PLO Man – Powerline [Acting Press]
PLO Man triumphantly returns to Acting Press for his second release “Powerline”. Following form 2015’s outstanding “Stations Of The Elevated EP” the Berlin based producer delivers two slices of wonderfully crafted ambient techno. Both TX-I and the flip side TX-ii (Tiny Bubbles) come from the same stems yet have different approaches to ambience. On the A-side TX-i is a spacey number carried through by sequence of pads, with fluttering high-hats and snares coming out of the ethereal synths. The subtle siren and forest sounds floating in the background give the A-side a huge amount of depth and space to breath. TX-ii (Tiny Bubbles) is a more dance-floor focused approach to the synth stems employing some acid lines and bleep sequences and superb drum patterning to drive the track forward. TX-ii is busier and lacks the space employed by TX-i, but this only serves to demonstrate the skill PLO Man has as a producer and his ability to approach things from a multitude of angles and still create a great piece of music.
Holovr – Split Infinity / Hillraiser [Likemind]
Having lain dormant for the best part of twenty one years, legendary UK techno imprint Likemind rises out of the mist to bring us their fifth record: Holovr’s Split Inifity / Hillraiser. Having previously put out seminal works by the likes of Nuron, Redcell and Stasis, Likemind have made the positive step of returning to the fore with a record by an artist of relative youth. Jimmy Billingham has put out a wide selection of releases over the past few years – his dark, dreamy sound well suited to London-based label. Both tracks incorporate swirling melodies nestled amongst warm synth textures and squelchy, bleepy basslines to create a truly dazzling 12″.
Hector Plimmer – Sunshine [Albert’s Favourites]
The first release from Albert’s Favourites in 2017 is a debut LP: that of South London’s own Hector Plimmer. Sunshine is a true amalgamation of sounds and styles. From the woozy groove of ‘Kalimba’ to the angelic, soulful beam of ‘Sunshine’, Plimmer employs focus and excitement in equal measure, creating an album that will simply breeze by. Bearing similarities to the music of Portishead and Quantic, Sunshine is an album that deserves a live stage with a full backing band and, most likely, a very large audience.
Klaus – Cry Tuff [Tanum]
Since the release of his debut EP on dropped R&S six years ago Klaus has maintained a reputation as one of the most consistently interesting producers in the game. Three years since his last record nothing appears to have changed. Releasing only via his own Tanum imprint, the Serbian’s mysterious means of output is reflected in his sparse, ambient productions. An associate of 1-800 Dinosaur crew, it is clear to see why James Blake is a fan. Klaus embodies the more ethereal, intriguing aspects of Blake’s sound to whole new levels – with Cry Tuff‘s three tracks never once disappointing.
[Blackest Ever Black]
John T. Gast’s latest offering comes as a 10” for London/Berlin label Blackest Ever Black and continues to showcase his experimental approach to music. A-side wygdn_bashmenttk9 is a mournful and haunting piece driven by rolling kick drums and brooding dub inspired bassline with crisp snares. The haunting layering of the synths gives the track a sense of anticipation and loss persisting throughout the breakdown, giving way to a sinister and dark track. B-side wygdn_tryagen (5) shows the versatility of the producer, an ambient track built around vocal samples that have been warped almost beyond recognition. While keeping similar haunting and emotionally charged synths as wygdn_bashmenttk9, simple pads and further whispering make wygdn_tryagen (5) a truly broody ambient masterpiece.