The Neurofunk scene was really developing into its potential when Phace’s 2007 debut album dropped. The delightful delirium that is Psycho evokes the neuro trappings of Phace’s contemporaries such as Noisia (who make an appearance on The Feed) and Misanthrop. The expertly realized theme of this album makes for an intense rush through menacing vibes and low end sounds.
From the raucous Reservoir, the titular Psycho, to the titanic Tranquilizer, every track is a belter of artistically techy proportions. This album doesn’t miss a beat. Psycho is a wild ride not for the faint of heart; yet if you dare to listen, you’ll find an outstanding album full of seriously enjoyable songs.
Material from Emperor’s recent Dispositions LP gets the remix treatment on the latest release from Critical, and true to form the label have delivered a really interesting selection for the EP. For our money you should just ignore the Phace remix; as weighty as it is it’s predictable fare and far from the most interesting work we’ve heard from the German neuro powerhouse.
Klax on the other hand have absolutely excelled themselves with their remix of Made of Light, taking the original’s moody vocal and setting it to a halftime beat punctuated with grime-tinged synth swells and some serious bassweight. This one positively swaggers along as the synth lines stalk through the mix, and the energy levels are kept high despite the plodding drum pace; top notch mid-set switch-up material.
Ivy Lab are next up and once again on a half time flex, flipping Jounce around from a full roll neuro workout into a hypnotic, bouncing slice of intergalactic hip-hop that just oozes character. Smooth melodies and warm low end reverberations make for a serious head-nodder. Last up we’re treated to the softest of renditions as Made of Light gets the accoustic treatment, stripped back to nothing but Solah’s beautiful vocal and a moving piano line. Something a little different from the usual Emperor material! Check out the clips below and hit up the Critical Store to grab the EP on vinyl or digital now.
When it comes to hyper technical, dancefloor-focussed neurofunk there are many pretenders to the throne but few live up to the standards set by Germany’s finest. Phace’s latest work for his and Misanthrop’s Neosignal imprint finds him on top form, delivering another pair of dangerously weighty dancefloor smashers.
So Excited follows in the footsteps of previous Neosignal smash Sex Sells with a tongue in cheek vocal on the intro and playful melody (something often lacking from the polished but soulless neuro found elsewhere). When it drops it’s a chaotic blend of gut-punchingly hard drums and serious bassline distortion which defines so many Phace productions; absolutely deadly.
Over on the flipside Lit Up swaps the rolling break of the A for a more angular beat and staccato bassline but once again the vibes are utterly relentless. Not for the faint of heart! Check it out below and hit up your favourite digital store to grab a copy right now.
We’ve got a Damager special this week, taking a break from our usual single track selection to take a look at Current Value’s new LP for Critical Music, Biocellulose.
As you’d expect from one of the brightest talents in the scene and an alumni of the likes of Blackout Music, the engineering and technicality on show here is of a ridiculously high standard, but that’s not what makes the album stand out from the mass of high sheen but ultimately cookie-cutter neurofunk available in 2016.
The atmospherics and sound design detail are what really make this album shine; from the majestic synth intro of Phace collab Thump, through the eerie bleep-led buildup of Footwork and into the technoid strains of Vigilant Minds, there are so many fantastic sonic elements in Biocellulose to contrast and complement the stomping beats and basslines. Heft, sure, but with a side helping of beauty and intrigue.
Asides from recruiting Phace and Mefjus for a collab each, Critical have also grabbed some tasty remixes; Enei delivers a tough, rolling take on the savage Jump while Anode takes the angular danger of Pneumatics and flips it round into a Raiden-esque techo-D&B roller of impressive relentlessness. Overall it’s a wicked album and ample proof that dancefloor neurofunk can still hold hidden depths. Check out the clips below and hit up the Critical Store to grab a copy now!
This week’s Dojo Damager comes from German neuro powerhouse Phace and Bristol wunderkind Culprate who bring us the dangerously tweaked out vibes of Logic Bomb. If the sound of a super computer completely losing it’s silicone mind could be digitised and imbued with a hefty layer of sub bass, the result would be this; relentless scattershot percussion and savage bass stabs combined with that ultra precise Phace engineering makes for quite a tune!
Check out the Noisia Radio premiere of the track below and grab it as part of the Phace & Friends EP on Critical from Nov 13th.
Shogun have recruited some of the heaviest hitters in the neurofunk scene for their latest remix project, with material from Icicle’s Entropy LP in for the relick treatment along with a bonus remix of Dreadnaught from Neosignal badman Phace. The iconic stabs and SP:MC vocal are retained but the bass and beats are amped up to the energy levels you’d expect from a Phace mix, and it’s a fresh take on a tune which should be familiar to everyone in the scene.
Joe Ford injects a punchy new rhythm and a playful tone into Neutralize, while Black Sun Empire deliver an absolutely disgusting rework of The Edge – this one is absolutely off the hook! Sadly Ulterior Motive’s remix of Will You Be Mine proves a little disappointing, being practically indistinguishable from the original, leaving it to Proxima to up the ante once again with a devastating new mix of Isolation.
As usual you can pick this up on vinyl and digital from the Shogun Audio store; pre-orders are up now ahead of the June 29th release.
Following on from last month’s sampler release, Phace’s brand new LP Shape The Random is upon us! Featuring 14 new tracks from the German neurofunk mastermind, the album stays true to the signature Phace sound but still manages to throw in a few surprises.
Empty Talk yields the first of those, achieving the same kind of high energy that his tracks are known for via a relentless staccato rhythm. Emphasis here lies in the sub and highs, mostly eschewing the aggressive midrange that has become somewhat predictable across the neurofunk style. The album’s single collab provides another surprise; with Mefjus in the studio one might have expected a tearout banger, but The Mothership proves to be a creepy, suspense laden exercise in relative minimalism, packing a punch but exploring unusual percussion and FX over sheer aggression.
There’s still plenty of space for the precision, high impact neurofunk Phace has become well known for, as evidenced by the likes of Fraktal Total, Bite The Edge and the titular Shape The Random to name but a few. Exit Plan rounds the album off nicely with a another punchy, groove-laden and faintly robotic track. Phace remains at the top of his game and the cutting edge of the scene! Check out the clips below and pick up the album from the Neosignal bandcamp now!
Noisia’s Vision Recordings imprint is among the pack of esteemed D&B labels celebrating its 10th anniversary, and to mark the occasion they’ve remastered a host of top tracks from the Vision back catalogue which they’ll be releasing on CD, USB stick and digital download alongside two new tracks exclusive to the compilation (both of which you can preview below).
For the merchandise-hungry there are also bundles available featuring a 10 years of Vision t-shirt and a rather tasty (if somewhat expensive) 12″ artwork book featuring full size, full colour artwork from every single release on the label. Head over to the Noisia store to pick up one of the bundles now, or cop it from your favourite digital outlet.
The mighty Phace is back and his signature high-precision, high-energy neurofunk sound remains as compelling as ever! The first taste of the German producer’s second solo album drops on vinyl and digital from Monday, and fans will certainly not be disappointed. My Mind Is Modular builds suspense with tight percussion and a hypnotic melody before slamming down into a typically frenetic assault of beats and bass.
Over on the flip Monochrome proves just as fearsome, playing around with unusual rhythms on the intro before dropping into angular kicks and snares set to a terrifying rising bassline. Robotic stuff! The sampler drops on vinyl and digital from Feb 16th, with the rest of the album due to follow a month later. The physical format aficionados (or those with deep pockets at least) can also head over to the Neosignal bandcamp to pre-order an album bundle with both vinyl releases, CD, t-shirt, stickers and full digital download. Check out the clips below and prepare yourself for the neurofunk onslaught!
Following our run down of our favourite albums of the year, we felt it was only right to put the spotlight on our top tracks. These are the ten tunes that haven’t left our record box since their release…