Music Reviews



DLX: Ain't It Funky EP

 Posted by Vito Camarretta (@)   Techno / Trance / Goa / Drum'n'Bass / Jungle / Tribal / Trip-Hop
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Oct 14 2017
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Artist: DLX (@)
Title: Ain't It Funky EP
Format: Download Only (MP3 + Lossless)
Label: Free Love Digi
Rated: *****
In the rich bunch of recent releases by Free Love Digi, this output by Drew Peterson aka DLK (Doctor Lazarus X) is one of the most amazing. Running over old and new rails (its sound is heavily influenced by the evergreen sonorities and the aural hooks of 90ies jungle) and into controlled chaotic storms of samples that could resemble soul, hip-hop and footwork, this mad dubstep scientist nestled four amazing tracks into this EP. The first one quotes the seinen horror manga Uzumaki by Junji Ito and the same-named track could remind those dumbing hairy spirals recurring in its crazy plot by abrasive synth-brass, whirling percussive sets and other elements that are going to wrap your ears in its invisible coils. The above-mentioned breadcrumbs of hip-hop, funky and soul are clearly listenable and well-blended in the deflected steps of "Ain't It Funky", while the cocktail this beat scientist serves chilled on "Gin and Catatonic" rattles behind chopped cuts and subtly growling sounds. The craziest moment of the EP is maybe "Predator Dance Battle Party", where DLX squeezes a set of clues that could fit a battle before filling it by an hyper fast-paced compressed rhythmical pattern, potentially causing euphoria or headache - depending on your mood... -!

Seba: Remix vol.2 (ft.Digital & Om Unit)

 Posted by Vito Camarretta (@)   Techno / Trance / Goa / Drum'n'Bass / Jungle / Tribal / Trip-Hop
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Oct 14 2017
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Artist: Seba
Title: Remix vol.2 (ft.Digital & Om Unit)
Format: 12"
Label: Secret Operations (@)
Rated: *****
Soon after the re-issue of his album "Return to Forever" (dating back 2015), Seba threw a couple of tunes to the hungry jaws of two beat masters, who managed to extract two great tracks by two likewise good hits. London-based DJ and producer Jim Coles aka Om Unit hones and laps the banging "External Reality" by an involving mid-tempo (anything but monotonous due to a series of variations and additions over the groove) and an engaging basslines spread through the gradual nebulization of some of the inputs of the original track. The treatment of "Day by Night" by Steve 'Digital' Carr is really stunning: he turned it into something that could vaguely remind those stunning hybrid of dance and industrial that blossomed in the late 90ies (I could quote "Brainfuck" by Swamp Terrorists to give you a reference) by spirals of strangling hectic rhythmical overlaps. A check of this second drop of remixes is recommended (together with the first one by John B and Blu Mar Ten, if you missed).

Mun Sing: Witness EP

 Posted by Stuart Bruce (@)   Techno / Trance / Goa / Drum'n'Bass / Jungle / Tribal / Trip-Hop
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Sep 29 2017
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Artist: Mun Sing
Title: Witness EP
Format: Download Only (MP3 + Lossless)
Label: Infinite Machine
“Witness” is a pack of four short, dark, frenetic techno pounders rounded off with an extra remix. Focussed almost entirely around clipped and frantic drum patterns, adding surprisingly sporadic acid basslines, and with broad use of stereo and light smatterings of melodic percussion, it’s a very focussed and determined sonic attitude.

After the hammering broken-techno plateau of “Revenge”, “Eye” is a darker and growlier beast awash with distortion- post-dubstep angrily mangled. “An Illusion” dives into the sub-bass with robotic gut-punch sounds and sporadic reverberant clangs. “Emerald” takes some more organic-sounding tom and kick sounds and pitch-shifts them into quirkiness in a way that’s more of a cerebral exercise in musical moiré patterns than it is dance music.

The sole remix from Urquieta adds extra melodic elements to “Revenge”, not changing the drum arrangements particularly but softening it up via a re-EQ that makes it feel like it’s been re-performed in a new environment.

Every track is succinct, generally around the four minute mark, making its point and never overstaying a welcome.

Infinite Machine deliver the goods again with another pack of dark techno to confuse and delight.

Ivvy: Safe Within

 Posted by Stuart Bruce (@)   Techno / Trance / Goa / Drum'n'Bass / Jungle / Tribal / Trip-Hop
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Sep 29 2017
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Artist: Ivvy
Title: Safe Within
Format: 12"
Label: Medical Records
“Safe Within” is a very focussed 4-track 12” EP of US techno with an above-average tempo and a relentless, no-frills drive.

After a moody intro, “Big Rat” breaks into a thick kick drum pattern over which metallic patterns clang and reverb. “Safe Within” initially feels like just a re-run of the first track with a hihat added, but does eventually pitch off in a different direction with a twangier higher-end pattern.

“See Something” has the same slightly Underworld-ish rapid-fire kick but substantially softened, allowing more space for an almost didgeridoo-like drone and more advanced other percussion patterns. “SK One” (which to me means central Stockport but that’s probably not what they meant) follows similar patterns but with a slightly more industrial tone which is gradually joined by ravey alarm tones that feel like they ought to be building to something, but don’t.

A very purposeful and direct collection of kick-thump techno, distinctly lacking in variety within the EP but definitely a strong DJ weapon.

Riot: Destroyer EP

 Posted by Vito Camarretta (@)   Techno / Trance / Goa / Drum'n'Bass / Jungle / Tribal / Trip-Hop
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Sep 17 2017
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Artist: Riot
Title: Destroyer EP
Format: Download Only (MP3 + Lossless)
Label: Skalator Music (@)
Rated: *****
Besides having been overused in many meaningful leaflets and slogans of Femen, no-global, anarchic or similar groups (some of them shuffling the cards in order to manipulate or deviating dissent), the word 'riot' was chosen by Portuguese producer, DJ and musician Rui Pite' for his moniker in the drum'n'bass scene, where he entered by means of a collaborative track ("Control Of People"), pushed by talented Swedish producer Mikal into the catalogue of the renowned Metalheadz label after shaking the ground of Lisbon music scene (and some other clubs out of Portugal) by means of jungle/dnb collective Cooltrain Crew - the first drum'n'bass crew in Portugal, as far as I know - and acclaimed band Buraka Som Sistema (w/Joao 'Branko' barbosa). I could imagine that such a tag (I saw the word 'riot' matched to any kind of things - name of nostalgic pop-rock clubs, brands of crappy chemical drinks and even slogans for tampons) was maybe chosen as it vaguely resembles his real name (Rui and Riot), but I won't say this recent output on Portuguese label features an astonishingly revolutionary sound. By the way, the making of this guy is enjoyable. Some moments could look like a showcase of en vogue ways to frame sounds over mid-tempo rhythmical patterns (such as the female vocals over pokes on synth preceding the stabbing percussive eruption in "Section 9" or those almost disturbing synth clips that ignites "Contradiction" and potentially reaching the red light on the master of your mix by itself), but the way to combine the percussive elements in the mentioned tracks displays a brilliant grasp of the subject. My favourite moments of this release, as you can easily guess, are the other two tracks: even if both the title-track "Destroyer" and "The Weapon" could sound like parts of the OST for a sci-fi video game, they nicely manage to balance jump-up rhythmical streams with acceptable dosages of neurotech ("Destroyer" in particular) and "epic" (mostly "The Weapon"... vaguely resembling some stuff by Fanu) sonic hooks.


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