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Apt: 021 x AV01


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Apt: 021 x AV01

May 4, 2019

Hackney, London

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20 Techno releases you need to hear this month


Artefakt 'Kinship' (Delsin)

Here’s some sultry, measured techno delivered by undoubtedly one of the finest purveyors of this style of music, Delsin Records. Artefakt are Robin Koek and Nick Lapien, who share a love of the kind of hypnotic, voodoo music which is the order of the day here. From those first tentative steps into ‘Kinship’ you can feel a sense of serenity, combined with a desire to lead you away from life’s ups and downs. A soothing atmosphere pervades as we’re led into the feather-light ‘Tapestry’, before things get slightly more energetic with ‘Entering The City’, which has more oomph but is still dreamlike and wistful. Prepare to have your eardrums massaged by beauties such as ‘Fernweh’, with its funky bassline, and ‘Return To Reason’, the LP’s toughest track which uses acid licks to great effect. This is a cast-iron winner, and a triumph for all involved.




Martin Buttrich & The Martinez Brothers '9 Pound Hammer' (Rhythm Assault)

Continuing Martin Buttrich’s ‘Collaborator’ series is this classy workout, made with The Martinez Brothers. Full of funk and odd little effects and vocal clips, it has a steady pace and gripping rhythm. It’s one of those techno rollers that goes on and on, refusing to relent. The bass keeps on driving, the bubbly effects keep on drawing you in and the weird vocal punctuates a stupendous breakdown.



Shenoda 'Burn' (Juxta Position remix) (AUS Music)

Shenoda’s rather jovial original gets a creepy rework courtesy of Juxta Position. He strips away the chirpy atmosphere, replacing it with a lurid vibe. The low-end stomps along with a dull thud, the kick pounding away mercilessly as a bunch of vocals and pads remain locked away in the background, filtered out but still present enough to lighten the mood slightly. After the breakdown, the original’s riff is slowly unleashed, brightening the final half of the track.



Landside 'Signs Of Change' (Robert Hood remix) (Just This)

Techno king Robert Hood is one of four high-profile names to get to work on remixes for Landside on this new EP. Etapp Kyle, Bambounou and Edanticonf also feature, but our man Hood takes ‘Signs Of Change’ to another level. Grabbing you by the jugular with its tough beats, his rework then bathes you in a sea of spine-tingling pads, which are soon joined by an analogue riff that submerges you deeper in its waters. A short breakdown is all that’s required to fully drive home how potent this is.


B. Traits 'Basic Scenario' (In Toto)

The BBC Radio 1 host and all-round DJ extraordinaire presents a new two-track EP from her own label In Toto, and it’s very good. There’s a subtle tribal rhythm at the core of this track, which oozes menace. After a minute or so, when the bassline and warped female vocal come in, it’s game on: there’s a magnetism to the track as it holds you in its tight grip, before beating you into submission with claps and a fearsome atmosphere.



Endian 'XS-10' (Secretsundaze)

One of the parties that was intrinsic to London’s mid-00s warehouse rave scene, Secretsundaze continue to fly the flag for good quality music, with events around the capital and Europe plus its trusty label. Endian keeps things tight and minimal at first on ‘XS-10’, resting a simple riff on top of a hefty kick and some sparse beats. It takes a little while, but smooth pads are gently ushered in around the three-minute mark and then things really get going.



VIEWS 'Modern Life' (UMH mix) (Tape Archive)

Spoiler alert: this track has a deceptive intro. We do like a track that switches things up, and this one does the switcheroo very well. A relatively smooth yet lively intro rolls out nicely before a wispy, cosmic breakdown leads into the main track, which has a huge analogue bassline and will undoubtedly cause mayhem wherever it’s played. The atmosphere remains electrified throughout, too, making it an absolute killer.



Lee Holman 'One Man Army' (Haiku remix) (Raw Waxes)

Haiku has impressed us with his minimal expertise before. Here, on his own label Raw Waxes, he remixes Lee Holman’s ‘One Man Army’, distilling its elements into a fuzzy and simplistic little number. One of those tracks that will catch you by surprise, it’s just over six minutes of looped bleeps, crunchy beats and not much more, but that’s where his skill lies; you can’t help but keep listening.



T-Scale 'Spookz' (Reposition)

Big, bolshy beats here from T-Scale. This track is one of those lovely productions that combines progression with rugged percussion and a gnarly atmosphere to really get the dancefloor pumped. From the start you can feel your adrenaline coursing through your veins; ‘Spookz’ feels like a battering ram once it lets loose, although T-Scale continues to keep things moving and evolving. By the end he’s switching the rhythm up every few seconds, so be prepared.



Mor Elian 'Echopark' (Finale Sessions)

The title track from this fresh EP has a wooden feel to it. We don’t mean the material though – it’s just natural and organic. Mor Elian provides a sombre atmosphere in which you can lose yourself, should you wish. Mellow techno is the order of the day, with crisp beats, a driving bassline and sweet effects keeping things light.



Dany Rodriguez 'D’story' (RMR)

Dany Rodriguez presents this almost agonisingly measured slice of jittery techno. Spread across six minutes, it constantly threatens to do some damage with a brooding mood pervading throughout. You can feel the power lurking but it’s filtered away, held captive while the analogue riff squirms and judders above it. How he manages to keep it that way is a mystery to us, but somehow he does – and manages to keep us rapt in the process, too.



JASSS 'Es Complicado' (Mannequin)

Slight curveball here, as we enter the world of JASSS. Combining futuristic and industrial sounds with a techno aesthetic, she plies us with thunderous beats and we’ll gladly keep soaking them up until we’re inebriated. You can hear electro influences in there, perhaps even a nod to Giorgio Moroder. It’s an absolute blast, and in a class of its own. Nothing we’ve heard this month sounds like this.



Jody Barr 'Erotic Sally' (Portable Minds)

Heavyweight drums, a hint of acid and a total earworm of a riff make this release a winner for us. Jody Barr drops this new two-track EP on his own Portable Minds label, furnishing us with two killer tracks. ‘Erotic Sally’ has all of the right ingredients, and he works us into a froth with his careful placement of the various elements. By the time the hair-raising breakdown finally comes in, you’re already beside yourself with excitement.



Merv 'Blank I' (Minimood)

Time for some serious dub action now, courtesy of Merv’s deep, hypnotic and bass-driven sound on this EP for Minimood. Clocking in at almost 10 minutes in length it’s a bit of an odyssey, so be prepared to be whisked away. The track stays true to its fundamentals and rarely deviates, but that’s where its power lies – looping you into a loop of a loop of a loop. Who knows, you may never return at all.



Dense & Pika 'Cartoon Heart' (Slam remix) (Kneaded Pains)

Slam take on remix duties for Dense & Pika’s ‘Cartoon Heart’, which lands on the latter’s Kneaded Pains label. The ominous atmosphere is perfectly complemented by the darkside slamming beats; it’s an uncomplicated slice of techno that operates on its ability to keep everyone nodding furiously, with a few core elements working off each other to make this an instant classic. Slam are masters of this kind of techno, and produce a faultless rework of D&P’s original.



Arjun Vagale & Ramiro López 'Oddball' (Odd Recordings)

India meets Spain on this debut release from Odd Recordings. The team behind it are also responsible for its first release, too: Arjun Vagale is one of India’s finest techno DJs and his friendship with Ramiro López has been the catalyst behind several releases as well as this new venture. ‘Oddball’ is typical of their dancefloor-orientated style, as a repeated vocal clip sits atop a funky bassline and stomping beats to create an all-out killer.



Andrew Whitwell 'Station' (Mode7)

Demonstrating the broad range of techno that’s out there right now, Andrew Whitwell takes us into the sublime end of things with four bright, spacious and galactic cuts. ‘Station’, in particular, has a glorious nature: the bassline is warm and comforting, slinky pads do the work at the top end, and a taut 4x4 rhythm pushes things along at a great pace. All those layers in tandem make this a special little number.


Spencer Parker 'The Perfect Size' (Work Them Records)

A nice Italo disco influence comes through on this new release from Spencer Parker. The electro riff on ‘The Perfect Size’ is straight out of deepest Milan circa 1982, while weighty beats slam down to provide it with a distinctly contemporary feel. Spencer keeps it tight and simple, looping the riff repeatedly and locking us in to its mesmerising rhythm. This one will go off big time on the dancefloor.



Raxon 'Sin Control' (Ellum Audio)

Raxon drops a new EP on the mighty Maceo Plex’s Ellum Audio label. Both cuts have been road tested by Maceo himself over the past few months, and it’s safe to say they pased the test with flying colours. ‘Sin Control’ has that familiar techy, bleepy, electro-esque and Plex-like feel to it; Raxon opts to loop the main riff over and over again, dropping it out just after three minutes to allow us a breather before those weighty beats continue to push forward.



The Empire Line 'Café Anglais' (AVIAN)

Shifted’s Avian label hosts four marauding slices of darkside techno from The Empire Line, aka Jonas Rönnberg and Christian Stadsgaard. This is a collection of music derived from a fertile creative space, a special EP which has a touch of class in every aspect. ‘Café Anglais’ is a spot-on cut which merges industrial influences with a techno aesthetic to create a highly alluring, yet unsettling, production.



Author: Marcus Barnes


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