Vintage synth fetisist Black Merlin acts out his coldest dystopian fantasy to date with this wonderfully bleak, minimal synth offering. Picking up career momentum (following killer releases for Weatherall’s Bird Scarer label and Timothy J. Fairplay’s/Scott Fraser’s unstoppable Crimes of the Future label) Black Merlin’s latest is among some of his best; manipulating the sounds of Detroit techno’s genesis, through the coldwave atmospheres of Richard Pinhas and even the theatrical sci-fi of Jeff Wayne’s ‘War of the Worlds’. Essential.
Icy cool electronics from this shadowy presence, Idioma, making a second contribution to Tim Paris’ excellent Marketing Music label. Appearing way back in 2009 with the delicate ‘Landscapes’, Idioma’s return maps out more seductive, woozy synth lines for remixers Tim Paris and Freude Am Tanzen’s Ruede Hagelstein to remix — both working brilliantly odd new-wave and slick proto-techno styles.
Last year this pair’s ‘Love Again’ visibly hit a chord (or several), to such a degree that they’re back for round two with ‘Not Afraid’. The infinitesimal balance between a vocalist and producer’s style, tone and approach falls elegantly and perfectly into step on Betsie & Andy’s sophomore effort. Holding absolute sway over the track’s midrange (long Andy’s particular forte), Betsie’s smoulder catalyses his sonics superbly.
Barcelona's Daniel Trim returns on Kevin McKay's Glasgow Underground with a storming three-tracker, the title banger 'H.O.U.S.E.' being one of those groove-heavy rollers that can flip a good party into the realms of a great party. Over, 'Our Light' manages to straddle the dizzyingly intricate with the gloriously anthemic. Always impressive, if you can carry it off. 'Rainbow Rising', meanwhile, is primed for those 5am dancefloors which, frankly, deserve to be freaked out. A jacking Detroit-style groove with European sensibilities.