Amir Alexander – The Butterfly (Argot)
The Argot story began back in 2012 with an absolute game changer of a release. That release was from Amir Alexander. That release was Gutter Flex. Fast forward to 2016 and Argot continues to go from strength to strength and it’s great to see Amir come back into the fold with a new release that’s up there with his last offering.
We kick off with “The Butterfly (The Monarch)” which is a brooding and intense affair. The track slowly builds tension with distorted lyrics putting the listener on an uncomfortable footing. Up next is “Black Mass” which still has some of the intensity of the first track, but this time with more depth and groove. Finally the EP is rounded off with shades of Detroit as the wandering synths and 909 snares of “Many False Prophets” sooths all ills. This is a great record – don’t miss out.
October and Borai – Happy Skull 009 (Happy Skull)
Happy Skull are back. This Bristol triptych of Borai, October and HS are proving once again, if proof be needed, that the capital of the West Country is as musically fertile as it has ever been. This pair are long term studio collaborators, with a string of rather excellent joint EPs behind them.
We’ve got two tracks here; both being great dancefloor material but not worrying too much about slotting into the tried and tested tropes. First up “Necessary Force” wears its EBM influences on its sleeve while not falling into the pastiche trap. Over on the flip we have “Nine Tomorrows” which is the pick for me. We’re still in industrial-ish territory with a lovely, unstoppable momentum to the track. Top marks.
Blackhall and Bookless – Links EP (Jaunt Records)
Jaunt Records may be in their infancy but they look set to become a go-to label for quality dancefloor techno. The promise they've shown over their first three releases continues into their latest 12" from the label heads Blackhall and Bookless. It's very much a heads down affair across all four tracks, bringing in influences from across the techno spectrum. This isn't knock your block off techno, but that record you'd reach for to keep the groove going. They even bring Don Williams in for an excellent remix of the title track. TIP
Vernon Felicity – Atlantis EP (Delft)
Boris Bunnik returns to his fertile Vernon Felicity moniker to deliver a 4 track EP for the excellent Delft. Across his many aliases, including the much lauded Conforce, Boris has dropped some of the deepest and most classy productions of the past few years. This current crop focuses on functional dancefloor acid but that is not to say this is a throw away record. No, there’s more detail and depth here than initially meets the eye. A case in point is the lazy swing and mouth-watering heft of the beat in “Rdmx8” with the niggling little acid line over the top. Oh and then there’s the kick drum of “Atlantis” that could swallow you whole. ]