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Review: Gui Boratto Abaporu

Label: Kompakt

A relative latecomer to the Kompakt techno world domination party of the '00s, Brazilian producer Gui Boratto scored nicely with Chromophobia, his first full-length for the Cologne label, in 2007. Its best track, "Beautiful Life," was a love anthem of sorts that spring and summer, and the LP featured some other good tunes ("The Blessing," "Shebang," "Mr. Decay") with similarly soaring synths, dramatic melodies, and warm basslines. The follow-up, Take My Breath Away, delivered on at least two big, fat electro-pop cuts ("No Turning Back" and "Atomic Soda"), while the third LP, III, had only a few memorable highlights (the bassy rocker "Stems From Hell" counts as one). One would hope that the new full-length, Abaporu, would see a return to the promise Boratto showed on his debut. Read more » 

  • Filed under: review
  • 09/29/2014

Review: Aphex Twin Syro

Label: Warp

For once, maybe the blimp, the promotional graffiti, and the Deep Web browser links were justified: Syro is Richard D. James doing his best work of the last two decades. Read more » 

  • Filed under: review
  • 09/22/2014

Review: Call Super Suzi Ecto


Call Super (a.k.a. Joe Seaton) isn't someone who makes things easy. That's not to say that his music is overly difficult or challenging; it's just that in an era where artists are largely expected to share every influence and willingly explain specifically what they're trying to communicate with their music, Seaton is content to leave things purposefully vague. Read more » 

  • Filed under: review
  • 09/19/2014

Review: Vessel Punish, Honey

Label: Tri Angle

Punish, Honey, the new LP from Vessel (a.k.a. Sebastian Gainsborough), is apparently dedicated in some way to England. So says the press release: "Combined with an interest in notions of national identity, Vessel asking himself the question 'What does "Englishness" in music really mean?'" At first read, that excerpt makes it sound like the Bristol producer might be half-baking a college thesis. Does the record really explore "Englishness"? Read more » 

  • Filed under: review
  • 09/15/2014

Review: Ital Endgame

Label: Planet Mu

Daniel Martin-McCormick's experimental music resume is as varied as it is impressive. Membership in the bands Black Eyes and Mi Ami long ago proved the DC-born artist's chops in the fields of hardcore and electronic-infused punk, and in his time he's also offered up abrasive, oddball electro-sleaze as Sex Worker. As Ital, he's been catching our ears with his curveball house since 2011, first via a quickfire series of EPs on 100% Silk and then with two albums during 2012 for Planet Mu, Hive Mind and Dream On. Read more » 

  • Filed under: review
  • 09/08/2014

Review: Roman Flügel Happiness Is Happening

Label: Dial

What is Happiness Is Happening? It's a question listeners will likely find themselves asking after their first spin of Roman Flügel's second album, which is as idiosyncratic as one might expect of a producer who has spent nearly 20 years perplexing music hacks with a prolific back catalog of fun, often unclassifiable 12"s. Happiness Is Happening could be called a house record, but only in the loosest sense; the album's kicks and hats are there to carry the album's spacious 1980s synth-pop and melodic Krautrock motifs, and as such, it's an LP geared much more for home listening than for DJs. Read more » 

  • Filed under: review
  • 09/04/2014

Review: Slackk Palm Tree Fire

The past year or so in UK dance music has been marked by the rapid ascendance of a new wave of instrumental grime producers, many of whom are affiliated with London's monthly Boxed clubnight. Slackk (a.k.a. Paul Lynch), a Boxed co-founder, stands as one of the most consistently inventive and forward-thinking of these figures, but he actually began honing his craft well before grime was hit with this recent swell of critical popularity. Since 2010, he's released records on labels such as Numbers, Unknown to the Unknown, and Local Action, and he also heads up the archival Grimetapes website. Now, he's put together his debut album, Palm Tree Fire. Read more » 

  • Filed under: review
  • 09/03/2014

Review: Marcel Dettmann Fabric 77

Label: Fabric

Marcel Dettmann's 73-minute mix for Fabric feels like an overdue milestone for an artist who has been at the peak of his powers for some time. As such, Fabric 77 is, to some extent, free from any pressure to be a career-defining document; it's as much a showcase for the Berghain resident's label, Marcel Dettmann Records (MDR), as it is an exhibition of the asceticism that informs his lengthy techno sets in Berlin and beyond. Read more » 

  • Filed under: review
  • 08/21/2014

Review: J. Velez Territories

Label: L.I.E.S.

Following up last year's well-received MMT Tape Series collection for Rush Hour, late-blooming Jersey City producer J. Velez presents six loosely connected, genre-defying cuts on Territories, a lean LP which values open-ended sonic experimentation over most everything else. Read more » 

  • Filed under: review
  • 04/14/2014

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