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Techno - Single Reviews - 534

Singles - Techno - Issue 534

Gesloten Cirkel

Submit X

Murder Capital

9.5
It’s fair to say that mysterious producer Gesloten Cirkel’s ‘Submit X’ is one of the most eagerly-awaited releases of 2014, and it doesn’t disappoint. From the in-your-face electro-meets-grainy acid of ‘Zombiemachine’ to the mutant sewer techno of ‘Feat Liette’ and ‘Arrested Development’ to the jittery ‘Chatters’, ‘X’ is Gesloten Cirkel’s best release to date. It may even see him progress from underground basements to wider audiences thanks to the Gothic vocals of ‘Stakan’. ‘Submit X’ shows that the techno world is Gesloten Cirkel’s for the taking.

Machinegeweher vs. A Visitor From Another Meaning

'Abhinanda/Neon Light'

Bordello A Parigi

8.5
Talk about making an impressive entrance. ‘Abhinanda’ is purportedly the debut release from Machinegewehr, but it sounds so self-assured and fully-formed that it’s hard to believe. It’s a brilliant update of '80s Italo, with its combination of foreboding pulses, spine-tingling synth melodies and a frosty Euro vixen delivering unforgettable lines like "the afterglow is burning in my eyes", overshadowing Elitetechnique’s remix. On the flip, Alden Tyrell teams up with '80s survivor Fred Ventura for the fist-pumping pulses of ‘Neon Lights’, but it can’t compare to the chart-worrying ‘Abhinanda’.

J Velez

'Ausland'

Rush Hour

8.5
This is a deep, dubby techno release, but not as we know it. Amid the textured chords of ‘Lost Highway’, US producer J Velez sneaks in lo-fi piano keys, Drexciyan synth motifs and crackling percussion as a driving rhythm holds it all together. The title track is more conventional, featuring steely drums and heavy claps, but the spacey blips and tonal shifts confirm that Velez eschews convention in favour of experimentation.

Frak

'Fusion in Park'

Kontra Musik

8.5
Are Frak the Swedish House Mafia for those who know? Judging by ‘Fusion in Park’, this would appear to be the case. ‘Machines Drifting Away’ is a spaced-out jam, led by an EBM bassline at first and then veering into tripped-out acidic pulses. ‘To Find A Way Home’ is also built on these components, with Frak dropping tweaked 303 lines over a rumbling bass. It sounds so simple, but few can do it like Frak.

Function/Inland

'Odeon/Rhyl'

Infrastructure

8.5
Dave Sumner relaunches his pre-Sandwell District label with a split release featuring Ed Davenport. Both artists draw heavily on '90s techno for inspiration; Davenport’s 'Rhyl' is a brooding mid-tempo affair, inspired by the spaced-out atmospherics of Speedy J’s ‘Ginger’ album. Sumner’s ‘Odeon’ meanwhile, is characterised by his signature sound, subtle in its use of perucssive licks, nagging acid and dubby beats. As its centrepiece though, Sumner uses ice-sculpted synths so frosty that the temperature will fall to 10 degrees as soon as the needle drops on ‘Odeon’.

Terriers

'Panama Jack '

Major Problems

8.5
Terriers are a new one to this reviewer, but ‘Panama Jack’ is a deeply impressive record. The title track is propelled by doubled-up claps and tough beats, but it’s the eerie synths, disquieting and atmospheric, reminiscent of Joy Division, that make it stand out. ‘Stardragon’ is a fine track too, its metallic drums laying the basis for woozy, filtered textures and a hard-to-place vocal sample. Tuff Sherm delivers a good, jazzy take on ‘Stardragon’, but it doesn’t compare to Terriers’ original material, including the sub-aquatic techno of ‘Bay Walker’.

Aardvarck

'Plus Det '

Skudge Presents

8.0
Dutch producer Aardvarck returns with a follow-up to last year’s ‘1990’. ‘Plus Det’ is more percussive than its predecessor, but its warbling melodies and woozy twists and turns ensure it doesn’t become a dry DJ tool. 'KO' is also built on tough drums, but the arrangement sounds different thanks to the shrieks and groans of tortured souls buried deep in the arrangement. If your head is still spinning after ‘KO’, Aardvarck provides a comedown of sorts with the beatsy ‘Dom’.

Tinfoil

'Tinfoil 1'

Tinfoil

8.0
Tinfoil is a new collaboration between Irish producers Sunil Sharpe and DeFeKT, and judging by this release, they have found a near-perfect middle ground. ‘Foil 6’ is built on stomping beats and grinding rhythms, but there is also space for tonal bleeps and soundsystem-levelling bass licks. ‘Foil 2’ is a straight techno track, led by dramatic chord sweeps, while they go for the jugular on the distorted kicks, frazzled riffs and warped acid of ‘Foil 1’ and ‘Foil 3’.