Clouds: HTID (Electric Deluxe)

Clouds - HTID

I’ve always thought there’s a touch of Just William (as opposed to Action’s ‘Kids Rule OK’ – showing my age here heh) about these Perth lads. Nothing particularly burly (as some have said) or threatening at all, but more like opening the back door and finding two scruffy urchins standing on your step covered in mud with big grins on their faces, looking like they’ve been dragged through a hedge backwards; they tell you they’ve made something for you and from behind their backs they bring out…a mud pie! (or a 12″ even!) Cheeky chappies, always getting up to mischief, that sort of thing.

Their output gets filed as techno, but a lot of it plainly isn’t by a long shot. With the amount of mucky breakbeats and broken beats they toss around on each release it’s almost, dare I say it, often more breakcore-ish (in its freestylishness) if not a nod even to the days of Jungle Tekno? (check out last year’s ‘An Outrageous Fate Type’ and ‘DJ Ultra Greatsword’ EPs and make up your own minds).

There’s also an almost couldn’t-care-less, smeared-out, bleary veneer to their productions which also feeds this particular image of mine, not entirely pleasantly sometimes either. A bit like the stale fart fug coming from a teenage playstation/wank pit den; you just want to open all the windows and let some fresh air in. It’s as if they have their outputs set permanently through some low-pass filter? or maybe they’re just up all night and bombed off their heads on strong weed?

But that’s their style I guess – bass murk and rumblings a plenty and a kind of artful, semi-chaotic, looseness rather than the crisp, often sterile, punch and sheen of other genres/producers – and it definitely sets them apart from the rest of the techno massive.

It’s a no brainer really but ‘Fallout’ is the obvious stand out banger for me with its old school break/rave hoover and air raid sirens.

 

 

Vargdöd: Bitten

Vargdod

One of those tunes where I was casually listening to the radio (Verity Sharp/”Late Junction” BBC Radio 3, cooking mi dinner, as you do heh) but had to stop and listen with full concentration when this came on. It grabbed me by the scruff of my neck! Had me thinking of Unit Moebius/Den Haag “dirge” techno but with heavier production.

A fine builder that could go on and on, but ultimately leaves you hanging for more when it cuts dead at the peak (as the best often do). Damn it all.

Umwelt: Density

Umwelt_-_Density_-_Modal_Analysis

A faultless 4 tracker of gritty, sweeping, panoramic, industrial electro that somehow manages to successfully combine ultra warm, low end fuzz with frigid, Carpenteresque, dystopian rave shiver – like sweating and tripping hard on a warehouse dance floor in your bomber jacket, watching your own breath exhale, not sure if your fingers are going numb or if it’s the drugs? ‘Density 3’ is my personal fave – a claustrophobically hard-jacking acidic dirge with cold siren calls of toxic melody that strafe the metronomic beatbox pulse and glide. Dance into oblivion my friends! (His ‘Days of Dissent’ LP from last year is also definitely worth checking too).

Lunatic Asylum: 2000-2016 choice cuts

lunatic

Speaking of that Italian broken beat techno sound, Guillaume ‘Dr Macabre’ Leroux has just dusted off his old hard drive archives and revealed some very tasty cuts in this vein – mournful, radioactive sunrise dirges over piston juddering, industrial beats. I’ve cherry picked them, although there aren’t any Soundcloud/Youtube uploads (as yet). Check them on Juno? :

7. ‘Before Dawn’/ 10. ‘Crying For HELP’ / 13. ‘Sunday Caramel’ / 18. ‘Late at Night’ / 19. ‘Today is a Good Day to Die’ (my personal favourite)

Hodge: Burned Into Memory

Hodge_-_Burned_Into_Memory_-_Berceuse_Heroique

A deliciously simple, ultra phat, dance floor banger to get the sweat glistening on those young, thrashing limbs. Drenched in soggy, warehouse space reverb this has some clinically functional, lugubrious doomcore rave qualities. As with many Bass tunes of the moment the 4/4 kick drum is simply replaced to full effect by a 4/4 bowling sub. It does the trick.

I could probably, no definitely, lose it on the dance floor to this, coming up on 3 or 4 shit Es as the sirens wash over me and green lasers strafe the crowd. But those days are gone and hey, Hodge seems to have a pungent stench of annoying scenester about him and the Berceuse Heroique label even worse (don’t even get me started on them!).

He gets way too much online gush and props for his, frankly, pretty fuckin’ conservative, minimal, faceless grey output; I’ve checked it all, believe; most of it just more pointless techno junk to add to the endlessly burning plastic scrap mountains in China. But the cyberweb intershitnet craves more of everything now, continuously, so roll on the end of the world.

Who would want to be young these days eh? I’ll take my viagra and memories any day.

Untold: Strange Dreams

Strange Dreams

When I started checking Mumdance (his FACT mix 417 in particular) and Logos mixes on Rinse around the end of 2013 this tune off the Black Light Spiral album seemed to be a staple in their bags and something of a weird cross-over beast. It seemed so damn unusual and just plain FRESH to hear guys from an Eski/Grime background rinsing such full on distorted frequencies and washes of wailing voices. I don’t know much about Untold; he gets classified as Techno in the main (not that I would know? or care particularly?) but it almost reminded me of the first Lo Recordings EP back in 1995 – Slack Dog: New York Dawg? Scuzzed out, free-running, bubbling bass. Whereas I remember that tune (and many others of its ilk) letting the warm analogue fuzz smear out the audio spectrum, this seems to make maximum use of shredding, cystalline, razor-sharp digital distortion while letting the sub rumble away clean(ish) beneath. Bass science right there. We have the technology these days after all. Oh, and apparently this tune always makes the resident soundman in the club run for the desk thinking the speakers have gone!