De Sluwe Vos – Judas EP
This is the soundtrack for all the best warehouse parties right now, from the Rother-esque pads of ‘Beefheart Girl Where Are You’, to the cutbacks and subtle edits on epic title track ‘Judas’ – built into the crunched 808s and snarling 303 lines, they come at you through the dark haze of the smoke machine, one single strobe flashing at you with shapes of other dancers in the fog. Best release of the month, out on Patron Records, distributed by Clone.
D’Arcangelo – D’Arcangelo
When I first saw this self-titled EP I assumed it was a repress of their 1996 (also self-titled) debut on Rephlex – but no, this is new material, courtesy of Bristol’s Happy Skull label. It’s also some of the most club-worthy output from the Italian duo in many years. Marrying their playful braindance sensibilities, cascading melodies that drift in and out, and skittering drum edits against four different acid cuts – our fave here is the enigmatically-named ‘AC – SF13 – 2 Cid – 13th Cider’.
Shaknis – Thermostability
I know very little about Shaknis, but having stumbled across the tracks on Juno I headed over to the label’s shop on Bandcamp. Sadly, it seems this review is a little late for those after a physical copy – the cassette release has already sold out but the tracks are available digitally. Hailing from Lithuania, and apparently an ex-member of a hip hop band, his Facebook page reveals that’s he’s a bit of a hardware synthesiser fan, and it shows. Particularly love the off-kilter techno of ‘Acidrun’ with it’s juddering kicks and looping acid set off against industrial clangs. Superb.
Thomas P. Heckmann – Body Music
Out on Monnom Black on triple 12” vinyl, this is one of Heckmann’s strongest releases in years, serving as a great touchstone looking back at a career that spans over three decades. Acid, industrial, techno and EBM clash and fuse across the 14 tracks: big hitters here are opener ‘Provide The Future’, the four-to-the-floor acid of ‘Parasomnia’, epic techno monster ‘The Hand That Rocks’ and the stomp of ‘Acid Head’. Serious business all round.
Anders Ilar & John H – Roomservice EP
The Drvg Cvltvre-helmed New York Haunted label is as uncompromising as the man who runs it. This five-tracker of hardware driven acid-infused machine jack comes from Anders Ilar and John Hilfing, who have previous worked together for Flight Recorder. Choice cuts here are opener ‘Homework’ and the extremely funky ‘Roomservice’ which are both straight-at-the-dancefloor operators, but also check ‘Dominance Hierarchy’ which builds, sets itself straight then completely deconstructs over its 14-minute runtime.