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[Haven] * Noir (cd 2013)

I mixed up [Haven} with Havan and expected dark ambient. I was not too happy to hear some soft techno with female vocals which is entirely not my taste. There are sparse darker parts which are more interesting, but I really dislike the overal sound of this album.
Perhaps the fact that this came out on Zoharum is in a way interesting. There have been releases on War Office Propanda / Rage In Eden in the past, so may I did know this project (and they sound different on this release), but you will have to like soft techno if you want to try this.
Link: [Haven], Zoharum

About * Bongo (online album 2007 cock rock disco)

I know this band from their brilliant contribution to the free Cock Rock disco compilation. It was not until last week that I started to ‘Google’ the band, found out that they are from Amsterdam and that there is an album available. Like all Cock Rock releases, this is an online album. Whereas “Think Niles Drink” is a very ‘rocky’ and energetic track (with a great video), the rest of the album goes from weird poppy ADHD to more tranquil tracks. It all is not completely unlike Jason Forrest (see elsewhere) who also runs the label. In any case, something new seems to be happening, a mix between techno/breakcore and lollypop (catchy melodies, simple lyrics) completely with guitars and background vocalists. I haven’t decided if I like this album better than Forrest’s own “Shamelessly Exciting”, but “Bongo” sure is a wonderfull album if you like some weird (and happy) pop music every once in a while.
Links: About, Cock Rock Disco

Jason Forrest * Shamelessly Exciting (cock rock disco 2006 online album)

Jason Forrest is also known as DJ Donna Summer under which monicker he makes ADHD mixes between techno, breakcore, soul, jazz and whatever he can lay his hands on. A few years ago Forrest decided to form a one-man-band under his own name. “Shamelessly Exciting” is a complete novelty (as far as I know) in the music bizz. Forrest mixes fucked-up breakcore beats with poprock guitars, punk samples and towards the end the album gets a bit pop-idm-jazz-like. Eh? Hard to describe, but energetic, fresh and magnificent.

DJ Donna Summer * BootyBreakTranceClub-Core Mix (online DJ mix 2006 cock rock disco)

Jason Forrest (see unofficial tekno reviews) was earlier known as Donna Summer, both as a musical artist as as DJ. Here we have a one hour free DJ mix which is completely brilliant. DS goes from techno to IDM, breakcore and a lot of old-fashioned gabber. He throws in popmusic such as Lynard Skynard or Queen. The greatest thing is that DS doesn’t just plays tracks after eachother mixing them together, but he actually uses tracks to make something different from it. Run DMC becomes an acid track and from (the unlisted) Prodigy’s “Wind It Up” you only get the piano tune. The mix goes from nice dance music to breakcore extremism, but overall is a very nice ADHD dance mix with the most unexpected tracks. Very nice! <4/3/07><4>

v/a * Cockrock Disco (online compilation 2006 cock rock disco)

I was tipped about Duran Duran Duran, a completely hellish fast and fucked-up breakcore act. Searching the internet I landed on the label Cock Rock Disco which has a free online compilation. I figured that this would be some kind of breakcore compilation. In a way this is true, but Cock Rock Disco has more tricks to offer. Besides the main man’s magnificent poprock breakcore act Jason Forrest Band (also a bit to be heard in the band About), there is IDM on this album, but also metal-like breakcore (Drumcorps) and all kind of new weird sounds. Be sure to download a copy of this compilation and see if you are in for crazy futuristic music.

v/a * Table Of Elements (online compilation 2006 mtronic)

I don’t think that I heard of the label before they sent me an email to notify me about their free compilation. “IDM” I am not sure if this is still the name this music goes under these days. In the beginning I called it “abstract techno” by lack of a tag, later terms used in the media were “cuts and clicks”, “dub”, “electronica” and later “intelligent dance music”. The most funny thing is, is that the music isn’t really danceable (in my opinion). The music seems to go back to weird electronic acts such as Autechre and Aphex Twin, but it seems that in the evolution of this cut-up breakbeat music seems to have gone in two directions. One is a more soft and melodic sound (Funckstörung, Funckarma), the other fucked-up and violent (following Venetian Snares). The first then is “IDM”, the latter “breakcore”. Of course there are numerous crossbreeds and novelties. What -for example- to do with a weirdo such as Kid 606? Anyway, in the beginning I had the idea that the music is still the same as seven years ago when it was still new. Soft music, crazy rhythms/beats, a bit of orchestrations. But as the cd continues there come some harder tracks and some tracks with new elements. There are some very nice tracks on the compilation and you can heard the sound of both old and new.

2nd Gen * Irony Is (cd 2000 mute records limited)

I had never heard of this guy until last weekend when I saw him at a nice and free festival in Rotterdam (NL). An earblowing piece of industrial techno combined with noise and digital hardcore-like elements. On the cd (at a more modest volume) it isn’t that hard, but still this is fairly hard for a techno cd. On the other hand, this guy from Manchester (UK) was signed on the same label as my country mate Speedy J (NL) who also knows his way with industrial techno (see reviews elsewhere).
Anyway, slow distorted beats, some influences of noise, relatively tranquil and heavy tracks and some difference in quality of the tracks are the elements that describe this cd. One last thing: it is very short, 40 minutes. All in all pretty nice.

2nd Gen * Flicknives (cd 2003 q,mass)

Over three years after “Irony Is” the (as far as I know) 2nd cd of 2nd gen is released on a label that I didn’t know. Also the cd comes in a nice new kind of cd-box. “Flicknives” is only 44 minutes long and not as hard as the first cd, but still very much 2nd Gen. Our Brit has a unique sound, being somewhere between industrial/noise and techno. The rhythms are more downpaced this time, but the industrial background probably keeps this lovely release away from the normal techno-audience. On the other hand, maybe 2nd Gen is ‘too techno’ for the industrial audience, but if I am right, there is a growing audience for the harder and more experimental kind of techno or industrial. Here we have a cd to show what this could sound like! <6/2/04><4>

Adam Beyer * Protechtion (cd 2000 drumcode)

I read a review of a mix cd by Adam Beyer called “Time Warp 3” which is supposed to contain quite hard techno. Instead of finding that brandnew cd, I found this slightly older cd by Beyer himself and decided to try it. Hm, quite the normal kind of 4/4 techno that is quite popular these days. It sounds nice, but not really special and definately not harder than normal.
For those who don’t really know what I am talking about, this is the kind of techno that they call “techno” which usually/always has the same “four-to-the-flour” rhythm and is therefor perfect for the dancefloors. “Techno” is mostly quite minimalistic and also Beyer’s sound is. It is the trick to avoid starting to sound boring when you have only one rhythm to use, but often this seems no problem, not for Beyer it is anyway. Quite nice -therefor- but nothing special.

Alec Empire * The Destroyer (cd 1996 digital hardcore recordings)

Alec Empire is of course the man behind the DHR label and best known for the most famous (and almost most boring) DHR band Atari Teenage Riot. For his one-man-project Empire makes “d-jungle”. Very extreme drum’n’bass with extremely fast rhythms. But you will also hear more ‘classical’ digital hardcore with ‘gabba-beats’. This (I believe) first Empire cd is really great. A few tracks can be found on DHR compilations.