Leisure System deserves kudos for persuading Gerald Donald to release more material from his Dopplereffekt project on the label. Sounding like a midway point between the act's abstract material and the steely electro of last year’s ‘Tetrahymena’, 'Delta Wave' is both atmospheric and steely. It's a tough act to follow, but Objekt manages to do it in style; 'Ganzfeld' is a wiry, pacey breaker, full of the kind of smart edits, drops and percussive ticks one would expect from the Berlin producer.
' Depth Over Distance EP'
Neither Boris Bunnik nor Delsin are going to win any prizes for originality with ‘Distance’, but it nonetheless does an impressive line in deep techno. ‘Plateau’ is a sublime, chiming groove, full of seductive pads and spiky, metallic percussion and ‘Closer’ is all atmospheric, acid-tinged sweeps. However, the title track impresses most; teeming with mysterious synth lines and led by rigid claps and drums, it’s reminiscent of Carl Craig at his most eerie. It may be derivative, but it's executed exquisitely.
It’s been a while since either this label or Stingray have released material, so ‘Psychiatrist’ is a welcome return. In true Sherard Ingram form, the title track is a blistering, high-paced electro track, scattergun percussive volleys fired over hyperactive metal 808s as Stingray drops noisy, discordant riffs into the ether. ‘Strontium Dog 2’ is less pacey but just as intense, with waves of tough claps supporting insistent techno-bass pulses. It sounds like he never went away.
Function & Vatican Shadow
'Games Have Rules'
Dave Sumner and Hospital boss Dominick Fernow team up for a decidedly understated release. If you’re looking for the former Sandwell District member’s sub-sonic techno or Fernow’s raucous industrial, you may be disappointed with 'Games'. On the other hand, if you are a fan of either artist, chances are you have an open mind and the deep house, shimmering techno and the terse ambient passages that comprise this album, will resonate. Inspired by the eternal life pulses of New York and recorded in that city, it’s an excellent side project.
'Ground Loop EP'
The Bunker NY
The latest release from Uwe Schmidt feels like being in the middle of an explosion. ‘Ground Loop 1’ starts with wave upon wave of chilling synths before a wiry, squelchy rhythm comes hurtling in. 'Ground Loop 2’ is more restrained, but not by much. Powered by a slinky, metallic rhythm, its dark bass pulses play host to synth builds that are so powerful to the point of being all-consuming.
The talented Stephen Brown has changed direction since he returned to music-making. Gone are the hyper-kinetic rhythms of releases on Djax. Nowadays, he is more likely to be making the kind of reflective, bass-heavy grooves that feature on his latest Real Time release. ‘Micron’ features cinematic, textured soundscapes, but is lent some dancefloor bias thanks to its snappy percussion and nagging bassline. As its title suggests, ‘Swing Left’ is a swinging rhythm, full of jazzy nuances and sees Brown veer into the space once occupied by Ian O’Brien.
7 Days Entertainment
Big Strick keeps it in the family as the latest release on his label comes from his son. Favouring a similar approach to his dad, Strickland Jnr. delivers the killer, percussive techno of 'Chili Cheese Fries' and lays down skittish drums and jazzy flourishes on the excellent ‘Idee Fixe’. Proving that he’s not just a chip off the old block and that he has his own identity, the young producer also drops two excellent mid-tempo, beatsy tracks, ‘Vanilla Sky’ and ‘The Tomorrow People’, which inhabit a middle ground between Detroit techno and dusty hip-hop.
'Stack It Up EP'
Not content with rewiring the Detroit techno code with Ike Release as Innerspace Halflife, Hakim Murphy drops a killer analogue release. 'Has 1' is a driving, housey groove that gives way to eerie synths swooping in, while 'Has 2' sees him venture down a deeper route, back towards his Detroit techno sound. The highlight however is 'Silent Monk 2', a rough and raw percussive workout that centres on a searing bassline.