Geist Körper Synergie
This superb release stirred me from my wintry torpor, featuring two melodic, strange and short pieces that would appeal to any fan of leftfield electronic music. The best is ‘Geist Körper Synergie’: in just over four minutes, it delivers wonderfully weird synth tones that lodge in the brain, a metallic groove in the inter-zone between IDM and electro, with a wicked section where it all slows down to a crawl. ‘Cleo’s Theme’ is a little more conventional, but excels towards its swirling ambient conclusion.
'5am Nostalgia (Rico Casazza Remix)'
The original of ‘5am Nostalgia’ is a sublime breakbeat laden gem with heartstring tugging chords and warm bass, not a million miles from prime FSOL or Orbital. That’s a vibe that Rico Casazza pretty much lifts wholesale for his electro re-fix, adding an additional line of acid goodness to his crisply produced beats. Elsewhere, the trancey house of 'Stanmore' and beatific synth breaks of 'Aphelion' should lift the mood of any nostalgic raver. Wonderful stuff.
One of the brightest stars in the Ilian Tape firmament since his 2013 debut, Stenny’s debut album is finally here, arriving after the hoopla of Skee Mask’s excellent recent LP for the label. ‘Upsurge’ is a blend of styles, from crackly ambient to dubwise experiments, though its two electro tracks stand out. ‘Blind Corners’ has ethereal pads, big synths, but a grounded, irresistible rhythm, while ‘Swordfish’ is a menacing, bass-heavy club cut with the deadly precision and speed of its name sake.
Maria Gamboa Lopez is experimental musician NonZero!, an artist originally from the avant rock scene. Her latter material has been increasingly electronic, and on this eight tracker for Andrea Parker’s label, she is joined by Carl Finlow, adding a touch of additional production. So while ‘Disociated’ is all evil industrial drone, and ‘Sustancia Negra’ has a glowering punk guitar stance, ‘Dexx-Evol’ and ‘Inspector Alert’ add propellant electro drums to their dark soundscapes. Bristling with seditious energy.
'Scenes From A Deserted City'
Glaswegian producer Alan Bryden’s Gaming project falls somewhere between electro, IDM, and the kind of synth wave that Com Truise has made his own. Crisply mastered by Radioactive Man, ‘Scenes From A Deserted City’ is compelling stuff, nodding as much to ’90s techno as to CPU’s more futuristic artists. Tracks such as ‘Otago Lane’ bubble and pulse with colourful synth life, whereas ‘Night Drive (Through Gavonhill’) brings that familiar musical metaphor to bear with a four-four beat and intricate bleeps.
Mike ‘Agent X’ Clark
'The Heat (Peter Rocket Remix)'
Mike ‘Agent X’ Clark is a Detroit don with a production career spanning nearly 30 years, famed for releases on Planet E, Third Ear, Underground Resistance and other highly respected labels. ‘The Heat’ finds him in sparse house music mode, though it’s the Peter Rocket remix that is of most interest to this page. The 23-year-old producer, who previously made noise as Mo Reece on World Unknown, makes judicious use of the spoken word vocal, draping it over weird almost slap bass frequencies, bubbling acid and a forward electro beat. Wicked.
Techmarine Bottom Feeders
'We Cannot Help You '
A new project from Paris The Black Fu (Detroit Grand Pubahs) and Luxus Varta, Techmarine Bottom Feeders derive their inspiration from science fiction. ‘We Cannot Help You’ is a murky message from squeaky voiced aliens, accompanied by abstract, filmic atmospheres and crisp drums. The Exaltics adds a moody b-line to increase the energy, but it’s The Advent & Zein, here remixing ‘The Vision’, who deliver the most club ready version: a super speedy rhythm with a bouncy bass stab and cool smears of synth.
'Welcome To The Error Zone'
The fourth release on Melbourne label Repeat Concrete comes from Sydney’s Hugh B, who runs the OTIS imprint and record shop. From the funk side, ‘Welcome To The Error Zone’ percolates with warm chords and gliding bass bubbles, all held up by dusty drum machine grooves and vocoder. ‘Built For Love’ has pacific pads that wrap around a thumping electro-funk bass and squiggly lead, while ‘Minimal Capacity’ has subtle acid sequences. Fans of Cygnus will dig this.