Some words below on several of the better techno and/or electronica records of 2012 so far including Berlin producers– Shed, and Robert Henke aka Monolake. with their The Killer and Ghosts LPs respectively, Planet Mu’s much-travelled Daniel Martin-McCormick as Ital, another worthy, individual new release from Actress on the brilliant Honest Jons, and the always entertaining NHK Koyxen.
Shed — The Killer
At times recalling mid-90’s generals such as Pressure of Speech, Van Basten, and even Dave Clarke; at others deploying the contemporary atmosphere and production senses of a Burial or an Actress. Either way a strong album, and one that more people should take the opportunity to hear. Preferably loud. The Killer is old music being kept fresh and alive by the restless producer known as Shed.
Monolake — Ghosts
After the homage to nature and all its surroundings that was the LP Silence of two years ago Robert Henke, aka Monolake, creates something altogether more dark and chilling with Ghosts; all Lab-created drum n bass here, dripping hot electro there. At times not unlike fellow Berliners Torococo Rot, and done so crisp it’s hard to imagine it being improved on. It came to us way back in March this one. Perfect late night listening.
Actress — RIP
After the well-received Splazsh from a couple of years ago this one seems to be just as well thought of as the blog goes to press (ahem). RIP is the sound of off-kilter techno music as if in the context of an underwater rave or heavily rain-soaked alternative club nights in disused garages (Raven, Iwaad). It is in danger of perhaps being overrated but it’s also an interesting sounding record that maybe floats a little at times but when it’s good– as during the BoC meets Zomby seasick blur of ‘Ascending’, or the BoC meets Colleen of ‘Uriel’s Black Harp’, it’s pretty much recommended.
Ital — Hive Mind
The best track on this Daniel Martin-McCormick produced album, Floridian Void, recalls the mid-90s and the those Planet Dog Feed Your Head compilations (all spaced-out, push along ambient techno). First track, the repetitively Gaga-sampling (Doesn’t Matter) If You Love Him sounds almost headache-inducing at first, but after the second or even third listen it kind of starts to have an appeal, starts to make sense. In fact the LP as a whole gets better and better with each and every listen. A brilliant record in the end, that never at any point loses its hard-to-explain, almost hypnotizing, grasp on the listener.
NHK Koyxen — Dance Classics vol1
NHK Koyxen has a proper name, and it’s Kouhei Matsunaga. He is sometimes to be found in Osaka, other times Berlin. This is a most tremendous LP, dubbed ‘electronic slipperiness’ by those good blokes over at Boomkat. It’s full of wonky-beat, offcut fun-loving electro. Pin-sharp, playfully bonkers, but really and honestly, never at any time dull. It recalls Plaid at times, EU at others. It’s like disco music for robots. If this is not listed as one of 2012’s finest releases then obviously the people making such lists have somehow not heard this brilliant LP. Buy it.