Moodtrax – Screen People
Out on Snuff Crew’s sub-label, Snuff Cuts, just two tracks make up this (sadly) digital-only Moodtrax single. ‘Screen 66’ is a deep roller, restrained and full of tension, atonal synths overlaying a pulled back acid line – Berlin acid through and through. ‘Powder People’ heads into more Chicago house territory, 707 toms and hats clattering across a proper funky bassline and bubbling organ snippets. Lush.
Owen Ezard – Acid Last
Hailing from Barcelona, this is Owen’s first release on his own label and it’s a cracker. ‘First Reload’ is a deep acid chug, with little inflections of Italo disco that’d fill the floor at World Unknown or A Love From Outer Space in the early hours. Title track ‘Acid Last’ drops into more atmospheric sinister territory, then Fabrizio Mammarella ups the epicness with rushing strings, horror-movie synth sweeps and piano crashes while keeping the 303 rock solid. Superb 12” all round.
SPKRFACE – Swimming Backwards
Four-tracker from Ohio, US producer SPKRFACE (pronounced ‘Speakerface’) released via Bandcamp. Title track ‘Swimming Backwards’ is the winner here for us, lush Juno pads overlaying a rubbery acid line. The rest of the EP heads into heavier snare-rush territory, but closer ‘Eighty Four’ picks back up the funk of the title track with oblique chords, banging 909 beats and more squiggly 303. Ace stuff.
Hardfloor – The Business of Basslines
There are very few acts that could claim a stake to being legends of the TB303 Bassline more than Hardfloor. Since the duo from Cologne, Germany debuted in 1991 they’ve laid claim to some of the most unforgettable acid action ever written. Their talent for counterpoint and layering numerous 303 lines together is unparalleled – and no mean feat, with one machine notoriously difficult to tune to another.
This ten-tracker album, sprawled over a double 12” in gorgeous gatefold sleeve, gives them room to explore lower tempos – melodic instrumental hip-hop at points – breaks and electro as well as techno, house, and a bit of trance (in a good way though) all loaded up with multiple threads from the little silver box. Faves here are ‘Can’t Stop Won’t Stop’ and ‘Neurobot Tango’.
Robin Ball – Acid Stomp
London/Brighton retrospective club night Memory Box has now formed a vinyl label of the same name, and the first release comes courtesy of promoter and resident DJ, Robin Ball. ‘Acid Stomp’ does exactly what it says on the tin, tweaking acid over a stomping kick. There’s a collaboration on the flip side with Neil Tibbetts, but the pick of the EP for us here is ‘Back in the Dayz’ by MVDC, proper driving techno, with a menacing acid line, snarling it was out of the rides and rifting pads. Heavy duty.