Music Reviews

Justin Berkovi: What Will We Become?

 Posted by Vito Camarretta (@)   Techno / Trance / Goa / Drum'n'Bass / Jungle / Tribal / Trip-Hop
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Jun 28 2015
Artist: Justin Berkovi (@)
Title: What Will We Become?
Format: 12"
Label: Lucidflow (@)
Rated: *****
Klartraum's label Lucidflow hired a proper veteran of techno scene for the second physical release of current year: after many releases on well-known labels like Music Man, Djax-Up-Beats, Force Inc, Perc Trax and Solid, British techno maverick Justin Berkovi just featured many B-sides of some EP and one album on Triple R's Trapez in 2012, so that this release could be considered a sort of new beginning for London-based founder of Predicaments imprint. According to his own words: "I've always produced deeper music, more often than not even years ago was always pushed to B sides of EPs or remixes but now it's the main thing I want to do, techno with soul. After releasing a lot of more melodic material on labels such as eevonext and an album for Trapez a few years ago I want to return to solely concentrating ont his style for my music and live sets". This release is a good assay of the style that Justin defines "techno with soul": the closest to Lucidflow's style is "Something Together", whose vocal snippets, straight hits and fluffy progdub chords sound like coming from the gummy ventricles of a mechanical beating heart, while some shadows of Detroit style (particularly of those proggy declensions by he above-mentioned Music Man) overspread on the string-driven aquatic disturbances of the initial "Prelude" and the title-track "What Will We Become?", whose demanding/commanding male voice placing the spotlight on the somehow urgent matter of the future over Kevin's little psych-out on delayed percussions and flapping sounds. The fourth track "Dusk and Beyond" claims connection with Balil's sound, but the slapping bass resembles italo-house and its airy sonorities could resemble some stuff by Humate as well as some old entries on Rising High.

Population One: Time Will Tell EP

 Posted by Vito Camarretta (@)   Techno / Trance / Goa / Drum'n'Bass / Jungle / Tribal / Trip-Hop
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Jun 23 2015
Artist: Population One
Title: Time Will Tell EP
Format: 12"
Label: 30drop (@)
Rated: *****
Terrence Dixon aka Population One, one of the bravest producer and dj of Detroit scene for his stylistical deviations, which have marked his distinctive sound, lands on Spanish label 30Drop by an interesting collection of four recordings taken from his personal archive, which marks the start of experimental techno-focused ExoPlanets series. Each track got titled from the moment it was recorded so that both the remarkable differences between some tracks and the similarities to some workouts by Dixon are fully justified: the first two recordings - the hypnotic minimal "3.26.2013@11.40pm" and the swirling harmonic "11.18.2013@1:41am" - are close to some good stuff he dropped on "Badge OF Honor" (Surface) and the second part of "From The Far Future" (Tresor), whose vaguely psychotic sci-fi sound partially got mirrored by the third recording "5.26.2012@5.59pm", while the cosmic arp-driven reverie of "12.1.2008@5.48pm" locks onto the sonorities of his "Train Of Thought" (Yore Records) and some occasional stuff he released on other labels between 2007 and 2009. Not only intended for Detroit enthused collectors.

JC Laurent: Southside EP

 Posted by Vito Camarretta (@)   Techno / Trance / Goa / Drum'n'Bass / Jungle / Tribal / Trip-Hop
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Jun 23 2015
Artist: JC Laurent
Title: Southside EP
Format: 12"
Label: Hidden (@)
Rated: *****
The way by which young Nice-born (you have a possible explanation of the title of this four tracker as he comes from Southern France...) producer Jc Laurent blurs basslines, which sounds like coming from deep waters, and erode metallic hits on the opening title-track of this release could remind you the attack of biggest sharks against the protective cage for scared scuba divers of a famous videogame, but besides this imaginative matching, "Southside" is an awesome connection between Berlin deep-techno and Detroit style that marks the style of Monsieur Laurent, while the gently delayed chords over a shaking platform of claps and sneaking hits of "Witness", whose subterranean pumping bass seems to explode on the ominously obsessive "Hoax", is the softest stuff of this new ring of Hidden Recordings' chain. Uk producer Tom De Cicco injects administers anabolic steroids to the above-imagined shark for his remix of "Southside" by means of stumping electronic grid, where the temporary slowdown after 4 minutes of playing is deceptive, as the groove suddenly speeds up till the end.

Imaginary Forces: Corner Crew EP

 Posted by eskaton   Techno / Trance / Goa / Drum'n'Bass / Jungle / Tribal / Trip-Hop
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Jun 21 2015
Artist: Imaginary Forces (@)
Title: Corner Crew EP
Format: 12"
Label: Sleep Codes
Well this is a new one on me. I've never seen a record where the label was bubbling. Like when a paper gets jammed in the printer and gets wrinkled? Yeah ' like that. There was nothing else with the record but a photocopied sheet with the tracklist and a statement to 'Either join the crew or get beat down!' So I'm expecting some pretty lo-fi stuff. Not that that's a bad thing. From what I could gather, Imaginary Forces is the work of English artist Anthoney J. Hart. His site explains that 'His early electronic dance music beginnings have now moved into a more freeform abstract compositional structure drawing heavily from the early electronic masters as well as literary references.' Sounds good. Let's throw this thing on. This is pretty stripped down stuff. If you wish that the music would just leave the beat and maybe a few samples thrown in here and there, this is the one for you. I would see some of this working its way onto the dance floor (Corner Crew (Frozen Version), for example), but at first I found this to be too stripped down and repetitive for my tastes. After a few listens, though, I can get what he's doing. It's kind of like a really stripped down Autechre, although not as abstract and much more beat driven. Musically, the most interesting track here was 'We've Gone Too Far,' which is an exercise in looping with some sampled voices breaking it up occasionally. You can give it a listen at his Bandcamp site if this sounds like it would be up your alley. This album weighs in at around 13 minutes and is limited to 200 copies.

Qzerty: Perceived Coolness

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Techno / Trance / Goa / Drum'n'Bass / Jungle / Tribal / Trip-Hop
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Jun 19 2015
Artist: Qzerty
Title: Perceived Coolness
Format: Download Only (MP3 + Lossless)
Label: Ufo Solar (@)
Rated: *****
Tommaso Qzerty Danisi is one half of the Redrum Alone duo and "Perceived Coolness" is his first solo release. The EP contains four tracks that offer a different style of electronic music compared to what Redrum Alone produce. If the duo produce electro songs with an high rate of melodic catchy moments and upbeat rhythms, Qzerty is more focused on instrumental minimal techno/i.d.m. with glimpses of Miami and Detroit styles. All the tracks are mid tempo where few elements (a sampled treated vocal, a short catchy melody, etc) are alternated creating a suspended atmosphere. Into the info sheet he reported as references the Hyperdub roster, Fourtet and Aphex Twin but you can make your own idea of his sound checking it here

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