TECHNO: DECEMBER By Ed Karney and Craig Torrance

15 December 2011
  • Words
  • Reviews
  • Tunes

Mixed by Marcel Dettmann

The title of this mix may be considered quite fitting by those who’ve frequented Berlin’s vast Berghain club, as resident Marcel Dettmann can frequently be found conducting proceedings in the cavernous main room with his dark, brooding and at times relentless take on techno. Kicking off with Sandwell District’s eerie ‘Immorale’, it quickly builds momentum as Signal’s crackly ‘Wismut’ transmutes into the pounding beats of Mono Junk’s ‘Channel B’. And it doesn’t really let up from there, with cuts from Dettmann’s peers Redshape, Shed and Ben Klock acting as a useful insight into where the Berlin techno scene is at right now.
Mono Junk ‘Channel B’
Bluemoon Productions ‘Night’
Redshape ‘The Lesson’
Shed ‘Hello Bleep!’
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Eleven Eleven
Tourist Trap (J. Jones ‘For Ryan’ mix) (SUPPLEMENT FACTS)

Huge remix of high profile collaboration. The news that Guy Gerber and P Diddy were doing an album raised eyebrows in the Mixmag office, but if what’s to follow is as strong as this first release we’re all for it. Jamie Jones harnesses a ruthlessly catchy melody that harks back to early Marc Romboy releases over his usual low-slung vocals, adding Diddy’s pitched-down vocals into the mix to deliver one of his best remixes to date, one that’ll do him as many favours this winter as his ‘Hungry For The Power’ rerub did last summer.

Autumn/Winter Collection (VISIONQUEST)

My Favourite Robot steals the show. While the excellent jaunty house grooves of David K’s ‘Ghost Train’ and the wide open dubstep soundscape of ‘Gloria’ from Mirko Loko are well worth the price of admission, it’s the spine- tingling ‘Forest Fires’ from My Favourite Robot that really steals the show here. Jared and Voytek have created a vocal masterpiece that sounds somewhere between Mathew Jonson and Nathan Fake in the studio with The Human League. Intensely emotional, driving techno with memorable vocals that will stand the test of time.


Scottish techno legend’s imprint continues to grow. While Glaswegian techno veteran Lars ‘Funk D’Void’ Sandberg has been helping his original home, Soma Records, celebrate its 20th anniversary this year, he’s also been keeping himself busy running and predominantly releasing on his own Outpost label, which he launched last year. ‘The Duke’ is textbook Funk D’Void, with rolling drums and percussion soon eclipsed by a throbbing bassline and striking, undulating melodies. He’s called in Chymera, who’s previously released on Outpost, to deliver a more melody based and uplifting take on the title track. ‘Italoca’ focuses on a driving bassline and completes another top release from a man who really knows what he’s doing.
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Mathew Jonson
Dayz/Cold Blooded (CROSSTOWN REBELS)

Recalls past glories. Mathew Jonson’s once torrential output has dried up to the occasional track on a well chosen label, so a new release from the Canadian synth master is a rare treat. ‘Dayz’ is just the kind of delicate, melodic, intricately sequenced techno that Mathew does so well, though ‘Decompression’ it is not. ‘Cold Blooded’ on the flip, however, is much more in a classic old-skool vein with its punchy breakbeats, wide, over-driven bassline and epic, end-of-the-world vibe. It’s supported by an equally strong and atmospheric remix from dBridge.
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Mihai Popoviciu
Backsoul (INTACTO)

Three solo cuts from key collaborator. Top Romanian techno producer Mihai Popoviciu has an impressive CV that includes releases on labels such as Highgrade, Level Non Zero, Fear Of Flying and International Deejay Gigolos all the way back to 2005. He’s also known for his collaborative releases with compatriots Pagal and Jay Bliss. Here he flies solo as he joins Shinedoe’s Amsterdam stable Intacto with three fresh cuts. ‘Ain’t No More’ features old-skool drums, a spoken-word sample and spacey synths; ‘I Lead You’ goes down the minimal path with stripped-down beats under a booming bassline and ‘Backsoul’ finishes proceedings with rattly beats and some lush, electronic synth action.
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Emerson Todd
Got Your Back EP (SAVED)

New Zealander continues to impress. Now based in the UK, Emerson Todd has been putting his homeland of New Zealand on the techno map over the past few years with releases on Get Digital (Get Physical’s digital outlet) and Nic Fanciulli’s Saved Records. Here he drops three original tracks that all show he’s a producer on the up, as ‘Deep Burn’ is a definite dancefloor burner with its slick, crisp beats and percussion and intricate sounds. ‘Kiss My’ is a stripped-down groover with a vocal sample and rattling beats, and ‘The Freeze’ fuses together a lush lead hook, vocal sample and more tight beats. A very handy three-
pronged techno treat.
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Various Items (ITEMS & THINGS)

Items & Things bosses Magda, Troy Pierce and Marc Houle have really upped the ante with their label this past year, putting a lot more time and effort in – and it’s beginning to show as they release this V/A EP with sounds they’ve sourced from four different artists. First up is Tomas More, previously of Resopal, with ‘AB’ which is a dark, wonky piece that you’re likely to hear Madga dropping. Next up is Andy Martin with ‘Funky Monster Under My Bed’, all hefty synth action, and Gabriel Ferreira’s scratchy beats on ‘Sill’. But it’s Paris producer and Get The Curse boss Clement Meyer who gains most of the props with his trademark fusion of electro keys and pumping techno beats and bass.
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Julian Jeweil
Hermanos EP (PLUS 8 R
Frenchman is welcomed back on Hawtin’s label A 10-year career in techno has now seen Julian Jeweil get where he probably wants to be as he’s invited back
for another full EP on Richie Hawtin’s iconic techno imprint Plus 8 following last year’s ‘Babou’ release. Much like ‘Babou’, this new EP is made up of four original cuts with ‘Hermanos’ making an immediate impact with spooky sounds and a high- octane kick. ‘Circus’ is a proper grinder with an ear-stabbing lead hook, ‘Tabasco’ is a spicy number with a jangly, xylophonic lead melody and ‘Juice’ also packs a punch with a siren-esque lead. If you’re a fan of the label then get involved.
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