D’Marc Cantu & Danny Passarella
The Future Has A Silver Lining EP
Les Disques De La Mort
D’Marc Cantu is one of the finest contemporary US techno producers, and hopefully this release will win him exposure outside of the Nation/Kode camp. With a title derived from an ad tagline from the movie Robo Cop, this split release with Danny Passarella has a truly dystopian feel. ‘067’ and ‘068’ are throbbing, acid-led tracks, underpinned by ticking percussion and eerie, swirling synths. However, when the pair depart from this script, the truly magical moments occur; both ‘080’ and ‘065’ are irresistibly bleak, dubbed out grooves that ooze menace at every bar, making this one of 2019’s most distinctive records.
'Dead Money Groove EP'
The Pear label returns with a fine, tracky EP from one of its founders. ‘In To Da Groove’ is a Chicago-inspired affair, its repetitive samples and driving rhythm reminiscent of classic Derrick Carter. On ‘Dead Money’, Fio Fa goes deeper, deploying insistent filters and a resonant bass. The label has also recruited New Jackson to re-work ‘Groove’, and he does a fine job, turning it into a breakbeat-led workout.
'Extrasoul For Your Mind'
Nightflight is a new Belgian label, and it launches in the most impressive way possible with this split release. First up is Erell Ranson: ‘How Dare You’ and ‘We’re Going Deep’ — the latter’s title a tribute to the deep techno Facebook group — are beautiful, introspective affairs, led by brittle percussion and mournful melodies. G-Prod proceed to raise the tempo, but not by much, with the chugging, dubbed out groove of 'The Rites Of Glamounja’ impressing.
HEAD FRONT PANEL
Head Front Panel
Thirteen is clearly not an unlucky number for John Heckle; retiring to his Head Front Panel guise, he unleashes Millsian fury on his audience in the form of ‘Cube’. The release doesn’t continue on this intense trajectory — indeed, it opens with the eerie soundscapes of ‘Slip’ — and there’s also the dense drums of ‘Poly Wind’, the gained beats of ‘XV82’ and the offbeat rhythm and mysterious sonic frequencies of ‘Stretch’ to keep the listener engaged.
'Inside Me/Geist Bahn'
Fit Siegel’s label drops two raw club tracks. RVDS & Sneaker’s ‘Inside Me’ is a detuned, off-centre banger that’s underpinned by a growling bass and resounds to jagged percussion and wild rave whistles. On Fairlee, Cordova & Sneaker’s ‘Geist Bahn’, a similarly rough and raw aesthetic applies; there’s a powerful bass at the centre of the arrangement, while a repetitive vocal sample declares, "I got a soul". One for the track heads.
There’s no information about who is behind this record, which is a pity, as he/she deserves recognition for this brilliant, irreverent EP. ‘Pianodance’ draws on old school hardcore, dropping robust breakbeats, celebratory piano lines and infectious vocal samples, all set to a fast pace. ‘Red’ and ‘Give Us The Light’ see the mystery artist adopt a different tack, featuring sample-heavy deep house grooves that have echoes of Pepe Braddock.
Marcus McGowan is a new artist, but based on ‘Transdimensional’, it sounds like he has been producing for a long time. Evoking the esoteric end of Detroit techno, McGowan is able to tie atmospheric elements together with sleek, steely rhythms and robust drums. In particular, the shimmering keys and warm filters on the aptly-named 'Cascading Through Space' and 'Mission Deep Space Exploration (D.S.E)' are worthy of attention.