø [Phase]. This Versions 12″ represents an interesting move for Surrey-based Ashley Burchett, a chance to delve into his back catalogue and offer up some versions of some of the heavy hitting cuts that helped establish him within the techno community. Versions opens with an ‘Enhanced’ and buffed up take on “Flyby / Falling” from his 2006 Espresso EP for Ingoma, complemented by an unreleased demo take on “Bulk” from the same year. Another Enhanced version, of “Obscura Mix 1” is perhaps the finest cut here though Token completists will find much to savour in the stripped mix of Mass, the title track from his 2007 label debut.
The 52nd release on Token Records is a steely and mechanical two tracker from Ø [Phase]. ‘Tunnel Vision/Internal Conflict’ 12” captures perfectly the grainy, oddball approach which has garnered Burchett’s productions so much attention in recent years. This is techno for the small hours – frantically paced, disorientating and charged with adrenaline.
Culminating the cycle of Drone Logic, Daniel Avery releases New Energy, a collection of remixes including six new reworks. Token Records’ ace in the pack Ø [Phase] reshapes Naive Response into a beautifully psychedelic techno trip whilst Conforce turns the previously reflective Simulrec into a militaristic stomp aimed squarely at the floor. Further out still, ruthless noise experimentalist Powell takes a typically esoteric approach to Water Jump, leaving it just as catchy in disarray as when it was first conceived.
If you are looking for a massive slab of techno, you won’t find anything released this week that’s as hefty as Aphelion. A triple vinyl box set from Belgian label Token, Aphelion is essentially a primer for the best in contemporary techno, featuring contributions from Surgeon, Rodhad, James Ruskin, Karenn and Planetary Assault System alongside some label regulars. You will have probably already heard “Fixed Action Pattern” from Surgeon, it’s possibly one of this year’s finest techno 12″s, but it’s got some stiff competition here with Ruskin in particularly funked up form on “No Trace”.
Ukrainian duo Woo York are set to release their new record that proves to be somewhat representative of recent dramatic events in their country. Entitled I Am Against, both the main track and the EP itself are referring to the developments that lead to revolutionary struggle of the Ukrainian people. Fighting inequality, saying what you have to say and doing what you have to do seem to be the core ideas of the record. You might have figured that out yourself by spotting a rebel protester from Januarys clash with riot police depicted on the record sleeve. The EP also features a special remix from UK Techno producer, [Phase].
Speaker-rattling Techno sound designs. Straight-up haunting, hypnotic club tracks constructed with a real attention to detail and powerful thrust. Ø (Phase) releases his first new material after the critically acclaimed ‘Frames Of Reference’ album last year.
Arguably the two biggest R’s in techno at the moment remix [Phase], with Rodhad revealing a more emotive side to his techno, while Robert Hood delivers the goods like only he can. Rodhad’s interpretation takes away some of the original low-end heard in “Perplexed”, resulting in something that’s groovy, but still tough, while noticeable increasing the blue-noted tones of the track. Robert Hood’s love affair with “Dirto II” continues with the Detroit legend joining in on the cold temperaments for a clinical and percussively slicing remix. With rapid fire 12″s like this, it seems trying to match Token’s dominance of club techno at the moment would be a futile act.
Token brings the 2nd single, from the debut album ‘Frames Of Reference’ by Ø [Phase]. ‘Dirtro II’ is definitely one of the standout cuts of the album and shows Ø [Phase] in his darkest and deepest mood. On the b-side he is joined by one of his biggest inspirations & one of techno’s most legendary innovators: Robert Hood. The result is a carefully executed yet explosive peak time cut.
The ‘Receiver’ series presents six remixes of tracks from Peter Van Hoesen’s acclaimed ‘Perceiver’ album. The second Receiver release presents two solid interpretations by Scuba’s SCB alter ego and [Phase]. SCB brings out the groove on his edit of ‘Seven, Green and Black’, giving priority to the warm square bass sound of the original. [Phase] takes no prisoners with his tough as nails rework of To Alter A Vector.
Music Man presents the second single ‘Drive (The Age Of Automation)’ on Music Man with remixes from Ø [Phase]. There are two different versions from Ø [Phase] for you to check out. Some good news too for the people that couldn’t get a hold of the ‘Nighttime World’ 3LP too; the original is also included and gets a full side.
ETG005 the ‘Revok Ep’ sees two new upfront original tracks from Chris, Dax and Gareth with the addition of an outstanding extended remix of ‘Revok’ from the mighty ‘Ø [Phase]’. This EP was heavily influenced from Gareth’s first visit to Berlin earlier this year in 2012 and also by the artist ‘Revok’ who had been putting up some amazing pieces on East London walls around the same time.