Planetary Assault Systems – Funk 22 Light Years – Part 1 & 2 (Mote-Evolver)
In my formative years, Luke Slater's Planetary Assault Systems was the epitome of what techno was to me. At times brutal, at times hypnotic, at times even funky, it was this ability to paint with many different shades that drew me to his uncompromising sound. Having put in over 20 years at the front line of techno, and with no sign of any slow down in the output, now is as good a time as any for a much deserved retrospective look at some of his work.
Part one focuses on the deep, churning “Dungeon” from 1997 with an excellent Ø (Phase) mix which has a lovely punch to it. Alongside these we have a quality Ben Sims edit of the chaotic but compelling “Gated”. For part 2 we revisit the pent up electronic funk of Kat from back in 2008 with a cracking Josh Wink mix. Both parts of this trip down memory lane are a must check for both long time fans or people new to the world of P.A.S. If you get a chance, go and take a look at Haiku, the flip side of the Kat release, which is one of the most beautiful techno tracks you'll hear.
Buy Part 1 HERE
And buy Part 2 HERE
Tilman/Johannes Albert – Fine 001 (Fine)
Fine is a new imprint set up by the two protagonists Tilman and Johannes Albert, giving them a space to create and push their own brand of house music that blends subtlety, warmth and groove. These guys first collaborated when Johannes dropped a quality EP on Tilman's Klamauk label, and so it's great to see these guys together once again. The creative fit seems spot on. On offer here are four tracks that slot together nicely while still keeping their own personal slants clearly visible. Tilman's offerings are warm, open and yet still aimed just enough to the left of the straight and narrow. Tracks that I'll keep coming back to again and again. Over on the flip Johannes' two contributions are a tour de force of bright yet hypnotic club tracks that feel effortless. This is a fantastic first release. I'm looking forward to hearing more of what these guys have in store.
Om Unit – Friend of Day (Idle Hands)
Over the years Om Unit has managed to make his name synonymous with innovative, shapeshifting drum & bass music. His constant pushing of boundaries means it's no surprise that he's changing tack to serve up an EP of warped, slow motion house and techno and pulling it off with aplomb. Cross pollination has always been the driver of innovation in the UK and this is a great example of someone bringing a different viewpoint and making something fresh. Bristol record-shop-come-label have been putting out some of the strongest releases of the last 12 months so this collaboration feels like it has success written all over it.
We kick off with the title track which, while very nice, feels like the most conventional of the three. It's slow, emotive and very pleasing but it's when we move onto the next two that we really get to the protein of this musical sarnie. Next up, “Basement Superman” is a low BPM dub-techno monster that is both spacious and intense. Rounding things off is “What If” which, out of the three, is the most likely to make it into my critically acclaimed Dj sets. With a lazy bassline, clanging delays and subdued pads this is in perfect warm up territory.
Kepler Sound District – KS001 (Kepler Sound)
Well I stumbled across this gem completely by accident and I'm very glad I did! Kepler Sound is a new imprint from the LA/Berlin based Urulu and if this first release is anything to go to then it's a label you need to add to your “listen on sight” list. This material is a clear departure from his Urulu sound, moving away from the beautiful, sample led house music that you can hear on his releases on labels like Voyage and Let's Play House into a sound with a more electronic heart. Bright, open house bleeding into techno bleeding into electro, with warm pulsing basslines and crystal clear percussion. This really is a special release.
Omar S – Free EP (No Label)
A lot of free downloads fly around the inter-ether these days, some very good, most not so good. This latest one, however, is possibly the best one I've heard. Two free tracks from Omar S, and not just a couple of duffers that are being dumped out into the digital thoroughfare like the contents of some kind of electronic bed pan. Ok it's Omar S and we all know the (much deserved) hype that surrounds him, but try to put that out of your mind and focus just on the music. These two tracks are leagues ahead of most of the music that sees full releases these days, let alone given away for free. Raw club tunes that ooze quality.
Barrington Levy – Praise His Name (Jam Can)
If there is one voice that never fails to send shivers up my spine it is the voice of Barrington Levy. The seminal vocalist has one of the most stand out styles of any genre, let alone reggae and dancehall. The reissue of this absolute classic cut is dropping soon on the Jam Can imprint. You know what to do.
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