The latest split release from Rand is its strongest EP yet. Tim Shlockerman’s ‘News’ is a seductive slice of blurry house music, led by a frazzled bass. On ‘Honda Rave’, Salomo drops a more minimal, angular rhythm as a backdrop for jazzy keys, while the underlying woozy theme continues on Carmel’s superb ‘Georgia (R.A.N.D Mix)’. There, crisp breakbeats underpin swirling, slightly off-key synths and a cacophony of indistinct vocals. Rudolf C rounds off this release with ‘Accreation Disc’, where a soaring synth is fused with spiralling acid lines to create a beautifully blissed-out techno track.
'Centrifugal Force EP'
Antonio Velazquez’s Spin Fidelity project is clearly inspired by classic Detroit techno and electro, as ‘Centrifugal Force’ demonstrates. On 'Advanced Centrifuge’ and ‘Untitled 3’, these influences take form with rolling 808s, warbling acid and ominous basslines. On ‘Hazed And Confused’ , the sound is even more purist, with sleek synths and futuristic yelps unfolding over steely drums. ‘Out With The New’, meanwhile, is slightly more playful, as Velazquez layers acid and dreamy synths over a clubby, bubbling groove.
'Excerpts From Layers Of Identity '
First Second Label
Taken from last year’s cassette release, this EP of excerpts showcases Lee Kelly’s more reflective sound. 'Still Hopeful It’s True’ is blissed-out, sun-kissed ambience — which is then turned into a slinky beatsy track by DJ OK — while on 'Ezzzz Into It', he fuses crisp breakbeats with airy melodies. Best of all, though, is ‘Our Place In Time’, a melancholic electro track that is redolent of Versalife at his deepest.
Ten Years Lost
'Hunting For Glory'
Kenny Hanlon’s label bounces back with a monster release from a new artist. ‘Mind Sex’ sets a very high standard thanks to its throbbing, pulsating groove, which features an ominous EBM bass underpinning epic synth riffs. On the title track and ‘Every Single Sound’, the approach is slightly more muted, with grungy bass and muddy acid prevailing, while John Daly’s dub version of ‘Sex’, where the tempo is slowed down without losing the original’s spine-tingling quality, is really impressive.
'Many Moons EP'
Ranson continues his run of fine form — this is his sixth release so far in 2019 — with a reflective EP. Both the title track and ‘Look At The Past’ are downtempo pieces, with the French producer teasing out beautiful soundscapes and warbling acid lines over slower beats. However, this release also features two fine dancefloor tracks: ‘Cold Mornings’ is a bubbling acid groove, while Ranson really impresses with the spacious twists and turns of ‘Starting From The Bottom’.
Mystic Force & Mariska Neerman
This Belgian label impressed with its first split release, and keeps the standards high on the follow up. Mystic Force deliver ‘Break The Cycle’, a great old school Detroit/FNAC-style techno builder — reminiscent of Deepside — underpinned by a murky bass. Meanwhile, Mariska Neerman’s ‘Organic Depths’ is a hypnotic acid track that’s interspersed with spacey synths. The label has tapped Derek Carr for two remixes; the first sees him drop a dubbed-out take on Mystic Force, while on the second, he turns Neerman’s track into a brooding, shimmering electro number.
Number seven in this series presents two different sides to the project. ‘Q-Branch’ is what happens when the machines take over and then start to malfunction: the result is sonic sprawl littered with detuned tones and a rough rhythm. If that sounds too off-centre, then the NP trio steer the ship back towards Chicago territory on 'From Barça With Love’, where steely hi hats slice through rumbling acid-infested drums.