Gaussi I Fighter EP
Nel is a new studio alias from storied producer Cristian Vogel. If this debut release is anything to go on, it will soon become synonymous with hypnotic techno. 'Shadowgraphs' is a dubby, chord heavy affair, while on ‘New Vestige’, Vogel explores a more streamlined version of his minimal sound. ‘The Insight’ sees Vogel veer into a more abstract direction, with a jittery rhythm underpinning wave upon wave of phased effects, while ‘Orchid’ centres on raw analogue riffs unravelling over a ponderous kick.
This is an unusual one; deep house/techno producer John Daly has teamed up with the vocalist from an act called February & Mars to form the Night Christ project. Featuring a dark electro bass and deadpan tones, ‘Conversation Policy’ is an endearing, offbeat track, but it’s all about the remixes: Illum Sphere from Ninja Tune drops a string-soaked instrumental version, followed by a take that wraps the vocals around a subtle acid line and clipped electro drums.
Marcel Caron straddles the techno/electro divide on ‘Haunted Memory’. The drum programming on ‘Reflection’ and ‘Terra’ are pure 808-led electro, but the soaring strings, acid segues and mysterious synths are inspired by Detroit techno at its deepest. By contrast, ‘Ghost' is a noisy, slightly distorted box jam, while on ‘Caverns’, the Dutch producer drops straight kicks to accompany contorted acid and dreamy synth lines. With just four releases to his credit, rest assured that you’ll be hearing a lot more from Caron soon.
'Industrial Espionage EP'
Don't be Afraid
This is Wynters’ second EP for Don’t Be Afraid, a label that gives its artists free reign to explore the more unusual corners of house and techno. Certainly, ‘Espionage’ is full of these moments. 'Beta (Version)' resounds to drones, but also has a dancefloor focus thanks to its spiky percussion and dub beats, while on 'One Hundred N Forty' and 'The Kansei Method', the Birmingham artist opts for a dreamier, more reflective sound. However, it’s at the intersection of layered textures and primal rhythms that Wynters really excels, audible on the grainy, jacking 'Into The Void'.
Not much is known about DALI, but as this release demonstrates, this producer certainly knows his/her way around the studio. The title track is a linear, dubbed out affair that ebbs and flows thanks to smart filtering and tough claps, but ’Electric Sheep’ is the standout track. Revolving around a breaking rhythm track that features dreamy synths and warbling bleeps, if you are a fan of that grey area where deep techno and electro meet, you’ll love ‘Sheep’.
Sabres Of Paradise
'Lick Wid Nit Wit'
Anyone who spent hours listening to the 'Sabresonic' album or losing themselves at the club of the same name will be interested in ‘Lick Wid Nit Wit’. Recorded during the Sabres’ peak period but never released before, it’s a hypnotic, dubbed out affair led by the act’s trademark drums. Label owner A Sagittariun does a fine job on the ‘Re-Dream’ version, a frenetic breakbeat take, but the 'Happy Jacks' remix veers into by-numbers dense techno. Still, a worthy project.
'Space Fire Truth EP Part 2 '
The follow up to Luceri’s first ‘Space Fire Truth’ release is an impressively diverse affair; on 'Collinder 69 Funk', the Italian producer uses dense house drums as a backdrop for soaring strings and spaced out synths, while on 'Kepler 16B (Where Your Shadow Always Has Company)', he takes influence from Carl Craig’s widescreen leanings for dramatic synth scape techno. On 'The Early Morning Ouroboros', he opts for a totally different approach, with hyper breakbeats and jazzy motifs underpinning soulful vocals, while rounding off this unusual release is the beatsy 'Tu Sei Il Maestro Dell'Eterno Ritorno'.
'The Mail Art EP '
Seventh Sign doesn’t release much material, but every EP on the label is essential. Last year, it yielded the amazing ‘Sleeper’ by Mihail P, and for the follow up, it’s the turn of newcomer Bud Burroughs. 'With Awe, My Heart' is a glorious piece of Detroit techno, revolving around a bouncy groove, warm bass tones and dreamy synths. There’s a similarly musical approach on 'Julip', with the Scottish producer focusing on electro drums, while 'On Yr Own' completes this superb debut record with a spellbinding deep house workout.