Vincent Koreman is not a household name, but his brutal vision of acid, techno and electro is known to followers of underground labels like Viewlexx and Gooiland Elektro. This first release on his own label offers another opportunity to step into his disturbed reality. 'Possessed' is a slow, grinding workout with the ear-grating intensity of someone running their fingernails down a blackboard. The charmingly titled 'We Have Become The Filth Of The Universe' picks up the pace to deliver a punishing acid workout, while 'New Earth Army' is the soundtrack to new world (dis)order, volleys of snares propelling the bone-crushing, droning bass that has become this maverick artist’s terrifying signature.
'Alien Be-In Remix EP'
Dark Entries has successfully mined '80s Italo and new-wave and now it appears to be moving onto the early '90s, with Throbbing Gristle side-project Psychic TV getting the reissue treatment. 'Alien Be-In' is cullled from the act’s 'Towards Thee Infinite Beat' album, which saw them flirt with acid house. Over crisp breakbeats and a murky bass, a sample claims "We don’t know where it came from and can’t imagine where it’s going" while a digeridoo — an instrument later hijacked by every crustie on the planet — creates a hypnotic effect. Silent Servant and John Tejada and former Pscyhic TV member Fred Gianelli’s versions streamline the track for modern techno floors.
'Dark Arts 05'
Dark Arts is not the most high-profile techno series, but it continues to yield some great results. 'Debris' revolves around a muscular Detroit rhythm, while both takes on 'Black Science' are more stripped back. In particular, the skipping rhythm and menacing chord sequences of 'Black Science (Version)' see Crosbie dispense with the conventional techno framework and venture into an abstract approach. The same can be said of 'X'. Here, Crosbie gradually adds layers to a stepping, percussive groove until it implodes in an acid sunburst, in the process reconciling the cerebral with the functional.
US producer Cantu has slowly and steadily been making a name with releases loosely based on the jacking Chicago sound. This latest project sees him push out those boundaries farther than before. 'Rival' is a tough rhythm track submerged by eerie synths and spacious breakdowns, but this nihilistic tendency is articulated more eloquently on 'Decay'. Channeling the ebm bass aggression of Front 242 with Final Cut’s rhythmic dexterity, it’s Cantu’s most impressively paranoid release to date.
'Fall Down EP'
Sean Hernandez goes back to basics on ‘Fall Down’. Advocating a stripped-back sound, the US producer never veers into the realms of sounding under-produced or lo-fi for the sake of it. Granted, tracks like ‘Praying Mantis’ and ‘Ride 3’ only contain a few elements, but their discordant riffs and insistent, primitive rhythms have the hypnotic qualities of a tribal rain dance. 'Leaf', meanwhile, channels vintage DBX to add subsonic blips and bleeps, while best of all, the title track sounds like early Neil Landstrumm trying his hand at Chicago house, its hissing hats and tumbling drums pushed into the red.
Bernardi is known primarily for his widescreen electro, but on this debut for fledgling Croatian label Barba, he impresses with a series of Chicago and Detroit-influenced tracks. 'Sweet Little Cheeky' is a swirling, chord-heavy track, reminiscent of early Stacey Pullen, while both 'Picture Painters' and 'Porcelain Candy' are far more visceral. Over jacking backing tracks, Bernardi drops breathless robot vocals and distorted drums while weaving in wiry 303 lines that nag relentlessly like a Balkan granny.
Following a series of releases for labels like Tabernacle and Enklav, Jeremiah R sets his sights on the dancefloor. Instead of his brooding, introspective electro the Dutch producer ventures down a path that visits jacking Chicago house, albeit in a slowed-down form on the title track, and the menacing 303 sound of Phuture and DJ Skull on 'Diving' and 'Weeds'. That said, the mysterious, swirling synths that have become Jeremiah’s signature are never too far away and they shimmer to the surface majestically on the sublime closing track, 'Bioluminescence'.
It’s not hard to understand why US producer Matrixxman has found a home on Dekmantel. With the exception of the noisy analogue house of ‘Cybernetic Implant’ — more of a nod to the US Midwest techno sound — ‘Nubian Metropolis’ is steeped in the traditions of Dutch electronic music. ‘Sermons’ fuses tumbling drums and Legowelt-style bass and chord trippiness, while 'System Blackout' is a reduced, Bunker-style acid workout. Best of all though is "Siamese Twins', whose eerie synths and understated drum-fills sound like a product of the West Coast.