No Return Volume 1
Return To Disorder
Helena Hauff’s label is not the most prolific, but it does have an uncanny knack of releasing distinctive music. This split release is no exception. Dmitry Distant sets the tone with ‘El Carmel’, a bleak, low-slung electro track, while the brilliantly-named Nued Photo follows a similar path on ‘Indecks’, with eerie synths unfolding over a rhythm that takes inspiration from Chicago jack and electro’s sense of alienation. Most impressive, though, is Antoni Maiovvi’s ‘The Dig’, where the Giallo Disco boss lays down a dense, mid-paced disco noir groove.
Trax X vs Minesweeper
"Classic label, still putting out really strong techno like this."
''The Next Place''
"Fast and furious crispy drum workout, a brilliant tool for the real DJs out there."
The Pulse Projects
'Black Catalogue Rituals 2004-2005'
The Pulse Projects is a venture from Albert Van Abbe, and as 'Rituals' shows, focuses on the darker end of electro. 'Zeta' is a dense, nocturnal breaker, while on 'Likeit', he opts for a more esoteric sound, but it’s only a temporary divergence. ‘Object (Objectives)’ sees the Dutch producer deliver an eerie, layered workout, powered by a rough bass, while on ‘Rulucky’, he completes the release with a low-tempo, metallic track that seethes with acid-tinged menace.
The Golden Filter
'End Of Times'
US act The Golden Filter have released an album and a few EPs for Optimo, but ‘Times’ is their most impressive record to date for the label. It veers in style from the title track’s lush synth pop into the chord-heavy breakbeats of ‘Serenity’ and on to the acid-tinged mysterious techno of ‘Heart Control’. Despite this variance in sound, each track is characterised by a sense of mystery and sensuality — traits that also abound on the breathy tones of ‘Darkness Falls’.
'Fairplex Drive EP'
LA-based Mor Elian lands on Delta Funktionen’s label with a killer electro record. Supposedly inspired by the intergalactic travels of two "ancient souls", the most impressive aspect of this record is its author’s ability to sound distinctive. The title track is a lean, acid-heavy electro affair, while on 'Gamma Gulch' she leans towards dark Millsian fathoms, but relives them against a broken beat backdrop. ‘Starlight Mesa’ is a much deeper, more melodic affair, but it’s only a temporary glimpse of light, and soon enough, Elian reverts to the netherworld with the shadowy ‘Ruby’.
Der Opium Queen
'In The Clouds'
This is Sean Whitty, aka Der Opium Queen’s debut release, but you are likely to hear a lot more about him. Focusing on the deeper, esoteric end of techno, ‘In The Clouds’ boasts an irresistibly lazy elegance. Tracks such as ‘Eye Sight’ and ‘Done That Before’ unfold in an unhurried manner, their organic drums and percussion supporting atmospheric synths and chord progressions. Whitty has clearly drawn from a myriad of influences to craft this record, and even the most dancefloor-friendly track, ‘No Love Lost’ resounds to a housey bass and some unexpected screeches.
Sunil Sharpe / Minimum Syndicat
'Joyless Euphoria '
French outfit Minimum Syndicat welcome Sunil Sharpe to their label for this split release. ‘The Tunnel Master’ is a bleak, dense 130bpm banger that resounds to gnarly acid and a dense, rough rhythm. ‘Rope To String’ isn’t as direct, but it shows that Sharpe has progressed as a producer, as he delivers a frosty industrial stepper. Minimum Syndicat’s contributions include the high-paced industrial techno of ‘Mass Evacuation’ and ‘Nosebleed’, which, despite its name, rolls at a slower tempo, but doesn’t sacrifice any intensity thanks to its wild rave stabs and screeches.
'Love / Hate'
Originally issued on white label in 2016, ‘Love/Hate’ now gets a timely full release on Dark Entries. Although the San Fran label is chiefly known for its sterling reissue work, this EP shows it is also in tune with current trends ‘Love’ is a bass-heavy techno groove - like an update of Suburban Knight’s claustrophobic style - while ‘Hate’ sees Myers deliver a sax stab-heavy Chicago house track. Of course this being Dark Entries, they make a new, ebm-influenced version of ‘Hate’ available as part of the re-release.
The Scopex label only released three EPs between 1998 and 2000 by Simulant and Pollon. These original pressings sell for between 50 and 150 sterling online, so to address the demand, Tresor is re-releasing the full catalogue. Spanning 14 tracks, ‘Scopex 1998-2000’ provides a reminder of why the label is so revered. From the airy melodies and heavy bass of ‘Musical Box’ to the stark ‘Wav Forms’ and the mysterious, otherworldly ‘Spectre’, this is electro at its finest.