Neu! Neu!! Neu!!! Neu!!!! Neu!!!!!
Quince - Sole Trader
I can hardly fathom how the people over at Delsin keep the quality of their releases so vertigineously high. Quince has been making ace tracks since his first release and this is another scorcher of a beauty beyond compare that does not neglect the dance floor part either. Heavily influenced by Carl Craig (Who else?) it is the kind of techno you always think they stopped making ages ago. Lots of warm strings, sharply tuned jump chords and ecstatic melodic highs remind you that Detroit techno remains the yardstick for emotionally satisfying techno.
Syncom Data - Beyond the Stars
Dubby techno business, also hailing from the Netherlands. The A-side is a fine techno dub with rootsy lyrics, while the flip harbours a beatless Carl Craig style workout that is all strings and trancey sounds, and a more rave-inspired techno track that pumps up the bpm's and will fit nicely into an inspired retro set.
Redshape - Dog Day
Single-sided monster from the maestro that has Derrick-May-in-1989 written all over it. Rave sounds are back on the block it would seem. The percussion is all Transmat, the beats hiphop. Hell of a combination.
Âme - Balandine
Why is everybody shouting about that grossly overrated 'Fiori', when this is so much better? Âme's music seems to be taking on a more epic strain with each new release, but you can not complain when they keep on producing this kind of quality. Another awesome duo, with the title track being the more ingeniously structured of the two, while 'Eoni' sticks to one good idea and makes the most of it. Innervisions rules!
Fuse presents Steve Bug
I included this one just to signal that Foremost Poets' 'Reasons to Be Dismal' (orginally released on the mighty Nu Groove) is available again on a nice fat pressing. Thanks for that, Mr. Bug. And you get two more excellent minimal techno tracks on the flip. Nice!
Wolfsdorf und Freunde
Shackleton - Blood on My Hands (Ricardo Villalobos Apocalypso Now Mix)
I just can't get this out of my head ("When I see the towers fall, fall, fall..."). Depressing and endless in a cosmic way at the same time. Why they felt the need to split the track in two halves will remain a mystery forever. But then you always have the cd-version for that experience, I suppose. My record of the year, for sure.
Beck - Cellphone's Dead (Villalobos & Ellen Allien Remixes)
Allien's version is not too bad, but couldn't possibly compete with Ricardo's already classic remix. Again Villalobos keeps it dark and moody by accentuating the spooky Gregorian chant-style sample. Anyone who wants to see his remix end up in the 2007 listings better take heed of the mighty Ricardo.
Not so M_nus
Marc Houle - Bay of Figs
Two M_nus related releases to end this round-up. Houle's double-pack is dangerously perfect minimal. And by 'minimal' I mean funky Daniel 'DBX' Bell bleeps and Hawtin spaceousness. The term 'DJ-friendly' seems to be invented for this record.
VA - Spaceships and Pings
I bought this one a few months ago, but it keeps getting better and better. So I thought, why not write a bit about this one? It was released in 2006 on Items And Things, which is a M_nus sub managed by the Magda-Houle-Pierce trio (aka Run Stop Restore). Each of the bosses get a track, with Magda going in an electro direction, Marc Houle opting for his usual spare electro-ish style and Troy Pierce keeping it moody and technoïd, the result not to dissimilar to his Louderbach alias. Konrad Black delivers the best track, though, here deviating from his usual atmospheric minimalism with a driving melodic Italo disco synth stomper. Very nice package! Catch it if you can.