Innate is an electronic music blog run by Owain K, and is now branching out to launch a label. Like its sister operation, the first Innate has impeccable taste. Lerosa contributes an inspired combination of Chicago house and Detroit techno on ‘Shawdow’: the bass sounds like Larry Heard and those high-end tweaks and percussive elements are pure Kevin Saunderson. Gilbert and Mark Hand deliver deep, blissed out house with ‘Birds Of Paradise’ and ‘Lessons’, while Owain himself finishes off this impressive debut with the mellow ‘Pixeled Scenery’.
The third release on Bitterfeld does much to achieve the label’s goal of showcasing ‘chemical influenced electro, acid and house’. The work of Interviews, it focuses on booming drums, face-melting acid pirouettes (check ‘Run, Run, Run’) and the menacing bass and relentless percussion of ‘Arc’. While ‘Engine’ is the most effective dancefloor track thanks to its pounding drums and EBM bass, the standout cut is ‘Thirds’, where Interviews combines his tough electro-techno rhythm sound with Human League-style synth lines.
Parasols / Antoni Maiovvi
'Black Gloves III EP'
Giallo Disco Records
Giallo Disco is one of the most distinctive labels out there, and its 30th release is more impressive than usual. Label owner Antoni Maiovvi’s ‘Shivers’ is an atmospheric, electronic groove, while Equitant delivers a pounding EBM-influenced remix, replete with horror vocals and dramatic stabs. Sharing the billing is Ali Renault’s Parasols project, which is responsible for the moody, bass-heavy ‘Body Parts’ and ‘White Shadow’. The release is also notable for containing Unit Black Flight's first ever remix. Tasked with reworking 'Body Parts', the reclusive US producer turns in an eerie, low-slung version that seethes with menace.
Bleeper is a new label from Jerome Hill, and if this release is anything to go on, is dedicated to acid-fuelled music. On ‘Vampire Acid’, Cursor Miner delivers an extreme version of this sound, with squealing 303s unfolding over cavernous kicks. ‘Thoom’ is just as intense, with a combination of sawtooth bass and metallic riffs, but little in the way of acid. It’s only a temporary divergence though, and soon enough the brilliantly titled ‘Owl Massage Acid’ sees Cursor Miner dip a nocturnal bird in a bath of acid and record the results.
Hot on the heels of Derek Carr’s release on Distant Worlds comes Mihail P. Intricate percussion and laid back electro beats prevail for the most part on ‘Multiverse’, with these elements acting as a backdrop for the talented producer to conjure up shimmering melodies, most impressively on ‘Aphelion’ and ‘Earthbound’. While it’s a more understated release than last year’s ‘Sleeper’, the one variable is ‘Ocean Estate’. Its steely rhythm and cinematic pads sound like Carl Craig around the time of ‘Landcruising’: it's a sublime slice of techno soul.
'Notions Of Progress'
‘Progress’ is the first new 65D Mavericks material in a decade, and marks the return of Surface after five years. Now just Nick Dunton (his studio partner Richard Polson passed away), it remains a fascinating project. The title track features an angry rant over pounding broken beats and noisy riffs and, despite its title, ‘Cosmic Drift’ is a grainy, relentless affair, centred on a muddy bass. ‘You Lost Your Mind’ is somewhat muted, despite its expletive-led vocal sample and dark jazz squalls, while ‘Immovable (Dub)’ sees Dunton drop the intensity levels further with a chiming, spaced out groove.
Derek Carr is best known for his gloriously deep techno sound, but on ‘Pioneers’, he changes his approach somewhat. ‘Acid Bath’ is a jittery acid track, underpinned by a bouncy bass. On ‘Athenia’ and ‘The Pioneers’, he returns to his soulful sound, with breezy synths and symphonic strings unravelling over subtle, bubbling grooves and deft percussion. However, this is an EP of surprises, and ‘Hanging On A String’ sees the Irish producer deliver tough drums, a linear rhythm and an unforgettable soaring string sequence.
'The Lost Chicago Beat Traxx (1988)'
According to Jerome Derradji who runs Still, this release came about when he was offered the opportunity to go through reams of obscure reel-to-reel tapes by a Chicago record store owner. While Ron Hardy is not credited as the author, it’s not hard to imagine him playing the rough drums and screeching vocals of ‘Beat Traxx 1’, or the dark bass and looped, phased vocals on ‘Beat Traxx 2’. It’s a fascinating release that still stands up today.