There’s been a buzz around Rotterdam duo Animistic Beliefs since their debut EP ‘Sinuous Gullies’ appeared on Between Places last year. That’s principally down to their dark analogue synth basslines and masterful command of electro rhythms — plus a willingness to experiment. On the broader canvas of their debut album ‘Mindset:Reset’, the pair expand their palette further. So while ‘Margiela Face Mask’ is a raw four-four stomp with a killer b-line, comparable to The Exaltics, ‘Succubi Island’ is a shivery excursion into spooky atmospheres with a sprinkling of acid, and ‘An Eye For A.I’ is a high speed club cut with arresting synth drones and shards of jungle percussion. Believe the hype.
Cambridge’s Nullptr (pronounced “null pointer”, it’s a computing term) lands on Spanish label Fanzine, and over five tracks explores different flavours of electro. The lead cut has a warm, subby b-line and astral, abstract sequences; ‘CN2’ is geared to the floor, with oily electro-funk bass; ‘GeneRec’ is closer to IDM, and revels in a mystic aura; ‘Wake Sleep’ pulls on the heart strings with its great melodies, and is one of the best things on the page this month; and ‘HEXQ’ closes out with a more subdued, yet still compelling feel. Really excellent.
Berlin’s CYRK put out the excellent floor-focused ‘Superior Things’ EP on Vakant earlier this year, and ‘Doppler Spectroscopy’ is the first release on new Glasgow label Avoidant. While the lead track won’t win prizes for originality, its crisp four-four beat and twisting, turning arpeggiated bass will generate excitement in the dance. ‘Convolution’ has classic electro beats and, with its bulbous kick, will get people moving, though the star of the EP is ‘Inverted Gravity’, with its spacey sequence and lush pad breakdown.
On ‘Dream Portal’, the upcoming Ronan consolidates his hybrid style over three tracks, with a remix from Salt Mines’ Reptant. The title track is an electro breakbeat stormer with ravey acid squiggles, while ‘Star Fissure’ is a rapid, abstract piece with oddball machine noises, and, yes — more acid. The remix is tasty too.
'Heavy Hitter EP'
Arizona’s Jason McCracken, aka Illektrolab, has releases dating back to 2007, and on the ‘Heavy Hitter’ EP focuses on club-geared beats that have already had play from Helena Hauff, Stingray and Sync 24. The title track has a dark b-line that drills into your cranium, plus propellant drums that don’t let up for a moment. ‘Medi Bass’ is something else entirely, sounding like Ladbroke Grove broken beat meets Dopplereffekt — yes, it’s amazing. Diverse and very impressive.
Decade Box is a new vinyl label from French producer Derailleur (Soma, Dust Science), and his first release for it, ‘Hydraulic Performer’, is excellent. It doesn’t do a lot, but its intense percussive drive and booming bass, and spooky analogue synth interjections, are just enough to captivate. Radioactive Man keeps the beats intact on his remix, but crafts his own dominating bassline and threads of synth, offering another compelling reason to pick this up.
'Set Your Phasers To Stun'
Zeroing in on a dark, brooding electro sound, Alavux’s latest single, coming in seven-inch vinyl format, finds him stretching out nightmarish atmospheres over crisp snares on ‘Set Your Phasers To Stun’. ‘Welcome Back Model’, meanwhile, develops into an intense acid workout. Fans of the harder electro will love it.
'Superior Life Forms'
If you’re reading this page, you probably know what to expect from Umwelt. The producer from Lyon, France is the boss of the amazingly named Rave Or Die label, and his tracks, for Shipwrec, Return To Disorder and countless others, have oppressive atmospheres and raw, ferocious energy. His latest, sixth album, this time for Singapore’s Midnight Shift, finds him in great form: of the seven tracks (six on the vinyl), head for ‘Computer Controlled’, with its swollen 808 kick and relentless riff, and the tape saturated drums and acid steamrolling of ‘Shadow Entity’.