Surgeon - From Farthest Known Objects: Surgeon's been around for a long, long time. He's managed to create quite a lot of great techno in the meanwhile, and has been a fixture at Berlin club Tresor for a number of years. He errs on the obscure and more mechanical side of techno: 909-style basslines and dark synthlines warping are common to many of his releases. From Farthest Known Objects is his most experimental record yet, and you can tell he's definitely experimenting with what techno could be as opposed to sticking to his unsyncopated roots. "z8 GND 5296" and "ULAS J1120+0641" are the tracks that most emphasize this change in style, as he puts far less of an emphasis on the traditional 4/4 beat rather than twisting what lies in between the start of each measure to really shine to the listener. "GN-108036" and "EGS-zs8-1" are largely similar in that sense to the prior tracks but have really prominent basslines that harken back to Drexciya & Dopplereffekt.I read a comment the other day which said something along the lines of "Surgeon's been making the same beat for 30 years", which at some points in his career seems to be more true than not, but this record is emblematic of a shift in a new direction, even if the underlying themes behind his music pervade everything he makes. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rGTt7y8D8eg. SEAN
RIYL: Richie Hawtin, Robert Hood, Drexciya, untz untz untz untz
Recommended Tracks: EGS-sz8-1, BDF-3299, ULAS J1120+0641
Palms Trax - High Point On Low Ground: Palms Trax is Dekmantel & Lobster Theremin's newest pride: a Berlin based house producer who also supposedly did a great job live at Corsica the other day. His tunes seem to fit well in that space that refined house fanatics regard as being truly emblematic of the genre: happy, contemplative, but each track possessing a hint of melancholy or introspection that gives further context into what house was originally conceived into. Almost equally important to that aspect is how much each track makes you want to jack, which for me, every track on this EP does. High Point on Low Ground is a great start into the EP and is a significant drive into feel-good territory, while Cloud City provides a more pensive and 4/4 aspect of Palms Trax coupled with orchestral horn presets and a honky tonk piano which somehow works really well in context. Overall, even though this EP is 3 tracks long, it's a really nice bite into Palms Trax, and by extension a great intro into what make Lobster Theremin and Dekmantel quality labels. I recommend checking them both out. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6vHJGaGwfzk. SEAN
RIYL: Kassem Mosse, Head High, Felix Da Housecat, Omar-S, dancing.
Recommended Tracks: High Point on Low Ground, Paws
NON - Worldwide Compilation, Volume 1: Your favorite collective of anti-western Afrocentric artists closed out 2015 with a compilation of feathery club tracks and other assorted industrial jawns. The compilation aesthetic ranges from Farai's wAvEy afro-beats to Mhysa's Game of Thrones samples. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0Zs2FNuh9oI&list=PLUSRfoOcUe4afqU-VEFQSFsJFuSaqpGAN&index=6. RAZ
RIYL: Lotic, subversive club bangers.
Recommended Tracks: 3, 5, 6, 7.
MssingNo - Fones: MssingNo has a shtick and he does it extremely well. Trademark to his style are high-pitched female vocal samples, synthy swells and a grime underpinning that adds subdivisions, key changes and an uptempo bass rhythm that propel you, regardless of how up or downtempo the track is. Unfortunately, this EP has not had time to marinate, so I'm quite literally giving first impressions here. THIS ABSOLUTELY KILLS. Starting off with "Dead" which could be a certified club classic on first listen (think Kahn & Neek levels of going in), which chops up a gorgeous R&B sample with both classic grime riddims and a really strange eskibeat-type sample. Fones & Inta are both more of the same type of track as Xe2, blending pitch shifted vocals with airy synth sounds and have more of a dubstep feel to them than just a grime type song. It ends with Scope, which has a music-box style intro and bears stylistic similarity to his remix of Adore by Cashmere Cat & Ariana Grande, but quickly converts to an uptempo tune with plenty of hi-hats and a lush backing synth. Basically this EP rules so cop it immediately it is what you have been waiting for. https://boomkat.com/products/fones (so new that not even YouTube or SoundCloud have it). SEAN
RIYL: instrumental grime, MssingNo, music
Recommended Tracks: Dead, Inta, Scopes