FAKE BLOOD ‘Yes / No’ (DIFFERENT RECORDINGS)
Every time Fake Blood releases anything it’s a treat. Having survived both big beat and fidget house we simply expect the biggest club rocking badboys. And here we are again: lysergic basslines, boisterously taut drums and a piano riff that will haunt your Monday morning reverie. It’s a YES from Clash.
EROL ALKAN AND SWITCH ‘A Sydney Jook’ (PHANTASY)
Chunky, twitched-up dancefloor biz here, with little more than a pounding kick drum, manic hi-hat and a looped pulse, and it works brilliantly, sounding all the larger for its raw, techy approach and surprise acid shower. A Bok Bok remix chops things up further, but it’s all about the ballsy original here.
JIMMY EDGAR ‘Sex Drive’ (Hotflush)
The master of refined electro sleaze whips out his nostalgic, colourful machine-funk side. Full of vocodered filth, lo-fi bass and a wandering beat, it’s Edgar having some very agreeable fun. John Talabot’s epic, orchestral rework is so-so, but Jon Convex’s cracking, dark psychedelic house remix is the biz.
UNSPECIFIED ENEMIES ‘Multi Ordinal Tracking Unit’ (NUMBERS)
Re-release of this lush, classic Detroit-vibes sizzler from 1999, created - much to everyone’s surprise at the time - in a bedroom in Newham, giving the Motor City a run for its money, with fast-paced, glitchy, tech-funk of the highest order. Cracking hi-NRG-tech remix from one-half of Unspecified Enemies on the flip. Beauty.
KRYSTAL KLEAR ‘More Attention’ (MADTECH)
All the ingredients are on show here for an emancipating time travel back to early-’90s soulful house. Whether it’s the synth sax and poignant womanly vocals on ‘More Attention’ or organ-padded jukes of ‘My Love Is Burning’, these two sound like the long lost secrets of an audio cryogenics lab somewhere.
VITALIC ‘Stamina’ (DIFFERENT RECORDINGS)
Vitalic has been responsible for some of the most angry and devastating tunes in techno (check his Poney EP) and with ‘Stamina’ we find him seriously attached to our jugular once more. His growling bassline leaves very little space for the shattered, neurotic and chopped-up voice to burble over the top making this a frenetic and messy descent into a mangled mind.
PJAM ‘Oxygen’ (BEATCAMP)
Grime renaissance you say? Well, this cluster of 140BPM bombs is amongst the sleepwalkers rising again from a semi-sleep. ‘Quantum’ especially reeks with early grime riddim vivacity; abrupt synth stabs galore and an eight-bar pattern that could backdrop the shenanigans of pirate radio days with as much ease as it can stamp its foot here in 2012.
CHAIRMAN KATO ‘Roma EP’ (SHADES OF GREY)
Chairman Kato’s woozy, wonderfully syncopated world tumbles down the k-hole pulling noise machines after him. Twisted and drugged techno lurches over samples to consort with competing dub rhythms, and culminates in a cosmic roar for the Alien quadrilogy-influenced two-parter ‘Yeah You’re Right’, amusingly catalogued as ‘bumstep’ by Kato.
BASIC SOUL UNIT AND EDDIE NIGUEL ‘The First Shift’ (MIDNIGHT SHIFT)
The techno/house debut for Midnight Shift makes a feature of Basic Soul Unit pulling out the deep and dubby layers, enjoyably punching the kick drum and peppering melody grooves. Eddie Niguel’s tracks strongly reference ’90s house, which is no bad thing, but the overly-familiar Innercity grooves distract.
RECONDITE ‘DRGN’ (HOTFLUSH RECORDINGS)
Riding a shimmering and shaking synth, ‘DRGN’ is moody yet chilled - a minimal techno soundscape pleasing to the feet. There’s no rushing here, letting you feel the full weight of each note and beat. ‘Wist 365’ nods to Ruskin’s ‘Indirect World’, creeping through a nicely-layered corridor of chimes.
Words: Errol Anderson, Tristan Parker, Adam Saville, Laura May-Humphries