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Music

Jake Muir – Tonic

Ilian Tape really are in a league of their own. Regardless of which particular branch of electronic music they’re currently championing – usually several simultaneously – it’s pretty much guaranteed to be brilliant, and Jake Muir’s new album Mana is no exception. Tonic – the lead track – is ambient techno at its finest, beatless save a subterranean kick that echoes, ominously, in the background, grounding what is otherwise a freewheeling soundscape of restlessly twitching synths and shimmering celestial pads.

EDIT: Jake just pointed out to me that the entire album is actually composed of samples, without a synth in sight. Shows how attuned my ear is to electronic music after nearly four decades obsessive listening.

https://iliantape.bandcamp.com/album/itlp10-mana

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Music

Donato Dozzy – wooden dolls don’t cry

Dozzy! Dozza! The Big Doz! Everyone’s favourite Italian polyrhythmic techno don returns to Tresor Records with a four track EP 124 which includes this headscramblingly relentless chugger. “Down the rabbit hole we go!!” I’d probably say if I were an ageing music PR with a fairly limited vocabulary and not enough time to come up with something more original. Oh wait…

https://dozz.bandcamp.com

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Music

xphresh – xephon

It’s been so long that I’ve been to anything even remotely resembling a rave I can’t speak with anything like authority about them any more. But also, imagine: the overwhelming, Biblical euphoria of hearing this drop towards the end of an absolutely banging, take-no-prisoners techno set – Rødhåd, or whoever the kids are listening to these days – during which you stomped so hard you thought your knees might snap like dry little twigs.

Jesus christ I miss pingers.

https://bblisss.bandcamp.com/album/xephon

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Music

irini – lost in dreams

Traumprinz is back, with a new alias, and another epic 3 hour drop of music. lost in dreams is the latest collection from the anonymous producer and follows last year’s double DJ Metatron / The Phantasy release, which, even though there were unquestionably some gems in there, I didn’t rate quite as highly as most of their previous work. lost is dreams is an absolute masterpiece though, reminiscent of his dj healer set from a few years back. It is truly remarkable that someone this talented has completely removed their ‘self’ from their art, and delivers such an insane amount of incredible music without ever feeling the need to revel in the glory that would inevitably come from unmasking themselves. Long may it continue.

https://soundcloud.com/planet-uterus

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Music

MPU101 – M185 2SYS1M

Ilian Tape so rarely put a foot wrong it’s almost not worth highlighting their releases any more: just subscribe to them on Bandcamp or wherever you get your fix and revel in the consistency of their schedule. This is taken from an oblique album by MPU101 (no artist bio, tracks named after various bits of Roland hardware), and is at the more relaxed end of their techno spectrum, with kick drums almost completely expunged in favour of meandering acid lines and warm, hazy synths, and is, in a word, gorgeous.

https://iliantape.bandcamp.com/album/itx022-mpu101

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Music

Shawn Rudiman – Numeric Tenderness

This came out all the way back in January, so not exactly hot off the presses by any means, but then you’re not following this blog for its comprehensiveness, are you? It’s pretty ridiculous I missed not only this, but an entire album since, given how much I liked Shawn Rudiman’s previous album Conduit, but anyway: this is brilliant, sinewy modular techno, pulsing with barely restrained aggression and I absolutely love it.

https://itma.bandcamp.com/album/flow-state

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Music

Skee Mask – LFO

Honestly, Skee Mask is just outrageously good. I’m only three tracks into his latest album Pool which kinda came out of nowhere last week, and I’m already convinced it will be in my top 10 of the year. Very few other producers can touch him in terms of rhythm, creativity and his ability to create unique, engaging and highly emotional musical landscapes. LFO is one of his gentler efforts, beatless and almost devoid of percussion, with the ebb and flow of synth lines driving it forward.

https://iliantape.bandcamp.com/album/itlp09-skee-mask-pool

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Music

Kas – In The Absence Of Becoming

Ilian Tape really is a remarkably consistent label: I don’t think I’ve heard a single thing on there I haven’t really enjoyed. This is taken from Galaxian alias Kas’s new album Like Sunlight Threads – the first LP on the label since the Zenker Brother’s brilliant Cosmic Transmission from last year – which veers wildly between fairly accessible, melodic breaks and terrifying, panic-inducing techno. In The Absence Of Becoming sits very much in the former category, and is unlikely to make my wife ask “What the fuck are you listening to?” with quite the same venom as some of the other tracks on here.

https://iliantape.bandcamp.com

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Music

Versalife – Shadow Warrior

I first heard this on a live set Versalife (aka Conforce) posted a little over a year ago (it’s great – you should listen to it!), and have been thinking about it daily ever since. He really does do this kind of emotional, hypnotic, breaks-driven techno better than pretty much everyone else. Especially Bicep. Ouch! Bet they’re smarting from that one. This is one of the tracks on his new Present Shock EP, which includes three more of a similar ilk. One day clubbing shall return, and I hope this gets played fucking loud every single day when they do.

https://soundcloud.com/conforce

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Music

Overmono – Everything U Need

The Tweet that brought the new Overmono single to my attention came from grime producer Mr.Mitch and simply said “Think I would cry if I heard this in a club”. This, in a nutshell, is what every single person currently bereft at the lack of nightlife options in the UK is feeling. The specific tracks will differ from person to person, but everyone has at least one tune that if they heard loud, surrounded by other people, would reduce them to tears. It’s something that headphones and watching screens can’t even begin to replicate, and I only hope there are enough producers still making absolute bangers like this left when we’re allowed to party once again.

https://overmono.bandcamp.com