Archive for May, 2012

Not a review, this, but a preview (ooh, get me) of Kick the Drum 003, on which KTD bossman and FAT Collective geezer Zoid comes loaded for bear with two absolute bangers. One of the most interesting producers around, Zoid’s always been something of a restless ideas man, and if on the downside that means his tracks can occasionally sound a tad overloaded – Positive Therapy, I’m looking at you – then when he gets it right, the results slap you upside the head. And on this release – for my money one of his best – they do. They really do.

Atmosphere would rock even if it was just about the drums. They boom and roll, like the distant sound of an approaching mek squadron. Never a man to shy away from a vocal sample, he’s used a film quote, but it’s buried inaudibly deep in the mix for a change, more for ghostly texture than to boss the track; while finally, a nightmarish carnival organ sound punches the tune into top gear. The result is, in a word, whoosh. In two, fucking whoosh.

Next Door’s Cat repeats Atmosphere’s trick of being funky, tribal and hard, with seemingly endless circular riffs repeated throughout a mix that’s busy but not crowded. I haven’t forgotten to mention the acid, by the way. There isn’t any. Yeah, that’s right, bitches, there isn’t any: this is pure techno. And the fact is, there aren’t many producers making it with this kind of funk and melody at this BPM, which is all the more reason to forget about the Diamond Jubilee and hang out your bunting for this instead. How good is it? How good? Ingrid good.

Get it from: 909 (eventually, release date not yet confirmed)

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This latest from Serial Thriller, aka A.P, kicks off with a line of Coke, which has a cool, sneering acid line, although I don’t much care for the repetitive vocal. No, for me, this is all about the B-side, Do You Surrender? Exactly the kind of sonic attack we’ve come to know and love from A.P: layers coming slowly together, an exercise in controlled tension, then, at 5.45 going supernova, ripping up through the gears and ending up in his most intense and punishing outro since the phenomenal Off Ya Box. Brilliant, absolutely brilliant.

Get it from: 909

Braingravy boss Mills pays homage to Stay Up Forever, with two old skool bangers full of high-pitched, mid-nineties 303 that tussle around a series of breakdowns with all the energy and appeal of enthusiastic Labrador pups. Let’s be honest here, if you’re reading this, chances are these kind of acid lines elicit an almost Pavolvian response in you and both tracks are practically guaranteed to get your serotonin bubbling. Pirate Radio is efficient, dirty, bordering on a DJ tool; SUF Forever, meanwhile, is an absolute gem – all about that acid line, which has been tweaked and crafted to within an inch of its hypnotic life, and about two-thirds of the way through rises to almost unbearable levels of peakiness before galloping to the finish line. Superb, have a Jenny Agutter.

Get it from: 909

Polluted clouds hang in dark skies like blackened organs and a rumble in the distance tells us the end of the world is coming. The Storm EP, which is not only a cracking illustration of the 303 as storyteller but a masterclass in sustained dread, is what it sounds like.

Opener Calendar Maya by Sandro Galli (128 BPM) sets the scene, its title recalling the long-standing Mesomerican prediction that it’s curtains for mankind at the end of this year, on 21st December, to be precise. Booming, cavernous sounds and fragments of white noise add to the sense of impending doom. If Zenith by Jeff Mills had a psychotic twin, then here it is.

Church Tank by Minimum Syndicat, meanwhile, radiates the menace of a bare swinging lightbulb in an empty basement and sounds like a lost track from Plastikman’s Sheet Music crossed with the nightmarish musique concrete at the beginning of Texas Chainsaw Massacre. Acidulant’s Sound (134 BPM) maps outlands of aural paranoia. Two acid lines pulse and tumble, while on the fringes lurk strange, hypnotic noises, perfect for inducing a psychotic break should you need one in a hurry.

Walter One’s Bubble (150 BPM): what to say? How about that it’s a trance number that does absolutely nothing for me? Okay, and moving on, Erik Al-Yen’s Fantasy (130 BPM) is a serviceable thumper with a lovely grease smudge of a kick and a 303 that bubbles like lava streams, while playing us out, Scam’s Amethyst (128 BPM) broods like a cuckold with a loaded gun, simmering acid and snatches of speech appearing from within the dark mist. You like dark techno, sir? You like the acid? You’ll love this. In fact, I’d say that with the exception of the Walter One track, which I’m sure is fine, just not my kind of fine, you liking this applies right across the board. This is a great EP, tough enough to muscle in on your mix, textured enough for pure listening, and comes highly recommended. Check it out on Soundcloud here.


This, as they say, is Melbourne fucking Techno, four of Melbourne Acid’s leading lights on a cracking EP with nods to the old skool, plenty of bang for your buck, plus plenty of proper, what-the-hell-are-they-smoking weirdness.

Things kick off with Syndrome’s Lost in Transit (146 BPM), a woozy tune beamed in from a cracked-open, dying dimension. All the parts have made it through but in various states of malfunction and decay. Only the 303, solid little trooper that he is, seems unaffected by the carnage, holding things together as riffs and vocals explode like planets into echo and distortion around him. This is the music playing inside Grant Morrison’s head, and it’s ace.

Likewise, Gear by DTM (145 BPM)seems cut from a different sonic template, scuffing up an already muffled kick and distorted sound effects into a storm-blown live sound that’s at once hypnotic and distorientating. Up next, n3ocOrt3x’s New Realm (145 BPM) sounds like it’s about to fall to pieces in the middle then fires into a life with a doozy of a kick– a doozy – the whole thing sounding like a battle fought at the gates of a medieval castle.

Rabbits favourite dyLAB, meanwhile, does his dyLAB thing on EP closer Exhibit One (130 BPM). That thing being the precise, almost surgical application of 808 and 303. As usual, his is superior fare, and in this company he’s a mild-mannered professor, a welcome respite from the storm that came before.

Get it from: Beatport

Not only is Corrosive 909 04 a showcase for some of the best of what you might call the new guard of Acid Techno, but you can’t get a crusty credit card between the tunes, they’re that good. But, oh my God, someone’s put a gun to Cynthia’s puppy’s head and they’re forcing me to choose or the dog dies!

Well, Northern Monkey by Mobile Dogwash vs Pablo Sonic Terrorist plays host to one of Dogwash’s adamantium acid lines, and we always like to have a supply of those in the fridge in case of unexpected guests. So that’s a contender. Then you get Grim Reaper, courtesy of Tik Tok and The  ‘Atchet, which has a superb, fierce drop, fidgety acid, possibly the best break of the EP, and easily the best vocal sample of the EP. So that’ll be there or thereabouts.

Urk.

Meanwhile OB1 & MK303’s You Are a Machine has the old skooliest acid line of the bunch, alongside a dirty synth riff and an outro that’s as squealy and ace as The Rabbit’s Name Was, and will be getting a whole lot of play round here, so that’ll be in the running. While Zoid’s Spaced Out, on the other hand, is the EP’s most intense experience: industrial, hard and fast, downright scary, actually – so much so I was surprised to hear the Human Traffic sample halfway through, expecting something sci-fi or horror  – and then a thrilling machines-in-crisis end. For sheer, out-there insanity, when you need to frighten an old lady to death and claim the inheritance for example, it simply can’t be beat. Which also makes it a favourite.

And then you have Tassid’s Sketchie Fecker. And we love Tassid. We love Tassid because he in turn loves big BPMs and highwire acid lines, and never disappoints. Here he offers up the above in spades, with the addition of an insanely addictive synth melody which gives the track a really distinctive edge, underpinning some seriously agitated 303 work.

So, no. Can’t do it. Can’t choose between them. Sorry, Cynthia.

Get it from: 909 London


Wax Is All – Original Mix
The carnage kicks off with the original, a splendid tune from Eindhoven’s Jack Wax. And wow – someone’s been hiding their 303 genius under a Garry Bushell, because this totally rocks: the kick is chunky and clean, the 303s taught and sinewy, the melodies light and airy. I totally approve of the 142 BPM as well, which makes a nice change from the industry standard 145.

Wax Is All – Chris Liberator & Darc Marc Remix
Chris and Marc make good use of the ‘motherfucker’ sample – be rude not to, after all  – dial up the BPM to 148 and take a chisel to the acid sound. It’s a good day at the office for all concerned.

Wax Is All – D.A.V.E. the Drummer Remix
Suck my old brainpan, this is good. I mean, you’d expect it to be good from Dave, who in the last few years has been ringing the changes and producing his best work in the process, but this is quite something special. Lately he’s lowered the BPMs (but not completely deserted them, The Drums, anyone?) and in place of speed brought quality, and here it’s all in the bottom end, with a lovingly crafted kick so deep and cavernous it’s positively demonic, while shredding 303s take a blood-stained fire axe to the original. It rules, in other words.

Wax Is All – Sterling Moss Remix
Sterling’s mix is a cracker, just what you’d expect. Looser, funkier drums bring a tribal feel to the track – think the feel of his Streaker EP from last year – while busy riffs keep things skipping along. Being none too keen on either Riff Raff or Sick of Capitalism, which were his last two Acid tunes with Chris, I’m pleased to be loving a new tune with his name on it.

Wax Is All – Luke Creed Remix
Creed brings the madness, fiddling and treating every little sound like a crazy kid who glues the arms of dolls onto their foreheads.

Incidentally, here’s a Jack Wx mix on Soundcloud, Acid Techno classics, no less. We likey.