The Beginning EP
Golding was one half of seminal UK techno act B12, as well as spin-off acts Redcell and Musicology, and ‘Beginning’ is a rare solo release that’s worth cherishing. ‘Game Of Chance’, with its cascading drums and jazzy licks, sees Golding pursue a less obvious approach, while on ‘Semaphores’, he delivers a jittery, hyperactive rhythm that is in-keeping with his previous projects’ more abstract material. It's the other tracks that will really attract B12 fans; ‘Source Codes’ is a wonderfully niggling, wiry techno track, full of grayscale moods, while ‘Boosenbender’ is built on lithe back beats and resounds to the tonal squiggles of early '90s UK techno.
'EP No. 1'
This is a new project from US techno experimentalist Beau Wanzer and Florent Mazzocchetti, and on ‘Ep No 1’, they strike a balance between left-of-centre sounds and techno tracks. ‘Wrong Dose Nice Things’ and ‘Pop Corn Sous le Lit’ are grimy, noisy pieces, defined by acidic gurgles and electronic squelches. The pair are also conscious of the need to keep the dancefloor moving and, accordingly, 'Insect Repellent Company' is a grimy, minimal track, while ‘No Cure For Cancer’ is a 303-soaked electro roller.
'Mountains, Fields, Rivers'
This release would be more suited to Shipwrec’s spin-off label, Deep Sound Channel, but it’s a moot point. On ‘Solos’ and ‘Bound’, Fedbymachines drops two of the most sublime ambient tracks you’ll hear in 2019, with textured layers unravelling in a subtle fashion. Meanwhile, 'Rest Rain' is an unhurried, dubbed-out techno groove, and ‘Bestil’ sees this talented artist move from atmospheric soundscapes into a languid dancefloor groove.
This release is a game of two halves. On the positive side, there’s 'Funky Detune', an excellent acid-led electro stepper featuring spacey synth washes, while ‘Paradise’ sees Low Tape deliver a smart take on big room techno thanks to a pulsating groove and hushed pads. Some of the other tracks, such as the hackneyed ‘Electro Foreva’ and the '90s trance of ‘East Dancer’ sound like a techno bro’s indulgences. Better quality control, please.
Future Beat Alliance
'Reward System 1'
Matthew Puffett aka Future Beat Alliance launches a new label for his own material. The first release showcases the range and scope of his sound; ‘Virtual Shoulder (To Cry On)’ is a sensuous ambient affair, ‘Zuidas’ sees him explore electro and ‘Bitten’ and ‘Enter 030’ are jazzy, offbeat drum tracks. This debut release also includes Puffett’s trademark deep techno sound, with sublime synths and pulsating grooves prevailing on ‘Truth’ and ‘Leave This Planet Alone’.
'The Long Game'
D1 recently celebrated its 25th anniversary with a five-vinyl box-set, but it’s important to recognise the work of its founder Eamonn Doyle. ‘The Long Game’ gracefully shows why he is one of the label’s key artists; ‘Rangefinder’ sees mournful synths rides chattering percussion and rolling drums, while on ‘F8 & Be There’, Doyle drops a UR-style electronic funk workout. ‘The Red Queen’, released digitally in 2012, is included: a blissed-out slice of deep techno.
'The Lost Chicago Beat Traxx 1988 Vol 2'
Celebrating its 50th release, Jerome Derradji’s label unearths some long-forgotten tracks from his hometown, Chicago. ‘Beat Traxx 1’ resounds to insistent female vocals, dramatic chord stabs and rolling snares, while ‘Beat Traxx 2’, is rougher and grittier, led by distorted kicks and a malevolent bassline. Cementing this fine anniversary release is Derradji’s edit on “Beat Traxx 3’, a near 18-minute odyssey into tough Chicago trax.
'Want It EP'
Jon Dixon follows a long line of house producers to emerge from Detroit since the turn of the millennium, and ‘Want It’ shows why he deserves praise. Featuring a contribution from Amp Fiddler and vocals from the Dames Brown trio, it’s a wonderfully soulful piece. However, the remixes push it in a techno direction; Wajeed’s steely drums and glacial melodies reinterpret ‘Want It’ without losing the original’s sensibility, while Darrius Quince’s edit is a glorious, dubbed-out affair.