Mr Cloudy: Sensitive Crop
Rednetic Recordings

Damon McU: Senses
Rednetic Recordings

R&J emp: Minipac+
Rednetic Recordings

The production rate of Rednetic's three-inch series heats up with three recent additions to the catalogue, the first a dub-techno collection, the second an exercise in minimal techno, and the third a slamming mini-set of hard techno. All three are so strong they implicitly argue that perhaps all releases should come in twenty-minute packages.

The first, Mr Cloudy's Sensitive Crop, makes a serious bid for dub-techno nirvana in the Echospace style and succeeds fabulously in the attempt. A veteran of Shoreless recordings and net-labels such as Kyoto_Digital, deepindub and zeecc, Sergey Barkalov plunges the listener into four ocean-deep and reverb-soaked tracks that distill all of the dazzling details associated with the Basic Channel and Chain Reaction camps into twenty-one minutes. Dusty winds swirl over a classic dubtronic rhythm base in “Excursion,” chords clangorously stab on a slightly more aggressive tip in “Therefrom,” and billowing chords sweep across the terrain in “Dry Breakfasts,” leaving echo traces in their wake. Essential listening for lovers of Berlin-styled dub-techno.

Don't let the ‘minimal' tag attached to R&J emp's Minipac + send you packing as Saint-Petersburg, Russia residents Roman Dudnik and Vyacheslav Safarov bring some serious heat to the four software-generated cuts on their own three-inch. One of the common criticisms of minimal techno is its anemic spirit but there's no lack of energy in their bass-heavy club cuts. The pulse driving “Health” sounds healthy indeed, “Streamstep” gallops with fierce determination, and the lascivious dancefloor-filler “The Dark Miner” unspools with clockwork precision. Like all of the EP's material, the title cut thunders forward with single-minded purpose, its wiry bass an anchor for the hot-wired spatter firing up above.

Damon McU's Senses takes no prisoners in its harder-edged slam. The Budapest/Orosháza, Hungary-based producer opts for pounding techno throb in his feverish pile-drivers—think Tresor-styled techno jacked up with a dozen testosterone injections and you're in the right ballpark. Pummeling in the best way, McU's tracks are unrelenting in their adrenaline-fueled drive but artful too in their unexpected departures from the 4/4 pulse (e.g., “Shut Up,” a dizzying slice of bass thunder whose relentless drive McU trips up intermittently with stuttering edits). As primal as its title suggests, the goosestepping “Earth” roars with the obsessiveness of a rabid dog, while “Senses” and “Darkest” deliver dizzying squelch and strut by turn.

February 2010