Techno maestro Adam X debuts on Phase Fatale and Florian Engerling’s label Bite with his 3-track vinyl Midnight Sun. Here he offers techno/EBM moments with the usual attention for the details informed by a skillful sound-design and a deep knowledge of old-school techno. A number like the title track is a fine example of his craft: stomping kicks, deep bass sounds, throbbing lines and sci-fi atmospheres are the ground for robotic vocals and dystopian visions. The world of techno and EBM undertones are fused together in a synthesis of sounds, styles, aesthetics and ethos, and we wouldn’t be surprised to see clubbers, rivetheads and ravers dance together to this track. The Dead Of Dawn follows suit with its grim soundscapes and grinding movements in which minimal rhythmic patterns and droning mantras give us a mechanical ritual. The addition of elements conceives a hypnotizing crescendo dominated by an alien atmosphere with acid elements and dissonant incursions; the finale sees a more fast-paced structure. The final statement The Evacuation ends the EP with a 4/4 rhythmic obsession with groovy sounds and pulsating bass sounds and steel-like snare sounds, while a melancholic synth-line introduce shrilling effects in an industrial scenario ready to collapse into old-school arpeggios and evocative keys. A work offering nothing but the usual quality from a top notch producer and protagonist of the evolution of techno music.
Ostalgia is the second full-length for the legendary Canadian producer and musician Rhys Fulber, one of the forefathers of electro-industrial music and an experimentalist of ambient, IDM, orchestral music, EBM, techno, and much more. Published once again on Adam X’s label Sonic Groove, the album is a voyage in themes linked to the world of Cold War East Germany, as well as to Fulber’s German ancestry. If Fountain Of National Radio offers monolithic structures with elegance and concrete atmospheres, giving us a hint of Fulberìs genius with a multidimensional sound, the following track Steppes is a techno-industrial stomper with night-time soundscapes and nervous tension conveying a mesmerizing crescendo. Right Hand Of The Free World plays with old-school acid sounds intermixing them with broken structures and dark lines, and Misery Whip recalls his exploration of dark ambient and compulsive electro sounds, fusing deep bass and majestic grim atmospheres. The last track Fission is a crawling experience in which brooding soundscapes and sharp effects give us a mutant, IDM-informed sound made of modern industrial-minded electronics. A master of his craft, Fulber creates stories and concepts in music, modeling and sculpturing sound as it was marble.
German musician Hendrick Grothe aka Blac Kolor has recently seen a fast rise in the current techno/industrial scene thanks to his works where EBM, techno/IDM and rhythmic noise find a common ground without straying too much from club-availability. His last EP for Ant-Zen Nephi follows this trend, but with a focus on the rhythmic side of things. The title track is a compulsive mantra with broken rhythms and distorted kicks offering a ride with claps and looping samples, a techno-industrial piece in the 90’s nuance. Which Side has emotional soundscapes with cinematic qualities and old-school IDM melodies recalling early Autechre, underlined by fast paced snares and steady rhythms and rave arpeggios during its second half. Gulf Of Misery seduces us with eerie motifs and synth sounds, as well as with slow beats and inquisitive vocal samples; the communion of “gothic” atmospheres and electro vibes works perfectly thanks to an apt songwiting. The last track Silent room showcases sombre lines and melancholic melodies which surprise us because of their trance-informed nature; without self-imposed restraints Grothe manage to build a sonic world of his own. Nephi is another example of Blac Kolor always evolving sound, taking elements from various genres and periods and mixing them in order to obtain something unique.
Italian techno/electro producer Max Durante has been active as a DJ for more than 30 years, and he started producing his own music in 2001. After some outputs with a strong electro nature, in 2015 after his relocation in Berlin he started a new phase in his career made of EBM-tinged techno music released on Sonic Groove, as well as of a full length called The Experiment with experimental and ambient traits. Now he debuts of Philipp Strobel’s label aufnahme+wiedergabe, a household name in the world of techno/EBM music with grim and sharp undertones, with his EP Order And Chaos. Here we find a sort of concept on religious and political power, perfectly fitting the industrial sound of the release – as well as the fast-paced EBM attacks on it. Religion Against Religion is based on a cleverly reworked sample and skeletal techno-industrial structures with factory-like kick drums and shrilling effects. The hypnotizing movement opens to clerical choruses clarifying the theme of the track. Children Of Chaos is another episode made of metallic beats and corrosive distortions and minimal techno bass-lines, a crawling ritual for sweaty dancefloors, and Sadness presents stomping bass sounds and punishing EBM rides with throbbing loops and 4/4 rhythmic patterns with obsessive movements. The ending episode New Order is more akin to Durante’s roots showcasing electro mantras characterized by paranoid atmospheres and acid elements; once again mechanical rhythms and distorted tensions have their say during the second half of the track. Max Durante confirms his full embrace of current techno-industrial music and the Berlin scene, while retaining his own imprint and style.