Oscillating bass tones, off-kilter drums, velvety pads, melancholic synths, ambient soundscapes. Four timeless cuts by Estrato Aurora & Siarem plus an outstanding remix by VC-118A
VA – 10 Years Of Acid Test [ATLP-014]
Ten years ago, Acid Test began with a simple concept – each track the label released would make use of the Roland TB-303. Like a producer purposefully paring down their studio setup, or the continuous imperative within underground electronic music to reduce, this concept engendered creativity with the introduction of what seemed to be an aesthetic limit. However, the decade that followed, which now culminates in the triple-LP compilation Ten Years Of Acid Test, proves acid is limitless. That the Berlin-via-LA label would expand upon the classical conception of acid house and techno is no surprise considering the cast of characters that have come in fold over the past decade. Ten Years Of Acid Test gathers key material from the label’s extended family of acid acolytes. There’s that Vienna-via-LA maestro of sad, elegant acid Tin Man (Johannes Auvinen), whose “Afters Acid” is both a highlight within his prolific catalogue and a distillation of his symphonic approach to the 303. Detroit giants Erika and Marcellus Pittman, both of whom have released remixes on Acid Test, present their respective and singular Bass Line visions. Erika, the Interdimensional Transmissions lynchpin, crafts a dark, delicate take on broken techno on “Violet Fungus” while Pittman continues his cubist house explorations on “Unknown Species,” both tracks straying from typical acid lines in favor of the intricate textures achievable on the 303. This variation in approach applies to tempo as well. Irish-based master Lerosa, as well as Delsin affiliate VC-118A, delve into downtempo atmospherics. Meanwhile, Japanese deep techno virtuoso Wata Igarashi, SUED co-founder SW. (a regular on Acid Test’s leftfield sub-label Avenue 66) and Patricia (one-half of Acid Test act Ociya) use acid as a creative jumping-off point for complex melodic concepts. Wata layers an orchestra of synth-bliss drone overtop a squelchy bassline on “Ephemeral.” SW.’s “ChaIAnJAzzz” cycles through an array of dusted chords eventually landing in skewed, fuzzy rave nostalgia, anthemic chords held aloft by a wicked UK-flavour bass line. Patricia’s “Higher Still” explores dreamy, IDM-flavoured acid, cinematic synthlines counterbalanced by propulsive, squelching acid. Acid Test devotees will be thrilled at the return of various luminaries from the catalogue, including Achterbahn D’Amour, Skudge, AAAA, John Tejada and Donato Dozzy, whose memorable remix of Tin Man’s “Nonneo” from Acid Test 01 served as a kind of proof of concept for the label. There’s new blood too. San Francisco up-and-comer Sepehr makes his label debut with the excellent “Persian Acid Prince,” as does Andreas Tilliander’s beloved hardware techno project, TM404. Ten Years Of Acid Test is a valuable portrait of a group of artists linked by a dedication to innovation within acid, in line with the genre’s storied roots. Over ten years, Acid Test has gracefully made a case for the 303’s past, present and future, the story of acid continuing to unfurl in unpredictable, addictive patterns.
VA – Trust XY.1 [TRUSTXY.1]
First in the TRUST XY recombination series. DL/MS, Keith Tucker, The Exaltics, and Privacy remix original tracks by DJ Glow, Microthol, DJ Stingray, and VC-118A.
VC-118A – Spiritual Machines [146DSR]
VC-118A returns to Delsin to present his fourth album, Spiritual Machines. It marks an exciting shift in focus for Samuel van Dijk as his flagship project nears a decade skirting the deeper ends of techno and electro. Over the past two and half years, van Dijk forensically reviewed the key aspects of his production process as he dug down in search of the essence of the VC-118A sound. By creating his own complement of sample banks, software racks and devices, van Dijk was able to work with a hybridised analogue-digital system purely of his own making. Less in thrall to the strict rigours of techno and electro standards, Spiritual Machines’ 13 album tracks encompass more fluid shifts into abstract and downtempo, dub-inflected realms, without losing sight of the elements that have made VC-118A so compelling from the beginning. Burnished machine soul, aqueous atmospherics and immaculate drum programming abound, but in the mellow, enveloping sound world of Spiritual Machines you can hear van Dijk guiding his music into a broader form that sounds at once more assured and more inspired.
VC-118A – Crunch / Plonk [144DSR]
Samuel van Dijk aka VC-118A returns to Delsin and gives us a taste of what’s cooking in his futuristic electro lab. On this fierce two-tracker ‘Crunch / Plonk’ the Dutch producer presents two rough cuts of his trademark machine sound. Three smoke-filled endless loops add up to the a-side for a taste of his forthcoming album early next year.
VA – Exit Planet Earth: Nitrogen [EPE03]
‘The third edition of the Exit Planet Earth vinyl series features four more exclusive intergalactic selections from Ralph Lawson. First up is a true legend of the UK electro scene, Keith Tenniswood aka ‘Radioactive Man’, who creates a constantly evolving sonic trip called ‘One Out’. Sharing the A side is the Spanish producer Annie Hall, creating melodic landscapes, layered with intricate string orchestration driven by deep bass. On the flip side Helsinki-based Sunny Seppa aka Sansibar shows exactly why he is fast becoming hot property following his immense debut album on FTP – ‘Targeted Individuals’. Sansibar brings the record back to the 4/4 with a flowing yet subtle working of synths and pads. Also based in Finland yet hailing from Holland is VC-118A, delivers some deep space dub with expertly crafted production centring on low end theory.
VA – TRUST XX – Silver Future [TRUST-XX]
Charity compilation from the Viennese electro label TRUST. All proceeds will support ZARA – Zivilcourage und Anti-Rassismus-Arbeit – zara.or.at
Tracks from Alex Cortex, Biepang, Clatterbox, DJ Glow, Epy, Kamikaze Space Programme, Lok44, M_Step, Microthol, ph03, Second Storey, Stingray313, The Exaltics, Urban Tribe, Versalife , VC-118A and /DL/MS/.
VC-118A – Inside [130DSR]
Samuel van Dijk releases his third album as VC-118A on Delsin Records. It dives deep into the sonic narrative of VC-118A (who is also known as Mohlao) and mixes up his unique sounds with evocative musical imagery. An album that goes from sparse, mysterious grooves to shiny underwater electro to frazzled and distorted techno via absorbing passages of ambient and overdriven machine workouts. It marks his first original work on Delsin, having released his distinctive brand of electro and techno on Frustrated Funk, Radio Matrix and Tabernacle before now.
VC-118A – Vaxna [DSR/X16]
The next carefully assembled Delsin re-issue EP is four tracks of slick electro from VC-118A aka Samuel van Dijk, an EP was originally released on AC Records in 2015, strictly limited and only sold by the label itself. All four cuts are electro of the highest order: opener ‘Vaxna’ is a mid tempo, atmospheric piece that places you in the middle of a desolate futuristic landscape, while ‘Sepia’ is a more rueful track that encourages your mind to wander amongst its thoughtful pads and sombre chords. It’s timeless and tender machine music that’s followed up by 25h, which has an astral feel. Beautifully smeared pads and a nimble bassline cast you free deep in the cosmos. The EP closes in style with ‘Versicolor’, an emotive electro jam with clever arrangements and immerse sounds.
Colophon – Heritage [DPTX-011]
The Harlem based producer Bas van Vuurde a.k.a. Colophon is back with a release on Deeptrax. The Heritage EP is a hommage to analog machine soul techno, as he calls it himself. Deeptrax is presenting future sounds in fresh modern cuts with a stunning electro-ish remix by VC-118A.
VC-118A – Permutation [FR041]
Lowlandish transmissions from the land of a thousand lakes. It’s been 18 months since Samuel Van Dijk last donned the VC-118 alias. Back then, he was releasing sophomore album Shift Register on Tabernacle. Here, he resurfaces on Frustrated Funk with a five-track EP that tends towards the introspective and melancholy. Of course, there are still notable dancefloor moments – see the locked-in analogue house beats, dubbed-out electronics and held-note bass of “Permutation” and the mid-tempo electro swing of “Verdictia” – but for the most part the EP is a laidback and poignant affair. It’s a side of Van Dijk that we don’t see that often, but one that he really should explore more. Certainly, the ghostly “Enter” and sorrowful “Sequence” are among the most memorable tracks in his already impressive catalogue.
VC-118A live @ Temple (Athens) 25.11.2017
Blue Hour – Blue Hour Remixed 2 [BLUEHOURMX002]
The second edition of Blue Hour’s ‘Remixed’ series features four distinctly diverse cuts. Mark Broom delivers a peak time take of ‘Common Ground’, followed by Substance’s (AKA DJ Pete) dub driven remix of the untitled hidden ambient track which appeared on ‘Reference 97’. On the flip Hessle Audio’s Pangaea re-captures the jacking and functional energy of ‘Falling Lines’, then closing the EP is a raw and dreamy electro workout of ‘Introspective II’ from VC-118A.
VA – Time Marches On (Part 1) [LDR020]
Time marches on with two Various Artist EPs to celebrate the 20th release on Lunar Disko Records. Eight tracks encompassing the modus operandi of the label since the beginnings… Part 1 features three Lunar Disko favourites in the form of John Heckle, 214, and VC-118A, alongside a label debut from upcoming Dublin producer Conan_ aka Conan O’ Donnell. Detroit influenced electro and techno on the A-side, while the B-side transports the listener into deeper electro soundscapes.
VC-118A – Shift Register [TABR036]
Over the last few years, Dutch electronic misfit VC-118A has delivered a number of killer EPs and 12″ singles, each packed with sharp-edged electro, spacey techno, and industrial-strength analogue house. Shift Regsiter is his second full-length excursion and offers an expansive and hugely atmospheric journey through his trademark sound. Naturally, there’s much to admire across the 14 tracks, from the woozy, spaced-out electro-dub of “Input Mode” and the sparkling IDM of “Serial Data Transmission”, to the ultra-deep throb of “Radiation Curve”, and the hard-wired dancefloor bounce of the Drexciya-like “Apex”.
VC-118A – B76 Over Land [RAM-X-07]
Fresh goods from VC-118A. Known as one of the deepest electronic producers out there, Samuel has released under different monikers as Mohlao, Multicast Dynamics and Inward Content (together with Delta Funktionen). Here he presents a 6 track conceptual EP about ancient aviation machinery operated throughout turbulent times. But don’t be mislead, this might be conceptualized in historical events, the music is far from a blast from the past. This is some pure futuristic Hi-Tech-Electro from the north of The Netherlands.
VC-118A – Propulse [TABR030]
The merciless Tabernacle imprint returns with another new artist and another collection of fine, thrilling house-techno hybrids in the label’s trademark style. In all honesty, VC-118A is actually Holland’s Samuel Van Dijk, an artist whose been quietly releasing music under a number of different aliases including Mohlao and Multicast Dynamics. This latest project is a little grittier and more lo-fi than compared to his other ones, where tracks like “Propulse” and “Central Zone” possess a glitchy, minimal tone in a slow-tempo electro coating. On the flipside, “Virile Frame” is a hypnotic and a whole load housier, while Lost Trax remixes “Propulse” into a raging, pseudo-acid monster.
VC-118A – Vlucht Naar Nachtschade [LDR016]
After a mini-hiatus, Lunar Disko Records returns with a four track EP featuring two of their favourite producers, VC-118A and Delta Funktionen. VC-118A aka Samuel van Dijk guides the listener into deeper realms of sound via three more expertly crafted electro tracks. Aficionado’s of VC-118A’s deep sound will be particularly pleased with this latest installment of emotive electronics from the VC-118A project. Delta Funktionen makes his Lunar debut and completes the EP with a killer techno / electro remix of Vlucht Naar Nachtschade. DF combines rough 808 drums and a deep moog-like bass with VC-118A’s sparse and spacious sound to devastating effect.
VA – Trust XV-I [TRUSTXVI]
First release in a three part vinyl series for Trust’s 15th anniversary. Exclusive tracks from VC-118A (Mohlao / Multicast Dynamics), Morphology’s Matti Turunen, Clatterbox and Lok44
VC-118A – Flight Control [TABR019]
Dutch artist VC-118A continues with his conceptual musical study into the aviation process.