Archive for June, 2011

Cat no: AA25
Release date:
Get it from: Beatport

There’s a Cornish flavour to the latest from Melbourne’s dyLAB, who acknowledges the debt to Rephlex’s Universal Indicator on his site. Just as he did with his previous EP, Wordsmith Project, where he worked from a template of trippy Chicagoan Acid, he’s revisiting the epochal 303 of our youth and tickling it into the new millennium with a fresh layer of sounds. Thus the Filter In EP is Mike Dred and Aphex acid but with bounce – a bit of dancefloor poke. And if it seems unusually expansive of him to so readily acknowledge his sources, then that’s because he knows full well that he’s bringing something new to the party. As Utah Saints would say, something good. It’s rare to find someone who works so diligently and with such perfectionism in their chosen field, but if that’s what you want, and who doesn’t, then dyLAB’s the droid you’re looking for.

The EP works as a whole. Really? Yes, really. It’s sixteen minutes thirty two seconds of analogue journey, of sounds that begin almost conventionally at Filter In One and finish fried and exhausted-but-happy by Filter In Three. Filter In One (130BPM) then, is probably the most floor-friendly of the set. It’s got a spacious bass drum and sudden outbreaks of distorted military drumming, like you used to hear in Sabres of Paradise records. Over that comes exquisite, high-frequency acid, a head fuck for sure, but a funky one. Filter In Two (130 BPM) is a more obstinate, testing offering, best heard when you’ve been softened up by One, with the drums taking a distinct second place to screaming, squabbling 303 lines. By Filter in Three (135 BPM) you’re hearing the final death throes of his machinery and, fittingly, it all ends suddenly, as though burnt out and blackened. In short, a brilliant EP. A masterful brew of acid worship and musical ambition from a producer happy to feed the head and feet.

Cat no: ET006
Release date: 29/04/11
BPM: 124

I don’t suppose I’m the only one who can point the trembling finger of blame at Emmanuel Top. My journey into acid roughly went: Hardfloor – Pump Panel  – Emmanuel Top – London sound. They’re the motherships, the standards by which all others are judged. So naturally it’s with bunting, candles on cakes and cheeks red from blowing up balloons that we greet the French producer’s return after almost a decade. The first thing to say is that he’s embracing current trends, so anybody looking for Lobotomie Part Two should look away now; things have gone a bit mnml and dubby in Topland. But of course that makes perfect sense if you think about it; he always was minimal in the Robert Hood sense of the word, so it’s a progression that totally suits his sound, which remains dark and locked in. And if his new work is less full-on than the Top of old, it still has that weight, that sense of sparse elements combining to produce something brooding and powerful. Of the three single-track releases on his own label, Attack this one, Dominos, is the one I’ve been reaching for most, mainly because it’s the most 303 heavy of them all. It is, in fact, a majestic acid workout. Epic and unhurried, there are no drops or breaks, no builds no climax, just a 909 and 303 for almost ten minutes. It sounds fantastic in a mix and by itself is is a hypnotic masterpiece. He’s got another release upcoming upcoming on Planete Rouge, but in even better news there’s apparently an album on the way. As someone who spent much of 1996 buried in Asteroid I have one word to say about that, and it’s whoosh.

Get it from: Juno

Cat no: SUF Projects 004 
Release date:

Lincolnshire Sausages**
BPM: 145
Never let it be said that acid techno is afraid to confront the big issues of the day. A sausage tax in Lincolnshire is the subject under discussion here, Lincs producer Jamie Taylor framing this issue with upbeat and funky drums, then a bright old-skool acid line. ‘Would you like some Lincolnshire sausages?’ it asks at one point, and yes I am feeling a little peckish, actually, now I’m able to face solids. Happily the track rocks, so you get to say, It’s a banger!

Amusement Park
BPM: 145
It’s been kicking around for a while, this track, first turning up on Jamie’s Soundcloud page about a year ago and finding favour with Chris Liberator among others. And it’s easy to see why. It’s one of those tracks that just sounds so… I don’t know, assured, like James Coburn in acid techno form. A smooth unhurried kick is lifted by a Bill Hicks sample – this one, in fact – while low-key acid flits among surprisingly silky percussion. It’s a great track but even so, the knockabout old-skool sound of the A side gets my vote.

Get it from909 London

Cat no: 100242 66
Release date:

Liam Loves Acid
BPM: 144
This is the sound going round the head of a sweaty hold-up guy in a Dirty Harry film: proper, hard, no-messing acid pretty much from the get-go. From 2.13 a tense breakdown builds to the long goodbye and we’re left slightly shaken and thinking two things: firstly, now that it’s all over and we’ve stepped out into the chill morning air, maybe that 303 could have been developed just a touch more; and secondly, it doesn’t really matter, because those drum sounds: wow.

Saturator 2 **
BPM: 143
Elements of Liam Love Acid reappear in tweaked form and what was nervy and paranoid takes on an even more sinister feel. The result is a horror film soundtrack at 143 BPM, and horror film soundtracks at 143 BPM make life worth living.

Get it from: Juno

Cat no: Yolk 90902
Release date:

Chris Liberator & Sterling Moss – Pressure
BPM: 140
A Chris Lib/Moss collab is always a thing of great joy. And though our rapture is tempered somewhat by the lack of any 303, Pressure’s still an essential release as well as being a signpost to where these guys are currently at, which is, in a word: fastandhardfunkytribaltechno. Here, a well-fed kick and a simple sawing line is enough to sustain it to a series of brilliantly staged timebomb breaks after the halfway mark. And if it lacks some of the pyrotechnics of Sterling’s other new release on Keep on Techno, that doesn’t matter. It rocks like a beast.

Sterling Moss – Uppercut **
BPM: 142
I can see why this is on the flip but it’s probably the more interesting track, and so gets the double asterisk of delight. Full-on bad-tempered drums trade blows with various bad-trip noises. It sounds faster than it actually is, but in a hard and nasty acid techno set this would be welcomed like a long-lost brother.

Get it from: 909 London

Hearing a ton of good stuff upped to Soundcloud got me wanting to do a mix, so here it is. All fantastic stuff, all downloaded from Soundcloud and all absolutely free.

The tracklisting is…

Zafer Gürkan Ağırman - Heavy Rain
DyLAB - May Acid Pattern
Shugsy - Acidpants
Balzano - Tracigd
Otz - Analogue Monster
Robert Babicz - Remote Kiss (K.Larm & J.Raninen Remix)
Reverse Forward - For God's Sake
Gerome Sportelli - Polyform
The Setup - Acid Fashion Redux
David Diagonal - Umbilical 303
Distek - Praktikal
DJ Mente - Acid Biker 2011
Neatcorp - batty7
Philacid - Dioxid
Son Of Mom - Acid For Life
Nuwinski Vs n3oc0rt3x - whatever man
Jonnay - Effing Creeper
Justin E - Acid wobble
Special Patrol - The Special Patrol Group
Jamie C - Tribal Acid Oldskool
Sisku Acid - Infected Sound
Northeus - Museumstreetmuggings
Homemade Acid - Acidist
Tassid - Psilocybin
Zafer Gürkan Ağırman - Heavy Rain

Cat no: AA22
Release date:
Get it from: Beatport

Three-oh-three rapture hisses from every valve of a perfectly engineered release from Melbourne’s dyLAB, a producer evidently enamoured, not only with the sound of acid’s old skool, but also with its founding principles: the idea of the acid as experimental counterpoint to the marching rhythm of house and techno; as an ever-expanding fractal, as psychedelic graffitti on the austerity of a four-four beat. There are seven tracks here and they can be sampled via his Soundcloud page, or his blog, where he explains the genesis of the project thus: ‘The EP is based around the concept of using the Roland TB-303 as a typewriter, and writing short words or phrases using the notes of the 303 and seeing what works, musically. The rhythms all come from the Roland TR-707, some live and some multitracked.’

Kicking things off is BAD Version Two (140 BPM)** which fuses the speed and structure of more fearsome acid techno to a kaleidoscopic, echoing acid pattern, the result being a mini masterpiece of hypnotic 303. It’s the pick of the EP and certainly the one that lends itself best to a faster techno set. Meanwhile BAD (130 BPM) is a more explicitly house treatment, while the original of CAGEDFACE shades it over the second version (both 130 BPM) by having just that bit more thump. FAG and DEAD (both 130 BPM) strip things way back to the Windy City, but with a far brighter sound – like a Blu-Ray version of 1980s acid house – while EP closer A Fag Gagged Bad (130 BPM) is an itchy unsettling tune that I genuinely can’t say whether I like or or not, so I won’t try. As a whole, a superb EP, and a brilliant introduction to the DyLAB sound and philosophy, an approach he expands further on upcoming release In Filter, which we’ll get to in due course…

Cat no: KOT 046-X
Release date:

Streaker **
BPM: 140
London’s finest on Fer BR’s Croatian Keep on Techno label and the result is as big, funky and tribal as you could wish for – with a bit of Hackney sleaze thrown in for good measure. The standout is this one. You hear the drums first and then a hellish misfit marching band shimmies, struts and staggers into town. A band of witch doctors, revenants and soothsayers; of fallen women, disgraced nobility, drug addicts and Jesus freaks. All of them consumed by rhythm: hard, driving drums, bandstand percussion and insistent chanting that grips hard for nigh-on eight minutes and will not let go. It’s hard and hypnotic; it sticks two fingers up to minimal; it puts the lotion on its skin.

Long Player
BPM: 140
Like the rest of the EP this is tough, house-referencing techno that finds its groove and stays there, snarling at anybody foolhardy enough to get too close, even Pippa Middleton – even if she was wearing ‘that dress’. Blake Baxter used to make tracks likes this, ones that talked Chicago, walked Detroit. He probably still does for all I know.

BPM: 140
Remember how on Game Form and Ten Four Joey Beltram took house and threw it to the techno pit, where it got mauled and mutilated and reshaped into something crunchy and hard but funky as all fuck? Sterling Moss does. Try not to nod your head to this. It’d be like eating a doughnut without licking your lips.

Get it from: Juno