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Techno - Single Reviews - 551

Singles - Techno - Issue 551

Gavin Russom

Body Minimalism EP

Curle

9.0
US producer Gavin Russom was responsible for two of 2014’s best releases — both on Entropy Trax — and he looks set to achieve the same record this year. Following his debut on L.I.E.S, Russom’s first release for Curle reveals a much darker sound. However, like his previous records, 'Minimalism' is a masterclass in crafting repetitive grooves. 'Trashing Truth' and 'All Souls (NYC Mix)' are led by robust drums, insistent percussion and raw analogue noise. 'Punisher', meanwhile, sounds like a disco groove created in a robot factory, mechanical yet guided by Russom’s hypnotic touch.

60 Miles

'60 Miles 01'

60 Miles

8.0
60 Miles is a new collaboration between John Daly and Cian Frawley, and it sees the pair follow a techno sound. This debut three-tracker resounds to tough drums and effective percussive volleys. At the most functional end of the spectrum there’s ’60 Miles’ itself, with its robotic bass pulses and woozy synths. Thankfully, this isn’t a display of monochrome linear techno and ‘Persian Moon’ is imbued with jazzy nuances and a cheering crowd sample, while at the heart of ‘Shake’ is a hypnotic riff so insidious that it’ll gnaw its way into the listener’s eardrums.

Tense

'Disconnect Myself (Beau Wanzer Edit)'

Mannequin

9.0
Mannequin has commissioned man of the moment Beau Wanzer to rework one of the tracks from Tense’s 2011 release for the label — and the results are nothing short of explosive. There is an unstoppable energy to the edit from the moment that the needle drops. This manifests itself in the brutal bass, tortured waif screeches and those cold, relentless drums that run through Wanzer’s version — making it 2015’s finest reshape.

The Stallion/The Wall

'Hope/Fire (MW Edits)'

Prego

8.5
Mick Wills is Europe’s unofficial edit king, as this release demonstrates. Both of these edits have been a staple in the German DJ’s sets, and effortlessly mix high camp with techno force. Wills’ take on The Stallion’s ‘Hope’ sees him lay down dark bass pulses and detuned synth riffs, but also a hypnotic, looped vocal snatch. The version of The Wall’s ‘Fire’ follows a similar route. There’s a slightly daft, hiccuping vocal snatch, and a dramatic ice queen banshee wails as the arrangement progresses, but Wills’ tough kicks and jarring riffs prime it for the dancefloor.

Privacy

'Human Resource Exploitation Manual EP'

Lobster Theremin

8.5
The mysterious Privacy returns to Lobster Theremin with an electro-inspired three-tracker. 'Constant Transient' is an acid-powered cut, its squelchy tones bleeding over a steely framework. 'Apex Predator' sees Privacy add some rave influence to his sound, with rolling breaks underscoring otherworldly synths. Best of all though is 'Code'. Less frenetic than the other tracks, the combination of whirring, clicking rhythms and spaced-out synth passages proves irresistible.

Heinrich Dressel

'Lurking Underwater'

Barba

8.5
One of the barriers that purist electro faces in crossing over to a wider audience is the fact that it often lacks a dancefloor focus. On ‘Underwater’, Italian producer Dressel does a lot to rectify this issue. As their titles suggest, ’Creatures From The Abyss’ and ‘Dark Lake’ are focused on Drexciya’s legacy, with mysterious chords and eerie, at times malevolent synth solos to the fore. Crucially though, Dressel underpins these elements with subtle drums and kicks. Understated but effective, they will vie for attention with JTC’s acid-soaked take on the title track among more discerning DJs.

ROMAN FLUGEL

'Monday Brain'

Hypercolor

8.0
Most '90s techno artists have long since faded into obscurity, but not Roman Flugel. The German producer has enjoyed longevity because of his unwillingness to remain rooted to a defined sound — and ‘Brain’ is one of the finest examples yet of this diversity. From the delicate melodies and gentle drums of ‘Teenage Engineering’ to the frosty trance melodies of ‘Picnic For Players’ and the rough and raw basement jam that is ‘Church Of Dork’, this double-pack is testament to his ongoing relevance.

Cute Heels

'Nepotism'

Schrodinger’s Box

8.5
Following on from last year’s excellent album on Dark Entries, Colombian in Berlin Cute Heels delivers a killer EP for new label Schrodinger’s Box. The atmospheric 'Red Velvet' shows that there is a range and depth to his work, but it’s the release’s dancefloor moments that impress most. 'Madam Counsellor' and 'Cabaret Literal' are wiry, acid-caked electro-funk workouts, while on 'The Pulse (Sex Drive)', oppressive, ebm-style bass and cold synths prevail, recalling Hacker at his best.