Fragments Into Nothing (with Solid Blake Remix)
Upcoming Australian artist Tred returns to the on-it E-Missions label, further exploring the various facets of electro. If ‘Fragments Into Nothing’ is more of an atmospheric affair driven by speedy kicks and snares, and shimmering pads, then it’s ‘Disconnected (Odyssey Mix)’ that will really quicken your pulse. Pure dancefloor gear, its analogue synth bass bumps over an expertly constructed rhythm track, while a subtle melody floats above. As if that’s not enough, Solid Blake steps in for the remix, taking it in a slower, heavier direction. Great EP.
The second release on Errorbeauty’s label is a face off between two producers who clearly share her appreciation for both kinetic acid powered dancefloor beats and the more cerebral vibes of IDM. Autosim’s ‘Invisible Forces’ especially hits just the right tone, with its danceable classic 808 beats and relentless acid techno funk, periodic ravey stabs serving to escalate its already frantic mood. Serge Geyzel’s ‘In Between’, elsewhere, has a more laidback and spacious atmosphere — an arrangement soaked in reverb and populated by subsonic bleeps.
'Hive Mind Mentality EP'
Thinktank (Vinnie and The Leph) have released a clutch of cult EPs, supported Autechre and Boards Of Canada live, and are inexplicably not bigger. This EP, a reconstruction of older material with new gear, is a hidden gem that you’d be advised to get onto, forthwith. Head straight for ‘Waaaassps DG’, a bassy electro breakbeat mutation with minimalist funk and odd bloops suggestive of early ’90s Sheffield (or Leeds for that matter). Sure-fire floor nitro.
Clone West Coast
More xenomorphic activity from The Exaltics after last month’s club aimed ‘Exodus EP’ — and it’s another gem. Returning to Clone West Coast, on ‘II Worlds’, Rob Witsch blends his predilection for club-aimed beats with more atmospheric pieces. Ticking all the boxes for this writer, there’s even a tune called ‘Tunnel Chase’, which adds acid and that characteristic heavy bass to a thumping four-four beat, while ‘Symbionts Came Through The Lights’ is a supremely uncanny cut made for exploring pitch black air ducts to. Satisfaction guaranteed.
Pera Sta Ori
Scan One’s Yellow Machines label returns after a five-year hiatus with an impressive mutant electro offering from Greek producer Pera Sta Ori (real name George Kontogiannidis). ‘ΚΑΤΩ ΑΠΟ ΤΟ ΔΕΝΤΡΟ’ merges floating pads with iron ore drones, while crunchy beats weave around spoken samples, needling tones and drops into junglist percussion, and ‘Gone Beautiful’ has skittering stop-start drums and looming ambience. They’re both in the sweet spot where electro, IDM and weird breakbeats collide. Scan One’s remix of the latter adds melancholy synth drifts to frenetic hybrid beats, while Brenecki’s version is lush braindance, heavy on the glide.
American producer John Selway has a long history in dance music dating back to the early ’90s. Though electro is a particular specialism, he’s added his Midas touch to many genres, and you can hear influences from various other styles on the first track here, ‘We Are Ready’, where spring-loaded, swung beats combine with spacious atmospheres, barrages of sub bass and tinges of breakbeat. Also of note is the title track, where more traditional 808 beats combine with a sun-kissed dubby loop to great effect.
'Street Life Part 2 '
More wild visions are served up on the second part of Andy Jaggers’ ‘Street Life’ EP. It’s less dancefloor focused this time around, though ‘Future’ has club pleasing distorted 303 squidge and dark-side pads. ‘Grinder’ has kicks that shudder and bass that winds and weaves around the beats, and ‘Molecule’ goes more experimental, with stop-start crypto junglist beats and bass tones that strafe across the landscape like a deadly flying machine.
The Sentinel & Sol37
Almost named after an early George Lucas sci-fi flick (if he’d made it in the ’80s and was an electro fan maybe), the ‘THX-113808 EP’ has a suitably star-bound aura. ‘Critical Phaze’ has fat analogue drums with plenty of air and saturation, while bass incendiaries rain periodically from above and skittering melodies circle the arrangement. Syncom Data’s remix goes for a more psychedelic four-four feel. Yet it’s the gorgeous ‘Solar Cycle’ that should guarantee purchase, a subtle piece of reflective, sun-baked melodic loops and warm bass tones.