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Music

VA / Surgeon: Fabric 53 (Mix CD, Fabric, August 2010)

As you would expect, Surgeon’s mix for Fabric is highly skilled and inventive. It may be restrained by his standards (there is nothing like the moment in his This Is For You Shits mix on Warp where he drops Whitehouse’s Dumping The Fucking Rubbish), but for Fabric it’s pretty adventurous. It’s mostly good hard techno, with […]

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Byetone: Death Of A Typographer (CD, Raster-Noton, June 2008)

When it was released, this caused something of a stir, being a Raster-Noton record that featured tunes. I mean, it’s not exactly going to get hands in the air down at the Ministry of Sound, but there are definitely catchy moments in Olaf Bender’s bleeps and bloops. Nevertheless, it still has that Raster-Noton feel about […]

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Elektro Guzzi: Elektro Guzzi (CD, Macro, June 2010)

I’m generally suspicious of live techno: without that machine-tooled precision, it can end up muddy and uninteresting: you wanted vorsprung durch technik and you got a touch of the Flintstones. And this is very live: there’s a guitarist, and a bassist, and a drummer, and it they are (the sleeve proudly states) recorded without overdubs. The producer […]

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ANBB: Mimikry (CD, Raster-Noton, September 2010)

Oh boy. When I first read that Alva Noto was making a record with Blixa Bargeld, I was pretty excited. When I heard the first previews, I was very excited: they were breath-taking. And when I finally got the album, well, it was even better than I’d expected. Oh boy. I adore the work of […]

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Robert Hood: Omega (CD, M-Plant, June 2010)

This is the Detroit legend’s imaginary soundtrack for the 1971 movie The Omega Man, a zombie-apocalypse sci-fi job starring Charlton Heston and featuring a hefty Christian subtext. I’ll admit now that I haven’t seen the movie or heard Ron Grainer’s score, so for me the film itself is imaginary. Still, the album holds up very nicely […]

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Music

Patrick Pulsinger: Impassive Skies (CD, Disko B, July 2010)

This is kind of frustrating. There’s some really good stuff on this. Nice drum programming, nice rich organic sound, lots of good ideas. But it just doesn’t hang together as an album — it feels more like a showcase of Pulsinger’s range as a producer. This may be something to do with the fact that […]

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Music

Monolake: Silence (CD, Imbalance, December 2009)

If you don’t like Monolake (and there are fools out there who don’t, you know) then this probably won’t win you over. If you do, this will do very nicely thank you. Complex, stark, endlessly involving, and atmospheric, this is ultra-minimal headphones techno at it’s best. The thing that struck me most about this, compared […]

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Martin Buttrich: Crash Test (CD, Desolat, March 2010)

There is a lot of variety in this collection of 11 tracks of laid-back minimal. What unifies them is a production style which is detailed, deep, and assured. There’s nothing here that sets my world alight, but every track is superbly put together, and there’s a great warmth to it. I bought this from Boomkat. […]

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Music

Claro Intelecto: Metanarrative (CD, Modern Love, March 2008)

40 minutes of warm, melodic, dubby, huggy techno. It’s not going to set any dancefloors on fire, and it’s not going to win any prizes for experimentation. But when I pop this on the headphones, it makes me happy for a while, and that ain’t too bad. It has the soft (I believe the term […]

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Music

Carl Craig & Moritz von Oswald: Recomposed (Music by Maurice Ravel & Modest Mussorgsky) (CD, Deutsche Grammophon, October 2008)

In which the 2nd-generation Detroit deity and the more famous half of Basic Channel rip apart Ravel’s Bolero and Mussorgsky’s Pictures At An Exhibition, chuck in some old-skool drum machines and synths, and create a 64 minute techno megamix. It’s possibly too easy to call this symphonic techno. Also slightly misleading, as neither of the […]