Substance & Vainqueur - Reverberation/Reverberate (Scion Versions)
Second release from the new Scion imprint, continuing the good work S & V started via Chain Reaction in the previous decade. Not much has changed - why mess with perfection? - the beats are ultra-minimal, acting as pure metronomic clicktrack for the obsessively processed chordal textures and chasm-like layers of ambient landscape. Listen intently for the subleties, or just let the whole thing float around you in a soul-cleansing mist of abstract emotion. Lush as fuck, standard.
Pendle Coven - Hex EP (Modern Love)
Love the name...conjures images of nocturnal sisterhood of Lancastrian witches...hints of ancient, evil secrets in hidden pockets of the English landscape. The music doesn't quite live up to that image, but this is a moody three-tracker with the foreboding 4/4 slammer 'Waveplate' taking-up side A, although it's 'Brittle Bones' on the flip that really caught my ear, with its stuttery, hyperactive electro vibe, overdriven bass warble and pensive slivers of reverberated synth. Final track 'Golden Hadron' takes the bpms right down and drifts through dank, stalactite-encrusted caves of dub refraction. Chilly...
Deadbeat - Version Immersion (~scape)
I'm still undecided on the new Pole album, but this EP from Stefen Betke's near-legendary Berlin imprint is hitting all the right erogenous zones. 'One.One.Five' and 'One.Two.Six' mine similar territory, with percussion-heavy grooves weighty sub bass, etc etc...
Patrick Pulsinger - Dogmatic Sequences III (Disco B)
Jesus, I was buying Patrick Pulsinger records ten+ years ago, yet here he is continuing the 'Dogmatic' series in '07 and the results are stupendous. Opener 'R0uleur' is a fucking crucial techno-thrash allied with some dutty bassline bizzniz that writhes 'n wobbles inna righteous dubstep stylee - my man Pulsinger is on the case! 'Looq' and 'Numb Thrust' maintain the headlong rush with slamming beats, chugging bass and rippling washes of synth-colour, but then - what the fuck is this?! - 'Transforming Language' hires in a live drummer and guitarist for some kinda jazz noodle freak-out. Head-scratcher or chin-stroker? Who knows, but let's not forget that Pulsinger pioneered that jazzy techno thing with his iO project (I still hear 'Claire' used in TV programs occasionally) so I guess that's a genuine aspect of his musical gene-pool. More power to him - he's the coolest goddam Austrain on the planet.
Cornell - Polimer/Flounce (Minimise)
Minimal, abstract, four-to-tha-fucking-floor, but I'm definately feeling a sly sense of humour lurking somewhere. 'Polimer' is a playful arrangement of tuned blips, swooshes, crackles and gasps that gradually works itself up into a disorientating lather , with sounds flying at you from all across the stereo field. Probably sounds scary as hell on drugs. The b-side is actually the more obviously catchy number, adding a resolute chord-riff for your frazzled psyche to cling onto, but still paying close attention to unexpected elements swooping from nowhere. Stealthy!
Move-D - Ac1d/Sheffield Dance (Modern Love)
Modern Love are so fucking on it, right now - practically every release is a must have. Here, David Moufang delivers two brilliantly individual slices of abstract dance, with 'Ac1d' held together by a nagging chord-stab and rocksteady kick drum, over which all manner of samples, synth oscillations and 707 drumkit weave a trippy spell. But its all about the flip for me - I mean, c'mon, calling the track 'Sheffield Dance' was bound to perk up the ears of an old bleep-junkie like myself. Clearly a homage of sorts to the original 1990-91 sound, but without descending into outright nostalgia, its wonderful to hear more fidgety 808 snare programming again. Lots of subby undertow and squelchy synth riffs make for a complex web of rhythm that bursts through the straightjacket of over-simplification that dogs a significant preportion of modern techno music. Hope this one has an influential effect...
Bovill - Differentiate EP (Meanwhile.)
Oh my god - how deep is this shit? Four tracks of sublime, precision-tooled perfection from the mysterious Mr. Bovill, care of the increasingly relevant Meanwhile imprint. Opener 'Rate Of Change' is a heavenly blend of clavinet chords, swooping Detroit pads and succulant bass undertow, held down by conservative yet stealthy 4/4 riddim, whilst 'Featheredge' gets lean with 808 rimshots, fluttering hi-hats and playful, life-affirming melodic phrases. On the flip, 'Making Time' is a harder track with hint of acid and more of those gorgeous , reverb-heavy chords, before 'Torque (2)' strips naked to the barest ingredients in quest of the minimal Holy Grail - damn, its so good it hurts! Buy it, play it, kiss it, cuddle it. Bovill, I love you...