''Generation Electro (Miami Mix)''
"One of the most influential guys in electro has really been turning up the heat again lately and this track is just crazy."
'808 Box: 5th Anniversary'
Spain's Fundamental Records stable is behind this lovingly curated artifact. Dedicated to the vital Roland rhythm box behind so many crucial electro cuts, '808 Box: 5th Anniversary' is the latest and biggest in a series of annual vinyl box sets, snapshots of where the electro movement is at that point in time. This edition has 11 records, a t-shirt and screen print but the calibre of artists onboard should be the real draw. Tracks from Luke Eargoggle, The Hacker, Bass Junkie, Umwelt and many more represent the full sweep of the sound, and range in style from Drexciyan atmospherics to acidic funk. Lush.
'Apocalypse in Paradise'
M-Twelve is Electrix boss Billy Nasty and Surface Records' Nick Dunton, a partnership forged apparently after "late night conversations" in the back rooms of nightclubs. There's no doubt they've spent plenty of time on the dancefloor, as this impressive EP proves. 'Time Spent' is built around an addictive bassline bleep and a sparse arrangement of clipped beats and rolling funk, and 'All The Things' is a more hypnotic affair of strobing dark textures. Cultivated Electronics don Sync 24 ratchets up the tension on his 'Time Spent' remix, replacing the bass with a curdled, warping acid line. Remixing the same track, Transparent Sound ups the acid vibes for a wicked, trippy version.
'Co Intel Pro'
Belfast's Sean Dorris is clearly a big fan of 1980s horror movie soundtracks. Listening to his new album as S>>D for CPU, you can tell his love of John Carpenter synths is deeper than just a binge on the first two seasons of Stranger Things. 'Co Intel Pro' is mostly composed of spine chilling IDM, with modern beats underpinning analogue bass burrs and allusions to classic fright flicks such as Halloween 3: Season of the Witch. But tucked away here, there's also some off-world electro weirdness, as on the excellent 'Capra - Split Diopter'. Its cowbells and crispy snares roll under darkening skies of spectral pads, and spooky vocal samples. Brrr.
'Lucid Reworks EP'
Among the best albums of 2017, Second Storey's 'Lucid Locations' didn't get the attention it deserved. This new remix package will hopefully encourage listeners and DJs to check out its luminous combination of IDM, bass and electro mutations. Electro is the focus here, as Radioactive Man delivers a characteristic blend of star surfing mechanistic weirdness and crisp, club friendly beats and bass on his 'Moesha Moved To Margate' version. Esteemed sci-fi electro dreamer The Exaltics, meanwhile, creates a hard-as-nails stormer of throbbing, relentless bass and 4/4 beats from 'Ajunlei 8', while Marcel Dettmann dons his electro hat on the 'No Such Location (Negative Mix)'. Though another 4/4 cut, its winning bass blips and sense of space create a highly atmospheric, powerful piece.
'Machine Learning EP'
Auckland, New Zealand's Go Nuclear firmly believe in the funk. Following 'Techno World' on Electro Empire, they let the bomb go on Andy Barton's Bass Agenda label. The title cut pairs crisp claps and Speak 'n' Spell robo voices with a wriggling b-line straight from early 1980s NYC. Direct from the old school, this one will do maximum damage to dancefloors. Detroit's Filthiest (who also remixed 'Techno World') pumps up the drama on his remix, adding extra android vocals: early Model 500 vibes ahoy. 'Exotic Dancer' is a darker, speedier number with glimmering pads and suggestive vocal samples, and 'Time2Party' is a rubbery basslined exhortation to move that completes a sterling release from a rising duo.
'Reality Defence Department'
Bulgaria's Petar Tassev has had a pretty remarkable life so far. Growing up listening to industrial bands such as Godflesh, he played in hardcore and metal groups before moving to South Carolina, then Detroit, and immersing himself in electronic music. Releases for Andrea Parker's Touchin' Bass and Legowelt's Strange Life followed, and how he lives in Xiamen, China. This EP contains several gems - 'Mobile Pharmacy' is a mechanistic joy of factory funk and ball bearing boogie, all clanks and boinks, while Norwich native Wax Stag delivers a wonky remix of 'Orthodox Spanking' with drifting Boards of Canada pads, warm bass and surging synth lines.
Mysterious figure Patrick Conway returns after sterling Detroit techno influenced EPs for Rekids and Forbidden Planet. 'Stab City' is a hazy soar into electro rides and claps, with globulous synths stabbing in the stratosphere above. FIT Siegel's remix goes darker, slower with eerie whirrs and a funked up electro riff at its core, while disembodied voices drift above - there's a 'Sharevari' vibe going on. Cool diversions into dreamy broken beats and weird house on the flip side too.