SP​Æ​CIALISTA - Phenomenæ
Diffuse Reality Records

Those who’ve been closely tracking South American body music know that SPÆCIALISTA is one of the continent’s best producers, and the four tracks features on his new EP are further demonstrations of just how many styles and subgenres he’s comfortable working with, spanning the genre’s roots and its future. “” and “The Chase” feel like continuations of last year’s Tainted EP, linking its scraping throwback EBM to roots electro breaks. But it’s in “Extraño Futuro” and “Dark Matter” that SPÆCIALISTA’s chops (and possibly his extra-electronic skills as a drummer) are showcased. The former is the sort of high gloss, high BPM techno-industrial horror show we’ve come to expect from the likes of Starving Insect, with none of the austerity and monochrome restraint of most European TBM. Its acid breaks and stabby flourishes recall some of the excesses of industrial-electro’s dalliances with techno some fifteen years back, yet delivered with far more aplomb than most of those acts could muster. “Dark Matter” is similarly nimble, with 90s rave, 00s electroclash, and current darkwave and EBM fusions all compressed into a sleek package. Solid stuff across the board from one of the most refreshing and invigorating producers in the game today.

Edgecase Development Corporation
ECEP II: Belt Objects

The first EP from Eric Oehler’s Edgecase Development Corporation was largely modern techno-body styled dance music, a harder-edged cousin to his work as one half of new beat and classic NRG he makes as one half of Klack, and a far cry from the lush, world beat influenced synthpop of his long-running band Null Device. EDC’s new EP might actually have more in common with the latter than previously, as Oehler takes many of the instruments and sounds that have informed his writing and productions as part of Null Device, and applies them to a decidedly nineties dance template. To wit, the new material has more in common with Juno Reactor than it does anything you’ll hear blasting out of speakers at your Berlin techno venue of choice. That comparison is most evident on “Hygiea”, which revolves around a trance-gated vocal chant, sampled Mediterranean string instruments and a syncopated drum pattern that cleverly works in polyrhythmic hand drumming. This isn’t pure Ben Watkins worship though; check out the funky layers of percussion on “Vesta”, their density creating plucky rhythmic variations for its funky bass and fluid synthlines to weave through. Where “Ceres” dips into acid techno, finding a contrast between that genres’ squelchy leads and the musicality of traditional Persian and Arabic musical modes, “Euphrosyne” plays the kick drum back in the mix to create a fluid groove, accented by the thrum of throat singing and fluttery descending melodies. Tastefully executed and global in scope, its an example of the ways in which Oehler’s musicality can apply to genres across the electronic music spectrum.