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Compilations - Issue 588

Mariel Ito - 2000-2005

Mariel Ito



Plex's lineage
Eric Estornel is a man of many moods. Coming to the attention of many while grinding out techno as Maetrik after the turn of the millenium, it was as the housier and outright funkier Maceo Plex, a project he started in 2009, that he rocketed to fame. It stands in stark contrast to his previous Mariel Ito project. Running from 2000 until 2006, this retrospective comp reveals Erstornel in darker electro mode, peppering this with hints of icy IDM abstraction. ‘Creature’ or ‘Process 7’ could be Carl Finlow in Voice Stealer guise, ‘Approach’ echoes the otherworldly melody of ‘Selected Ambient Works’ and ‘Kepler 186b’ glowers with Drexciyan menace. ‘Lovely’ even throws a breakbeat under its inscecent lead. All this is to say that it’s a timely reissue, highlighting a lesser know part of Estornel’s output at a time when this sound has become the zeitgeist. Listen closely and you can even trace its lineage through to the electro-funk stylings of Plex, the sound palette of Mariel Ito already pared down to house tempos. ‘2000 – 2005’ is a darker and more intense experience, for sure, but over a decade down the road from when they were written, these works are acutely in tune with our times.
Joe Roberts
Robert Hood DJ-Kicks

Robert Hood



Ooft. That’s the noise your brain is going to be making as you listen to the latest ‘DJ-Kicks’, from Detroit minimal techno master Robert Hood. Hood’s brand of minimal has always been a ferocious one, leading to a trademark sound that’s been imprinted on to what is an undeniably huge mix. There are belters aplenty from contemporary underground techno’s finest – Marcel Fengler’s aptly named ‘Thwack’ and Truncate’s urgent, resounding ‘Terminal 5’ – plus four new tracks from Hood, including the superbly skewed ‘Mirror Man’. It’s pretty much all heads-down, basement-rave fodder, but everything here also has a strong, hypnotic groove that allows the mix to flow. If you’re not into full-throttle techno, this probably won’t turn you (though it might just be your epiphany), but everyone else will lap up what’s surely the most brutal ‘DJ-Kicks’ yet, in the very best way.
Tristan Parker
The World of Monnom Black


The World of Monnom Black

Monnom Black

Pleasure principle
If you’re unfamiliar with ‘the world of Monnom Black’ allow us to summarise what this collection of power cuts really boils down to; unapologetically nosebleed, booze-on-shoes techno. And by that we mean unrelenting sweat-pit scores largely committed to timelessness – the sounds that could easily have you running out of any room in pure panic, if they weren’t all so damn enjoyable. Without wanting to put too fine a point on things, pleasure really is the operative word here. Whether found in the pseudo prog-trance of Zanias, peak time percussive bombs from Gaja, hoover-driven full-throttle rave via Cressida, the metallurgical beats of Stranger, or outings by Monnom bossman Dax J and I Hate Models. As such those looking for genuinely ferocious assaults can stop their search at this stable’s showcase of unarguably commanding talent.
Martin Guttridge-Hewitt