Reviews

TECHNO: JANUARY

07 January 2013
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TECHNO: JANUARY

COMPILATION OF THE MONTH

Sven Väth: The Sound of The 13th Season (COCOON)
Papa Sven is rapidly approaching his half-century and has been involved in the music industry for 30 years. While Cocoon in Hamburg is closing, this CD celebrates 13 years in Ibiza, and who better to mix it than the Iggy Pop of techno himself? Väth gets the first of two CDs moving with some bouncy rhythms, including one of the better recent Hot Creation’s releases from wAFF, before erupting into peak-time fare around the half-way mark with some familiar names popping up like Ben Sims and Octave One. Once you’re done with the first disc, check the afterparty- themed counterpart, all deeper, experimental techno from Rhadoo, Four Tet and Lawrence. A great pair of mixes that prove Sven’s still got it.
Highlights
Rhadoo ‘Geemac’
Romanthony ‘The Wanderer’ (Dixon edit)
wAFF ‘Jo Johnson’

8/10

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TUNE OF THE MONTH

Dense & Pika
Crispy Duck (HOTFLUSH)

New Hotflush signings Dense & Pika prove their worth with three Berghain bangers for the heads. The title track boasts a seductive bassline amid the clattering industrial noises that give the track its tag. Halfway through the track, inviting bongos take it to a new level. On the flip is the abrasive, heads-down ‘Coll’ and some deeper afterparty sounds in ‘31’. This release, the strongest in a while on Scuba’s label, could be
a big hit for the anonymous London duo.
9/10

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MPIA3
Crusty Juice (R&S)

Truss, of Perc Trax fame, makes yet another appearance on the techno page this year, and with such a strong recent slew of original material and remixes it’s easy to see why. This time he’s here under a new alias with some seriously boisterous sounds on the ever brilliant and reliable R&S. Of the six relentless tracks, lead cut ‘Crusty Juice’ sets an aggressive pace which flows through the EP, with pounding acidic drums and random, off-
kilter patterns referencing classic UK techno from yesteryear. A special mention goes to B-side ‘Mountain Of Ash’, which gives us a short break and keeps things deep and slow.
7/10

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Italoboyz
Episode #2 (SUPER FICTION)

Already being championed by Ricardo Villalobos, Italoboyz are making big waves in the underground techno scene, and this release is set to continue their run of form. Though this EP is techno, it also gives fair nods to house, disco and electronica with its trippy, robotic vocals. Berlin duo Luna City Express opt for a more house-based approach with their remix, chopping up the vocals and adding a chunky bassline to great effect. Check out the Luna City Express mix.
7/10

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Arkist
Two Night Stand (INHALE)

Fast-rising Bristol producer Arkist follows up releases on Hotflush and Applepips with this EP on Inhale. He combines garage and techno influences on opener ‘Two Night Stand’ with sliced up female vocals and a delightful off beat. Things get quirky on ‘Spiderdrudge’ where Arkist takes things into techno territory, mixing up two-step and 4/4 drum patterns. On the remix front, Gatekeeper goes for a bass-heavy take on things.
8/10

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Scuba
Talk Torque (HOTFLUSH)

He’s constantly involved in some kind of controversy (99 per cent of the time via his ever-updating Twitter feed), but this month Scuba lets the tunes do the talking with a follow-up to recent LP ‘Personality’. Maintaining a similar template to the one he used for last year’s success story ‘Adrenalin’, Paul Rose gives us one of those trance breakdowns and pleasantly deep techno basslines on ‘Talk Torque’, a single-sided vinyl and digital release on his own imprint. Expect hands-in-the-air moments all winter.
8/10

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James Mile
Downtone (8 SIDED DICE)

Making his debut release on Alan Fitzpatrick’s 8 Sided Dice imprint is Berlin-based Italian James Mile, who has been on the label boss’s radar for quite some time, receiving club plays of his previous releases for Break New Soil and Kaluki Music. This release is no-nonsense club tracks, taking in classic industrial sounds, delectable grooves and pounding beats.
7/10

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Nick Höppner/ Auntie Flo
Speicher 72 (KOMPAKT)

For a dual debut on the seminal Kompakt imprint, Panorama Bar veteran Nick Höppner teams up with relative Glasgow newcomer Auntie Flo, each contributing a track for the Speicher series which the Cologne label has been running for 11 years. First up is Höppner’s ‘Ipsofacto’, a deep techno journey of whirring sounds and light scuffs. On the other side, Auntie Flo introduces some world influences onto a techno template with bongo sounds, international strings and Latin chimes.
9/10

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MANDY & Jimmy Vallance
Twisted Sister (GET PHYSICAL)

Get Physical celebrates the astounding feat of having 200 singles under their belt. Co-label owners (with DJ T and Booka Shade) MANDY launch a collaboration with Brooklyn-based Jimmy Vallance. Title track ‘Twisted Sister’ rumbles along for nearly seven minutes with some occasional light synths and growling bass. B-side ‘Superstitious’ is the more interesting of the two, with a lead synth rising and falling with a tension-building fizz. Not the most seminal anniversary release, but does a good job nonetheless.
6/10

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S_W_Z_K
Variants & Empires (TRESOR)

Following up his debut album on the label spin-off from the Berlin club, David Brown returns with a pair of tracks which truly embrace the sound of Tresor. ‘TC4 Variant’ has a slightly acidic techno bassline and pattering beats, while on the flip the two-step sounds of ‘Second City Of The Empire’ is less club orientated but still worth a punt.
7/10

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Artifact
Burst (REBIRTH)

Bristol’s Ryan Bonfield, aka Artifact, won huge support from the likes of Mary Anne Hobbs and Mosca with his previous releases on Deadplate. This quartet of tracks heavily references UK bass and two-step, but remains suitable for a techno audience. Leading the charge, ‘Burst’ offers up distorted basslines and garage-style vocals. Elsewhere we find ‘Claptone’, ‘It’s So Far Down’ and ‘No Grip’ exploring bottom-end techno and jacking garage. There’s definitely something in the water in the West Country.
8/10

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TAGS: JANUARY 2013 / REVIEWS / TECHNO / TUNES

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