French producer Guillaume Labadie A.KA. I Hate Models has been having quite a success in the realm of punishing-but-enjoyable techno. From his first EPs like Warehouse Memories and 500 Lesbians In Irak, informed by EBM and acid influences, to his recent flirting with trance and 90’s sounds in works like Spreading Plague and the collaboration with Umwelt Rave Or Die 10, he has been constantly showing his skills and a love for evocative yet fast-paced club numbers. Now he returns with his first full length for the prestigious English label Perc Trax, the album called L’Âge Des Métamorphoses. Here we will find ambient-tinged passages, corrosive industrial attacks, acid stompers, droning soundscapes, in a complete work which confirms he his way more than a club-minded artist. If The Beginning Of The End is a placid and soulful evocation of emotion full of melancholic piano sounds and eerie ambiances completed by robotic female vocals, Crossing The Mirror ventures instead in factory-like territories with destructive kick drums and full-front distortions. Shiny Razor Blades is an earthquake made rhythmic obsession, a ritualistic mantra with syncopated movements and broken structures, and Sexual Tension a modular vortex structured by acid tensions and stomping percussions. Fade Away is enriched by dark soundscapes and subtle atmospheres, soon delivering creepy vocals and techno-industrial marches, and the finale episode Eternity Is Burning returns to ’90’s minimal melodies and suave choruses, mixing this elements with hypnotizing drums and grinding shrills. Beauty and decay, harmony and chaos, all in one place. A well crafted effort which gives us more than a collection of tracks and shows the versatility of one of the protagonist of the current techno scene.
Rendered is the duo of Daniel Myer (Haujobb, Architect, Liebknecht) and Clément Perez (14Anger) dedicated to robust techno-industrial music with a strong and textured sound-design with savage atatcks and well crafted atmospheres. They now return with the new EP Adrenalien, a 4-track work for the German label Mindcut – an outlet for modern techno music linked to the current experimental scene. The original mix of the title track is a pounding episode with grinding bass-lines and steady kick-drums, soon developing a thundering march interspersed with hard beats and sudden rides. The following remix from Max Durante plays with the rhythmic elements of the track adding a more EBM-influenced soundscape and hypnotizing effects dwelling in a sci-fi environment. Itsgettingdarker is a brooding techno affair with obsessive bass sounds and snare drums surrounded by grim ambiances; it is enriched by faster rhythms and dark vibes during the course of the track. Iseethings chooses a lo-fi background with minimal movements and eerie atmospheres, crafting a lysergic mood with melancholic melodies and pulsating rhythmic patterns. Then the track grows in power with suggestive vocal samples and head-on drums with steel-like sounds. Te digital version of the mini album sees a fifth track called Lescitéobscures, another take on rhythmic experimentation and droning structures based on dark soundscapes and ominous atmospheres. Sudden burst of glorious ambient pauses prepare us for even more intensive attacks with steady snares and punishing kick-drums. The duo continue their streak of great EPs, showing their importance as one of the most interesting acts in the scene.
Hailing from Germany, X-303 i s a mysterious project showcasing a dark techno sound with the usual industrial elements and obsessive bass sounds recalling the old-school style of the genre. Expect four-on-the-floor kick drums and shrilling, dissonant sounds in a tense atmospheres sometime enriched by brooding atmospheres. The project debuts on the Italian label Dystrant Recordings with Deep Of The Dimension, a 4-track EP. The first track Vector Of Reality is a maniacal techno mantra with hypnotizing movements and droning sounds, a looping crescendo completed by snare drums and acid elements. The whole track gives us a world full of tension and mechanical rhythms. The title capitalizes on stomping bass effects and obsessive snares, while cutting effects and sharp ambiances move in the background. A late-night club affair with futuristic electronics and engaging moments dwelling in factory-like mantras. Dyscovery The Other Dimension is a bleak and compulsive episode with full-frontal drums and grim arpeggiators evoking a disorienting atmosphere. Distant synth-sounds and ritualistic rhythms are added during the development of the number. The last track True reality affirms the bombastic nature of X-303 sound via pounding kick-drums and crawling snares, conjuring another tachno stomper with an unrelenting crescendo ready to explode into a chaotic climax. The style of the artist is neither underdeveloped nor too complicated, presenting a coherent platter looking both to the modern underground techno panorama, both to the past.
One of the key names in the fusion of techno/dance music and experimental motifs, Kareem a.k.a Patrick Stottrop is a producer and the mind behind the label Zhark Recordings. During his career he has explored different kind of electronic music, from trip-hop to ambient, breakbeat to abstract sounds, and much more. Now he returns under his own imprint with the new album The Garden Of Time, a work informed by dark ambient, experimental music and names like Coil and Nurse With Wounds. A different take on techno which doesn’t look for easy club moments, choosing instead a seducing sound with eerie atmospheres, micro-structures sparse rhythms and effects. The piece is divided into two moments: the first part Inhale starts with soothing lines and ghostly elements, while suspended rhythms are placed amidst the aural crescendo. A slow structure sees the adding of elements in a serpentine voyage full of cinematic tension and majestic ambiances. Like the sound-score of a movie, the music evokes scenes and landscapes mixing orchestral melodies and field-recordings in an oniric experience enriched by moving pathos. Abstract elements and nostalgic mantras meet during the second half of the track sparse electronic effects and dissonant keys, but the artist stays clear of too chaotic moments. The final part is a climax made of ominous melodies and wind-like soundscapes, the perfect complement for our journey. The second part of the album is called just as the title of the work – so we can consider it the “main part”. Disturbing electronic effects move among deep sounds and brooding soundscapes, and abrasive rhythmic snares creates a vortex full of aggressive power. Instead of an explosion we reach a sudden pause showing off eerie sounds and peaceful drones, without forfeiting the sparse presence of disquieting elements. The central part of the track is a ritualistic mantra with unnerving and shrilling loops surrounded by thundering effects and melancholic hidden melodies. The majestic melody takes the front stage evoking the nostalgic and placid recalling of distant memories and experiences. The last part is a return toward sci-fi moments and brooding ambiances with a dark undertone, but the final notes are glorious and anthropologically exhilarating. A masterpiece from a real artist pushing electronic music in different directions being always compelling and skillful.