2017 Techno Top 5

1. Tommy Four Seven: 47013 (47)

2. VSK: 47011 (47)

3. Stave: Black Hills (Standards & Practices)

4. Sam KDC: Of Myth & Mercury (Auxiliary)

5. Ghost In The Machine: One Louder (Perc Trax)

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Vofa: Vitsia

AKA Sawf & ANFS, showing strong industrial literacy on the relatively new Athens imprint Kafta.

Two big tunes for me here: ‘Lisiaxte’ hammers out a leviathan beat of panning 120bpm fuzz, convulsing in a filthy radioactive swamp of bass murk – stifling in weight and reduced parameter. While ‘Ami’ belches out dismal, fog-horn pulses of polluted bass into a necrotic landscape. No compositional peacocking here, just brute repetition and creeping electronic drone that almost feels ritualistic and existential by the end.

Broken English Club: The English Beach (LIES)

Couple of stand out tracks for me here:

Wreck‘ is admirable for its almost pagan, industrial war dance, round the burning fire, vibe; no hand shake at all, as it lines up the cross hair and delivers the projectile coup de grace.

Carrion‘; nice blippy, early AFX, industrial electro tip with ebm-ish vocal scouring that doesn’t swamp the vibe.

Concrete Desert‘ is my top tune; a looped, nuclear detonation strength, kick explosion that emits a levelling fallout cloud. Bleak, so bleak.

Martyn Hare: Zone 13 EP (Green Fetish)

The Don of dirty, broken beat, industrial techno in my opinion, might even put him over Perc…

“Dreamtime” is so phat you can’t even turn up the bass on the mixer! And it gives me straight flashbacks to mid ’90s Magnetic North/Drop Bass Network et al carnage; all those driven red hot, thrashing machine boxes, barely contained by the producers – any little nudge of a knob just letting loose another flailing, feedbacking, analogue stomper. That’s what it often felt like (for a while anyway heh); a wicked trip to follow down the rabbit hole out on the dancefloor.

From the evidence here, the machines still rule if you know how to harness the energy and Hare truly rinses the fuck out of his! expertly reining it in on a shoegazey, beatless breakdown and then unleashing sprays of sparking, arterial voltage all over the slamming, merciless funk to finish it. Total Destruction! Respect due.

Kareem: Your Markets Are Volatile (Zhark Recordings Berlin)

I’d pretty much forgotten all about the original Zhark Recordings (and overlooked many a tune having now gone back and checked the back-catalogue). Still heads down, ploughing their furrow. Quality murky broken beat techno-step with aircraft hangar sized spatial dynamics and vocal incantation drift and acidic squelch. It expertly builds up the arms-outstretched, backwards free-fall into the k-hole. Proper dark.