After last year’s excellent ambient LP, ‘From Deep Streams’, Londoner Plant43 (real name Emile Facey) returns in full electro mode. The eight tracks of ‘Three Dimensions’ are leagues deep, with mystic melodies that engage the brain while crisp 808 beats take care of the feet. ‘Lo-res Dreams’ is spectacular, with its snapping snare, insistent analogue bass and drifting cirrus pads, while ‘Orange Neon Display’ is a moody soundtrack piece with creeping, circulating synths. The utopian ‘Check The Resolution’, perhaps best of all, floats far up in the atmosphere, its rolling bassline bringing a touch of cosmic funk. Essential for any electro fan.
The latest release on Jensen Interceptor’s label is a reissue of four 2011 tracks by Dublin’s DeFeKT, under the ESS name. ‘Trigger My Sequencer’ is a funked up, swung out electro groove with a bassline you’d happily bounce to for days, while ‘Thermo Drive’ is a space-bound affair, with astral keys, brittle drums and another of those wicked b-lines DeFeKT does so well. ‘Halley’s Comet’ has lush chords, but better still is ‘JX10’: a great four-four piece with throbbing disco, square wave bass.
Could it be that Geneva, Switzerland is an electro hotbed? It could, judging by this new mini compilation on the city’s Brainwaves label. The best tracks are from Tout Casser, who provides the crackling acid of ‘Catch 23’, and Hermeth, who brings classic 808 beats and stuttering bass with ‘Am I A Joke To You’. But the best is saved for last: Estebahn’s ‘Maglev’ collides deep electro pads, jungle breakbeats and acid for a certified bomb.
Sync 24 / Jensen Interceptor
Energy levels in overdrive here, as two electro bosses go head to head for an exercise in pure dancefloor adrenaline. Sync 24’s ‘Warehouse’ is a hyper speed rhythm that is guaranteed to have floors moving, yet it's laced with percolating riffs to excite the mind, too. His second track ‘Poll Wars’ concentrates on the bass and slows it down for a funkier feel, while Jensen Interceptor brings his signature blipping bass style to ‘Quiet Earth’, before ‘Valamar 404 (with Assembler Code)’ delivers a more acidic vibe, replete with hits of EBM bass.
Eddie Symons returns with his Nullptr project on Solar One offshoot Between Places, after recent releases on Detroit Underground and CPU. ‘Convergence’ comprises four tracks of galactic, steely electro, steeped in atmosphere. ‘Operator Theory’ is a bleepy trip through the air ducts of a deep space transport vessel, the looming bass suggesting a threatening presence. ‘Dimensional Analysis’ grooves with chattering hats and abstract tones, while ‘Vector Tones’ takes the biscuit, with its prodding bass and detuned keys.
There’s been a buzz around Rotterdam duo Animistic Beliefs for some time, and their second EP, this time for Sync 24’s label, delivers the goods big time. The title track is a driving four-four piece with thrumming electro bass and eerie synths, the wonderfully named ‘Lusty Toad’ pulsates like a randy amphibian, ‘Resequenced DNA’ has a memorable lead line and freaky low-end, and The Exaltics remixes ‘Molucca Quake’ with winning results. Great all round.
'Pressure Drop '
Liverpool’s Simon Keat returns, after last year’s dreamy debut album ‘Luminous Air’ and material on Frustrated Funk and a host of others. This EP is more upfront than his usually laid-back material — ‘Hydraulics’ busts out the lino to a swung electro-funk rhythm, while the title cut has an addictive b-line and aquatic blips augmenting its killer beats. But don’t sleep on the Detroit / two-step garage collision of ‘Naria’, the crown jewel of a remarkable EP.
Rising producer Sansibar first came to our attention with releases on Textasy’s FTP label, and this new EP for Manchester’s Natural Sciences is further proof of his original talent. The brilliant ‘White Swan’, with its spoken word vocal and glowering synth bass, has a flavour of early ’80s synthpop. ‘Mandate My Ass’ has a hypnotic techno loop at its core, while ‘Wallah (Sans DJ Mix)’ is a druggy, slo-mo piece. Refreshingly different.