Exaltics feat Egyptian Lover
Electro warrior The Exaltics (Rob Witsch) has been repping the sound for more than 12 years — no bandwagon jumping for him. Over that time, he’s honed his production to a fine art, with singles for Bunker, Clone and Cultivated Electronics ranging from galactic melodic explorations to slamming four-four electro gallopers. This EP is firmly in the latter camp, with ‘I Want You’, featuring the legendary Egyptian Lover on vocals, a hydraulic pump of digital funk and lascivious words that can’t help but move the floor. ‘Exterminate’, meanwhile, is a midnight anthem for Daleks to try out their breakdancing to. Oh, and check out the picture disc if you’re still not convinced.
The first split 393 release won acclaim in underground circles, and it’s not hard to imagine the follow up getting the same reaction. Derek Carr delivers two fine contributions: the reflective, super-computer sampling ‘Distorted Information (HAL's Promise)’ and the warm bass of the dancefloor friendly ‘Ejected Into Space (No Suit)’. On the flip, Rustal focuses on a similar approach with the crafty, rolling ‘Fervour Voyage’. Top work from both artists.
In a particularly strong month for electro releases, ‘Computoid.Transmission.X’ really stands out. With minimalist drums, squelches of bass and an abstract bleepy sequence that threads it all together, the track is a direct and deadly order to dance. Animistic Beliefs provide a very different but excellent remix, adding a galloping groove and more layers for a trippy, intense hit. On the B, ‘Jupiter Storms’ is a more atmospheric affair, with drifting pads and subdued blips.
‘Electronic’ is another strong release in a recent run of electro burners from 2020 Vision, this time from the insanely prolific Carl Finlow. As fans of his Random Factor material for the label would surmise, these four tracks have his usual fastidious attention to detail. There’s the punchy production, crunchy drum machine beats and characterful interplay of elements we’ve come to expect. Of particular note, ‘Side Effects’ buzzes with sinister intent and sci-fi atmosphere, while ‘Flaw’ has Cameo-worthy snare hits, percolating keys and positively evil blurts of low-end.
Moscow’s Marco Lazovic might be a familiar name thanks to singles for Lobster Theremin and Jungle Gym, though this six-track cassette and digital EP for Prague’s Beef label provides a more complete picture of his broad range. ‘Ocean Voyage’ itself is a mysterious minimalist electro-funk piece with congas, spooky synth waves and whale song, while ‘Eklektic Disco’ has system busting bass drums and a skeletal rhythm, propelled by a “come on dance to the house” vocal sample. Best of all is ‘Lost In Space’, with its poignant bleeping lead line and celestial pads.
'Ocular Unity EP'
Aalst, Belgium’s Innershades has an impressive back cat already on labels like Pinkman and Crème Organisation, so this EP for Mechatronica was always going to be exciting. The follow up to his monstrous ‘Aalst To Charlois’ cut, here, the producer offers up four varied numbers across techno, acid and electro. Of most interest to this page are ‘Cycle Of Life’, a speedy burner with a classic arpeggiated bass, melodic bleeps and colossal ‘80s chords, and the slower, moody electro groove and flying hats of ‘Zuiderpark’ — though don’t overlook the hyper Larry Heard bassline of the title track.
'Rok The Hall'
Me Me Me
The latest drop on Man Power’s great Me Me Me label is an unexpected diversion into electro from Bristol house music boss Christophe. He’s got it nailed too, as ‘Rok The Hall’ ticks all the boxes with its simple and deadly 808 groove and sub octave acid line, and a party hyping, laconic spoken vocal adding a little spice. Flip it for some very fine acid house vibes from Johnny Aux’s remix, and the additional track ‘Like That’.
'There’s Hope For You Yet'
Co-founder of Salt Mines and producer of repute, Melbourne-via-Berlin’s Shedbug steps up again after gems for Lobster Theremin and 1Ø Pills Mate with another clutch of rather excellent rave instigating trax. ‘Aciidmuzik’ is another delirious mesh of breakbeats and electro, plus of course the titular 303; there’s a lot of this stuff around at the minute, but this is executed with real style and is guaranteed to escalate things on the floor. Of the remaining tracks, head for the title tune, with its grand sense of drama, epic analogue bass and rough electro beats.
Dallas, Texas producer Cygnus is really on a roll at the minute. After the wonderful ‘Rainy Days’, we get another next-level album length release. ‘Instrastellar Cyberpunk’ is a swung, bleep-laden odyssey with sidewinding bass, ‘Pyramids Of Io’ has giant machine melodies beamed in from Alpha Centauri and ‘Oumuamua Probe’ sounds like two-step garage interpreted and remixed by beings from the depths of space. ‘Astral Illusion (Jovian Moon)’ is the best thing here though, with those deeply felt emotive synth lines weaving together with crisp beats to stunning effect.