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TECHNO: AUGUST

15 August 2013
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TECHNO: AUGUST

COMPILATION OF THE MONTH:
Robert Babicz (pictured)
The Owl & The Butterfly (Systematic)

We featured a killer KiNK remix of one of these tracks last month, and Robert’s original wasn’t half bad, either – an indication of how good the LP would be. It’s not 100 per cent banging techno, but an amalgam of influences with a techno foundation, from slower jams to more dancefloor-based business. Opener ‘Venus Transit’ is a perfect example of Robert’s melodic though thoroughly techno leanings; ‘A Girl From Jupiter’ continues the intergalactic theme while housier numbers like ‘Bensberg’ see Babicz flaunting his musical ability with class. ‘Drop’, all space-age techno funk, is a true aural delight, and ‘On The Streets’ will rock a floor with its simmering acid undertone. With interludes entitled ‘Dream Sequence 1’, ‘Dream Sequence 2’ etc, ‘The Owl...’ is proof that techno remains a diverse genre with so much to offer.
9/10
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TUNE OF THE MONTH:
Rebel
History (Tough Luck)

Tough Luck Records is the brainchild of Leicester’s very own Rebel. Jonny has been making waves for a little while now, first hitting our radar with ‘Forever Dreaming’ on Electronique and ‘In This Life’ on Lower East. As the label’s debut release it’s Rebel’s own tunes that form the first EP, and ‘History’ is our pick. The sharp analogue stab that forms the bassline is irresistible and, along with the hushed, sensual female vocal and crisp 4x4 percussion makes for an unstoppable tune.
9/10
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Adriana Lopez
Sequel (Grey Report)

Colombia’s techno scene hasn’t made much of an impact on the globe, but judging by Adriana Lopez it’s most likely very healthy and full of promise. Lopez relocated to Barcelona (currently home to many of the world’s best-known electronic artists including techno don Maetrik) 11 years ago and hasn’t looked back – after establishing her prowess in Bogota, she headed to European shores and set about building a solid career. Here she is with the second release on her own label, Grey Report – which also features the musical talents of Developer. ‘Sequel’ is a mesmerising slice of techno that oozes menace and brooding tension. It’s a slow builder, in fact the snare doesn’t come into well beyond the two-minute mark – crispy white noise in the background together with sweeping arcs of sound and a muted chime add depth. This track is one for those last few hours at the rave, post-5am vibes when things get really dark. Look out for more from this label.
8/10
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Julian Jeweil
She’s Hot (MinusMAX)

An exponent of the southern France school of techno hard knocks, Julian Jeweil hails from Marseille and has been knocking out top quality music for a few years now, making his breakthrough with 2007’s ‘Air Conditionne’ EP. Since then he’s had his tunes snapped up by some of the scene’s top labels and most influential figures, including Popof’s Form Music, John Digweed’s Bedrock and Sebastien Leger’s Mistakes, as well as Richie Hawtin’s Plus 8 and many more. It’s with another of Hawtin’s ventures (Minus sub-label MinusMAX) that Jeweil’s latest release finds a home, and he doesn’t disappoint. ‘She’s Hot’ is rolling, bumpy and features a smattering of jaunty effects that give it a sense of fun. An accompanying vocal snippet utters ‘she’s hot’ here and there as the bass pumps vigorously along. Just over midway through there’s a nicely reverberated breakdown that offers some breathing space, before it continues to roll out to its close.
7/10
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Joseph Capriati
Awake (Drumcode)

One of Italy’s fine young techno purveyors, Joseph Capriati, makes his presence felt on Adam Beyer’s Drumcode – a label that has dominated the techno landscape for quite some time. Joseph has made his mark with a constant flow of great productions and seminal sets, becoming a ‘go-to’ DJ for large-scale festivals like Awakenings and picking up a residency at Marco Carola’s new Ibiza party, Music On. With all this in mind it’s amazing to think that he only discovered techno back in 2003 – but enough about the man himself, what we’re looking at here in his new EP and it’s a great two-tracker. ‘Awake’ is the pick of the two, it’s one of those smooth techno tracks that still has a large degree of energy pumping at its heart. Be prepared to be sucked into its abyss-like bassline and atmospherics – a very sturdy track that really grips you once it gets going.
7/10
Download here

Just Be
The French Connection (MOOD Records)

Here’s a man who’s been involved within the UK scene for a long while now and has widespread respect from all corners, thanks in part to his residency at seminal London club The End but also because he’s a great DJ and producer. Bushwacka! is his name, but he’s adopted a new alias, Just Be, which has heralded a new era for him. With releases on labels such as Crosstown Rebels and Get Physical, the new name certainly seems to be doing the work – which brings us to this release on Nicole Moudaber’s MOOD Records, a two-headed beast of an EP. ‘The French Connection’ rocks out with a mean bassline and slightly muted yet propulsive percussion, which works perfectly alongside a collection of bleeps and subtle elements to create a sublime tech-house bouncer. Guy’s got skills.
8/10
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D’Julz
Da Madness (Rolando remix) (Bass Culture)

Not too long ago French house don D’Julz dropped a track named ‘Da Madness’ on his own label, Bass Culture. Featuring a distinctive vocal sample of a Jamaican man talking about the madness of certain DJs taking cocaine in the dancehall scene, it was an instant classic – and like many cult tracks, it’s being re-released with an all-star line-up of remixers for 2013. The legend that is Rolando puts a proper techno slant on his incarnation, thumping kick drums, a warped analogue bassline and that infamous vocal sample echoing in and out of the background combine with a brutal snare that is unerring and verging on oppressive (but in a good way). As the track builds a melodic element creeps in, as do some cymbals, and a tribal-esque tom. It builds up until the track has to relent for a while before continuing at the same pace. Bad boy!
8/10
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Michael Lovatt
Taking Sides (Ricochet)

Michael Lovatt is an Irishman living in Berlin, and that’s about all you need to know because his music speaks for itself. The opening of this track reminded us of something we might have heard on seminal drum ’n’ bass label No U-Turn back in the mid-90s, with its analogue atmospherics, echoing metallic effects and technoid malice emanating throughout the intro. It gets off to a great start and evolves into a slovenly, creeping techno creature – the low BPM gives it a sleazy feel as the chimes bounce off the parping bassline and skippy, two-step-esque beats. ‘Taking Sides’ is made up of a really great combination of influences and sounds; we couldn’t help reminiscing about the good old darkside d’n’b days when listening to it. The whole EP is pretty cool, with the excellent, downtempo ‘Drift’ another choice cut from Lovatt.
7/10
Download here

Peter Van Hoesen
Seven, Green & Black (SCB edit) (Time To Express)

Here’s another track that’s part of a remix package – this time from Peter Van Hoesen’s excellent ‘Perceiver’ album. Van Hoesen needs little introduction and this remix package, unsurprisingly, features appearances from some of his good friends and similarly lauded producers. Our pick is the SCB (aka Scuba) edit of ‘Seven, Green & Black’. While the original was a slightly plodding, unnerving analogue workout, SCB’s edit gives a complete overhaul that leaves little of the original intact – which is a good thing. This new mix is built for the dancefloor with a infectious energy pervading throughout; it evolves from a slow but sure opening with the snarling bassline lurking in the background, and as it comes to the fore it’s joined by a potent group of percussive elements and some really twisted, marauding effects. Dangerous.
8/10
Download here

Mr G
Dance Floor (Contemporary Scarecrow)

Mr G has got the funk – everyone knows that and, in case you don’t, just check his epic Boiler Room set where he gets down while playing like nothing you’ve ever seen before. But it’s not just his ability to gyrate that has won him so many admirers within the techno scene; his music is also infused with the spirit of James Brown. ‘Dance Floor’, from his EP on new Aussie label Contemporary Scarecrow, is a prime example, chugging along with serious intent from the off, with an all-encompassing sub bass, catchy bleeps and a vocal snippet that’s full of soul. It’s typical Mr G, and we love it.
9/10
Download here

Anaxander
7 Ways (Bloody Mary & Attan remix) (Dame-Music)

Anaxander is an up-and-coming producer who channels the past with his own 21st-century slant on things, as proven by his EP for Swedish house label Local Talk. On Bloody Mary’s imprint he gets to work with more acid and ye olde techo stylings. There has to be at least one retro sounding piece of techno on this page every month as we simply can’t resist a bit of old-skool influence here and there, but with that said, Bloody Mary and Attan’s remix of ‘7 Ways’ isn’t overly retro but certainly has some throwback elements nestled within its DNA. The duo wipe the acid away from Anaxander’s original track and bolt on some tough beats and claps together with a nice bit of 808. This is a label that is progressing very well, with some sterling releases so far – Anaxander’s ‘The John Red Hawk Project’ EP is another strong addition to their catalogue.
8/10
Download here

Nubian Mindz
New Me (Counterchange)

Ed Davenport has had praise from across the techno and house spectrum over the past year or so – his move to Berlin fuelling a new lease of life in terms of his musical output and helping him to carve out a strong reputation for producing the deeper side of techno. This was cemented by his debut album ‘Counterchange’, out early last year. Now he’s started a label with the same name and, as you may have guessed, the music he’s putting out is second to none. This new EP from Nubian Mindz is a delightful collection of music, the opener ‘New Me’ a sublime, summery bleep-fest with sweet melodies wrapped around tough percussion and a grinding bassline. Excellent stuff.
9/10
Download here

Milton Bradley
Psychotropic (K209)

Fresh out of Milton Bradley’s lab is this bubbly number which is part of a two-man EP alongside Henning Baer, who runs the Grounded Theory parties in Berlin. Milton Bradley, named after the man who conceived MB Games, conjures up a hypnotic piece of techno in ‘Psychotropic’. Like many of our favourite pieces of music it’s simple, repetitive and totally absorbs you – the kick thuds along in tandem with a modulated bassline that bubbles and brims with energy. Some piano keys work off the bassline, providing a perfect juxtaposition – a shaker echoes around in the background, while the fidgity beats maintain the track’s energy and pace. We’ll be playing this for years to come.
9/10
Download here

TAGS: REVIEWS / TECHNO / TUNES

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