Archive for May, 2011

Cat no: Corrosive 909 001
Release date: 24/05/11

Get it from: 909 London 

Recharge – Austin Corrosive
A big tune, this, with plenty to like, starting with hypnotic tribal drums and a vocal sample that gives it a finger of fudgy funkiness. Next a bad-tempered, distorted acid line drops by and kicks the place apart for a while. It’s got horns with it. Things get real nasty. Then it leaves and that funky vocal serenades us out. A good track and a total contender for best of the EP, although that honour ultimately goes elswhere. 

Loose Control – Fil Devious
BPM: 145
Buffeted kickdrum, a sample saying ‘lose control’ (not, ahem ‘loose control’), plenty of breaks and an acid line that builds, drops and builds again. A solid but unspectacular tune. Moving on, and the thinking behind Corrosive Digital is not only to run a digi-only label alongside the vinyl-orientated Corrosive, but also to showcase up-and-coming producers, so the next two tunes belong to a pair of names that are new to us.

Fix as Funk – Gav Feedback **
…and the acid drops in straight away. First beat of the bar and that 303 is snarling: a big, funky acid line that dominates the first half of the track, leaving enticing little details to pop away in the background: old skool bleeps, nicely separated percussion, the ‘damn you all to hell’ sample from Planet of the Apes. Things are mixed up around the halfway mark, and that amazing 303 falls away a bit. Is it instrumentation? No, it’s a power loss. Is it supposed to end that suddenly? I don’t know, but it does. Even so, it gets the coveted double asterisk from me.

Dumbass – OB1
The Dumbass of the title is George W Bush, and the track begins with his famous howler from 2000 when he declared, ‘We cannot let terrorists and rogue nations hold this nation hostile or hold our allies hostile.’ There are a couple of other Bushisms elsewhere in the track, and while the track’s okay, and the acid sufficiently screeching, it’s… I don’t know, having him in there just feels like an old joke that wasn’t very funny in the first place, and I can’t really get past it. Sorry.

There’s a bit of a slow-it-down vibe around at the moment, so suitably inspired I’ve put this mix together, about half and half new tracks and oldies, the emphasis being on deep and dark 303 manoeuvres.

The tracklisting is…

Morphosis - Spiral
Oscar Mulero - After All
Pete Heller - Nu Acid (Raw Version)
Emmanuel Top - Dominos
Joel Mull - Danny Boy
Acrid Abeyance - Tranquil
Rai & The Strudels - Last
Winx - Don't Laugh
Marco Piovesan - Basic To Acid
Seedy Jazz & Eeemus - Bangin' Acid
Night Orchestra - MDMA
Night Orchestra - Bouncing Audio
D.A.V.E. The Drummer & Tony Montana - Shadow Of My Former Self
Choice - Acid Eiffel
Emmanuel Top - Lobotomie

Cat no: SUF90908
Release date:

BPM: 145
The F.A.T Collective is well and truly bringing it this year: A.P’s Scythe Squadron tunes have been peerless (Can’t Get Enough probably the year’s most-reached-for track), Kick The Drum has announced its return to much online rejoicing and now the estimable Zoid releases this: two sides of 303 workout for SUF909. Having said all that, and at the risk of slightly contradicting myself, it’s not an especially strong release. The first side, Contract, is my least favourite. A stout kick lifts us off and at 1.03 a voice introduces an acid line that weaves its way in and out of the drum for the next five minutes but ­never really does anything interesting. Great for DJs, the breaks come with plenty of drum rolls, but on the other hand also add to the air of hoover that hangs over the whole thing. All right for some, perhaps. Not for me.

Like Contract, Riot has a vaguely retro feel to it, but the sound is simultaneously trancier and more organic, and thus preferable (to these ears at least), plus there’s a great flutey break at around 3.30, featuring a motif that plays through the rest of the track. It lifts the tune, no doubt, but not quite enough to make it essential. And the funny thing is, neither of these two tracks is anywhere near as strong as the – count ’em – six tracks given away for zilch and nada on the recently rejuvenated Kick the Drum’s Soundcloud page. These are free for you to download and trust me, you should. Pick of the crop is Zoid’s own Panic Attack, which uses a Goodfellas sample and packs a filthy kick, while A.P.’s 9bar goes for full-on screechy 303, Distek’s Praktikal does funky tribal and The Badger’s It’s Not Rock ’n’ Roll, It’s Acid uses a weirded-up sample of John Lennon (I think) to superb effect. All told, there’s about eight quids’ worth of free tunes available – uncompressed, too – and they’re all outstanding. If Kick the Drum’s proper releases are anywhere near this good, then we’re in for a treat.

Here’s a mix I made of… well, it’s a bit daft to say it’s the ‘best’ Acid Techno of 2011 so far, since I can’t possibly presume to be familiar with it all but this is the best Acid Techno of 2011 that I’ve heard, at least.

The tracklisting is…

D.A.V.E The Drummer - Acid In The Box
D.A.V.E The Drummer & Chris Liberator - Twinkle Toes
Jamie C - Shitbag
Sterling Moss - Never Give In
A.P - Can't Get Enough
Syndrome – MFT (D.A.V.E. The Drummer Remix)
Austin Corrosive - The Drums
Ben Fraser - Tek Stream
Nitronoise - Missed F*ck
DDR And James Kinetic - The Cross Joint
D.A.V.E. The Drummer & Tassid - Keep It Going
Sterling Moss - Rock N Rolla
Chris Liberator & Darc Marc - Happy Birthday LSD
Nitronoise - Acid Crumble
A.P - Ride It
D.A.V.E The Drummer - Stop The System
Chris Liberator, Sterling Moss & Maxx - Deadly Swine
Hectech - Lock'n Loud

Cat no: Hydro 043
Release date:

Shadow of my Former Self
BPM: 131
Majestic. A dark and tightly wound exercise in echo-chamber melancholy, resounding with malign atmospherics that build to a fidgety but devastating climax – the sort of thing you could imagine in a Dave Clarke set.

Speak and Spell **
BPM: 130
A very clean kick and crisp percussion kicks things off, then at 2.58 an electronic scream ushers in the darkness. I didn’t really get this on the Soundcloud clips, but loud or on headphones, it sounds utterly phenomenal and supremely creepy, and it builds to a break that sounds like an apocalypse of the undead. A brilliant track, although I wish I could work out what the speak-and-spell guy is actually saying.

Speak and Spell (Hydraulix Mix)
BPM: 130
Er… okay. Doesn’t really bring a great deal to the party, if I’m honest. The horrorshow intensity of the original is missing, and it doesn’t have the pile-driving power of the Warehouse Mix.

Speak and Spell (Warehouse Mix)
BPM: 130
An awesome, space-filling monster with a filthy, juddering kick. Even so, it’s the original mix for me; that break must be one of the best of the year so far. Incidentally, if you’re into downloading, the whole EP is (currently) an absolute steal for £1.39 on Junodownload. However, tracks are normally £1.39 a pop, so it could be a clerical error.


Cat no: SWP 04
Release date:

The Box **
BPM: 144
If it sounds dismissive to designate a track as a bridge or as filler, well it’s not, and certainly not when you get tunes as good as this, from the ever-present and ever-dependable Ganez. Food for sure, but gourmet French food: kickdrum from start, sirens from 1.00 in; a cracking, banging track, full of event, that sounds frankly phenomenal from inside the vortex. Imagine the truck chase from The Dark Knight set to music – with extra sirens.

BPM: 138
A slightly less interesting version of Bogota (below). Well, not ‘version of’, as such, except that Bogota deos everything this does, but while wearing more colourful trousers.

BPM: 140
Get you, hiding at the back of the EP and being hard and funky and pleasingly riffy from start to finish. Bogota doesn’t really go anywhere or do anything, but the central riff, which remains pretty unchanging from start to finish is chunky and cool and ensures the EP has a life beyond the title track.

Cat Number:  elek109
Release Date:  28/04/11

The Prayer (Original mix)
BPM: 132
With a low, space-filling kick – a real ribcage-rattler straight out of the Surgeon book of Common Prayer ­– this hits a solid, attacking groove right from the off and there it stays, essential nutrients for DJs, techno baked the way we’ve always liked it.

The Prayer (D.A.V.E. the Drummer mix) **
BPM: 132
Still operating in can’t-put-a-foot-wrong mode, Cullen calms down the warehouse drums but goes tonto on the bassline, introducing all manner of weirdy noises and slowly ramping up tension to supply the build-and-release dynamics we simple-minded acid heads enjoy. At about 4.00 it gets head-messingly horror carnival and trippy-dark, sealing the track’s utter magnificence.

The Prayer (Simone Barbieri Viale remix)
BPM: 128
Slower, slightly more polite version, lacking either the locked-down brutality of the Original mix or the dark psychedelia of Cullen’s mix.

True Spirit
BPM: 133
Finally a more explicit nod to Tresor that rearranges parts of The Prayer into a slightly smoother whole.

Get it from: Junodownload

Cat no: Scythe 08
Release date:

MFT (D.A.V.E the Drummer remix) **
BPM: 142
There’s a reason this is on the A-side, and that’s because it’s a masterpiece: a flat-out, hands-down, solid-gold, woah-mama-I’m-home classic. People will be hearing this record and feeling like I felt when I first heard Unlucky Punk by Magnum Force, or when you first heard [insert the name of the acid techno record that nailed it all for you here]. I’m not sure it’s a game-changer as such, because I’m not sure it’s even possible to make a game-changing record now (and look forward to being proved wrong about that) but it is an almost perfect example of the artform, and it rocks. Credit goes to the original, of course; the nuts and bolts are already there, especially that amazing, deep, dystopian vocal, intoning, ‘this is fuckin’ techno, Melbourne fuckin’techno’. Otherwise the man born Henry Cullen takes every single element and beefs it up. The track leaps out of the blocks with a hard but undistorted kick, bouncy percussion and then straight into the vocal sample, that Henry’s beefed up, instinctively aware how bloody awesome it is. Now come layers of bassline, the 303 building, the kick getting harder, and each time you think it’s got as hard and as fast as it’s going to get, it goes up a notch. I remember hearing Vision Creation Newsun by The Boredoms for the first time and feeling the same way I feel when I listen to this record. That it’s not going to wimp out on me; that it has somehow intuited exactly what I want it to do and what I want it to do is go to the next level. If The Boredoms ever made an acid techno record, this is the record they’d make. At 5.10 there’s a break that lifts the top of your head off with whooshing DnB atmospherics and that awesome end-of-the-world voice, then back it comes, with a smooth, rushy finish and the acid taken to its absolute max. Perfect. The only problem with it, really, is how the hell do you follow it?

MFT (original mix)
On his Soundcloud page, Steve ‘Syndrome’ Clark says, ‘This track came about due to the frustration I was having with Melbourne events. People advertising events with the theme of hard techno and all you get is minimal. So I turned on my studio and put all that frustration onto my machines, voiced my opinion and MFT was the result.’ Just below that there is comment from D.A.V.E the Drummer: ‘Like it, mate, good work,’ and never was a truer word spoke. It’s a choppier, slightly less-sure-of-itself mix than either of the other two on the record, but it still rocks hard and listening to his Soundcloud offerings (check them out here) there are plenty more where that came from. Bring them on I say.

MFT (Chris Mate remix)
BPM: 142
As with all three mixes, the sample pulls into a new and and exciting dimension, and the 303 is gratifyingly hard, plus at about 5.00 there’s a build that starts off sounding like distorted strings and ends up like a dive-bomber, which is a fantastic moment, and has a welcome repeat later on. It’s brilliant. Any other time, it would saunter off with the honours held high, but that A-side is like the call of a Lily Cole-shaped Siren: sexy and deadly and not to be ignored. D.A.V.E the Drummer’s having a brilliant year. I read recently (On here, in fact) that he’s had three months off the grog. Maybe that’s the secret…

Cat no:
Acid Techno 001
Release date: 22/02/11

Acid Crumble – Nitronoise**
BPM: 145
Either Injector Records are new or this EP is their first foray into Acid Techno, I’m not sure which; either way, Acid Crumble was the track I heard first, prompting me to download the whole EP (it’s download-only, this one). It’s a long, ambitious track that hits the ground running with a hard kick so polished you can almost hear it gleam, has something happening every eight bars, whether it’s a swoosh, a stutter or a little backwardsy sound, then a supple acid line that swings by at about 2.15. There are vocal samples plucked from suburban America, ‘You parked in front of my driveway!’ etc. but it’s not clear how they tie into the title, if indeed they do, and then a distinct third section that actually sounds like a different track. Overall it’s a cracking tune that sounds nice and fizzy in the mix as long as you like a busy, crowded sound, because there’s literally never a dull moment with it.

No Supply  – Fil Devious
BPM: 147
When I first came across the name Fil Devious, many moons ago, I fondly imagined Fil from Back to the Planet was following in the footsteps of Guy McAffer and D.A.V.E. the Drummer and that, just as many of the cast of Predator have gone into US politics, so it was with members of Back to the Planet and acid techno. My red face when I discovered that Fil is a bloke from Wales! Lucky I never told anyone, eh? Fil’s always quality, whether it’s his mixes or production, and this is no diffrerent, a bit less peak time than Acid Crumble, perhaps, a prelude to the storm, rather than the storm itself.

Acid Train – Nitronoise
BPM: 145
This is too quiet; it actually sounds as though it’s been mastered lower than the rest of the set. Is it worth reaching for the gain? Well, it’s a bouncy, lively track, with busy 303 stabs all over, but lacks the je ne sais quoi of Acid Crumble and rather sounds as though, with this train, the lads from Nitronoise had (wait for it; it’s coming) run out of steam!

Nomenospace – Projekt 51
BPM: 150
The trouble with this is it’s just not banging enough for the speed of it, if that makes sense. It’s all a bit laid back for 150BPM, plus there’s a repeated vocal of a guy saying, ‘We were born to dance,’ when everybody knows we were born to run.

Cat no: Cluster 90
Release date:

Deadly Swine **
BPM: 145
Great swacky noises and a big-boy kickdrum open the A-side, which thunders along with a sinister build until a short break around the halfway mark, kicking back in at 3.05. It’s not about build-and-release here, though, it’s about the head-messing noises and restless screeching that give the whole thing a sense of barely controlled, nervy psychosis. Majestic stuff, and one of the best tunes of this year so far.

Fuck that Beat
BPM: 145
‘Fuck that beat’ says the sample. Or does it? Perhaps it says ‘rock’ or even ‘ruck’ that beat – neither of which improves matters. The track itself isn’t that bad, and I dare say that if you stripped out the sample it might be okay as a tool. But as it stands it’s a not-as-exciting Dr Jekyll to Deadly Swine’s menacing Hyde.