Made In Detroit EP
Following on from his recent contribution to the 'North Remembers EP', Mark Archer rekindles his Nexus 21 partnership with Chris Peat. The reason for their regrouping is to celebrate Network’s 30th anniversary with ‘Made In Detroit’. Fittingly, these tracks were recorded back in 1990 in Kevin Saunderson’s KMS studio (hence the release’s name), and effortlessly capture the essence of that time. There’s the sultry vocals and symphonic strings of 'Don't Do It Like That', the steel-plated rhythm and dubbed-out drums of 'Nexus', and the uplifting melodies and warbling bass of 'No Statues'. Techno has rarely sounded as wide-eyed or wonderful.
Tobias Freund’s work is always worth checking, and ‘1972’ doesn’t disappoint; the title track is a dense rhythm track loaded with layers of propulsive percussion. On ‘The Wisdom Of No Escape’, he delivers the logical progression for minimal techno, led by lysergic tones and a pacy rhythm, while 'Electric Storm' sees the storied producer deliver a noisy, droning banger. Using a similar approach but arriving at a different outcome, 'Schism' is a lush broken beat techno track.
'Earman Selects Volume 1'
Fans of raw electronic music will find much to love here. The Metropolitan Soul Museum duo deliver two bottom-heavy grooves, 'Roll' and '12 Notes', that resound to woozy synths, acid licks and jazzy nuances. Keen not to be outdone, Anton Vegel aka Junk Runner drops the sleek percussion and warbling 303s of 'What They Strive' and 'Metaphor For', where he goes for a deeper, less direct style. Shame this release won’t get a vinyl run.
'Kimera Mendax EP'
NIM/Kuro Jam Recording
Released as an accompaniment to a graphic novel about Rome set in the year 2048, this four-tracker provides a fitting soundtrack. It moves from the bleep-laden sonorous deep techno of Soulomon’s 'Kimera Sun' to the moody electro shapes of Peter Blackfish’s 'KTO Xcite' and into E.L.F’s expansive 'Extreme Low Frequency', which progresses from a languid groove into widescreen, acid-drenched techno. Rounding off this futuristic EP is Andrea Benedetti’s moody downtempo contribution 'Secret Algorithm'.
Derek Carr / Spin Fidelity
'Land Of Oz '
Following on from last issue’s EP of the month, Derek Carr returns with this fine split release. ‘Land Of Oz’ features his signature atmospheric synths, but this time they play out over a bubbling groove and a pulsating bass, making for a clubbier than usual approach. On the flip, Spain’s Spin Fidelity pushes in a different direction; on 'Orion', spiralling acid lines wash in over a booming bass and rolling 808s, echoing vintage UR.
Future Beat Alliance
‘Never Forever’ originally featured on Matthew Puffett aka Future Beat Alliance’s 2009 CD album ‘Patience And Distance’, and R&S deserve kudos for giving it a vinyl release. Containing echoes of Carl Craig at his most reflective, Puffett’s rolling drums underpin atmospheric, swirling synths and an esoteric undercurrent. Afriqua’s take adds some jittery beats to the equation, but if you’re on the hunt for sublime techno soul, head straight for the original version.
'Sapphire Dubs Vol 1'
These tracks originally appeared under Steve O’Sullivan’s Bluetrain alias back in the late '90s, including on the 'No Lightweight Stuff’ compilation. Now O'Sullivan is putting them out on vinyl with new edits. 'Midnight Creeper' is a direct dancefloor track infused with O’Sullivan’s obsession with dubby soundscapes. On 'Where's Burt?' this interest manifests itself in the form of hypnotic, loopy chords, while 'Echo Freak (No Lightweight Stuff Edit)' is a fine comedown track for frazzled heads.
'The Pines Collective Volume 1'
7 Days Entertainment
Big Strick’s son and frequent collaborator Generation Next flies solo with a killer Detroit EP. 'Dance Bitch' resounds to a pounding bass and tough rhythm, while on 'Butterfly Effect', the approach is more benign, as piano keys and a warbling electronic riff unfold over tight drums. 'Bundy' is more stripped-back and subtle, while this young and clearly gifted Detroit producer drops a sweet, melodic mid tempo workout on 'Now & Forever'.