Various artists Third EP

Robotic electro, tense techno and more comes courtesy of Germany's mysterious Black Puddle Productions.
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various artists third Black Puddle Productions

Three releases in, and we still don't know much about the German imprint Black Puddle Productions. In line with a headstrong philosophy of leaving it to the music to do the talking, thus far it has been portrayed as a faceless operation, providing dancefloor-ready productions sitting somewhere between house and techno. Their third offering comes courtesy of a variety of colorful artistic aliases—accompanied, as usual, little information otherwise.

Drifting away from the four-to-the-floor framework that tied together those earlier releases, each of the cuts on Third hones in on more diverse styles, with varying degrees of success. Sergej Kashawar’s effort is the only track to launch back into that original scheme—patiently dispensing percussive elements over the course of a tense seven minutes, “Rewind1” plunges into the realms of deep, hypnotizing techno in which to lose yourself. The acid-infected breakbeats of Pan-Tone’s “Something Out There” are a stark contrast, and feel like a nod to some older rave material, especially with the late arrival of a jungle-flavored bassline that elevates the track to another level. Rizzla P & Tranquilo D’s “Mary Buana” rattles along pleasantly, carved up by vocal snippets on the subject of pot-related experimentation (an addition that unfortunately slightly tarnishes the otherwise enjoyable beats, giving the track a contrived feeling). Also working the wordplay angle is “Campbell’s Black Electro Soup” from the so-called MD Warhol, which combines robotic soundbites and spooky synths in a rough-around-the-edges electro composition.