Skip to main content

REbEL Reviews


Our in-house techno taste-maker REbEL directs us through the latest techno singles ticking his boxes. It's time for REbEL Reviews!

Nicole Moudaber Feat. Skin - Someone Like You (Drumcode)

Im not sure when this track will be released but I've heard it's going to be on the Adam Beyer's "Drum Code" imprint. The label's output has been synonymous with banging, bone rattling techno combined with emotive elements. In recent months though there has been a noticeable shift in it's style, perhaps reflecting label boss Adam Beyer's slight slow down in BPM. It's not a big change but to me it makes a big difference, I am currently finding a lot joy in his "Drum Code Radio" podcasts. It's the sort of techno I can really get down to both at home, and in the club.

"Someone Like You" is typically Moudaber in style. It reflects a stylish toughness that she has very much made her own. Her productions are often great club tracks that don't work as well through the headphones (but are still great for it). This one really tugs at the heart strings, full on, industrial beats crunch and wallop. The clap is lo-fi and nasty, really glueing the percussive elements together. Dark, reverberating shabby fx and mechanical church organs rip through the tension before the instantly recognisable Skin (formally of Skunk Anansie) lends her vocal talents to the spectacular breakdown.

Her vocals combine with several new elements and build real emotion. A soulfulness that wasn't present before takes centre stage and then, suddenly, the pounding drum beats come back and frantic dancing is surely going to be the result for nearly everyone that experiences this!

Essential track.

(Clip not available yet).

Guy Gerber & Dixon - No Distance (Rumours)

Dixon doesn't really do original productions, he mainly works his magic on edits and remixes as well as his frankly awe inspiring DJ sets. Guy Gerber, on the other hand, is widely regarded as a genius in the studio. Tracks like the unforgettable "Stoppage Time" on Bedrock (one of my favourite records) and timing (another favourite) cemented his reputation in the early 2000s. So together this can only be a match made in heaven. It doesn't disappoint.

"No Distance" has been in my conscious since Dixon's Essential Mix at the tail end of 2013, a mix I have talked about an awful lot and one that has hit my bank balance hard due to the amount of essential records it exposed me to. Punchy drums, silky hi hats and Juno-esque synthesisers cut the atmosphere like a knife. Tingly toms provide a rhythmic balance and guitar lick twangs. This instantly has all the hallmarks of a Guy Gerber classic, it's trance like melody, delicious, whispery nature wraps you up and just doesn't let go. It's so subtle, which is why you'll come back again and again. Melody is so hard to do well but it's something Dixon and Innervisions seem to have mastered over the years, his ear is clearly tuned to pick out what works and what will stand the test of time.

There is also a very quirky remix from Lake people, who do a good job of twisting the track into something new and interesting. Triplet grooves, eeriness and sparse techno are the order here with the melody chopped and the pads used sparingly. The clean sound and brightness are great on a nice set of monitors. A nice proggy style warm up track.

F.T.G & Marci Riff - Heaven

A tune that hit my inbox from a couple of artists I don't know anything about, "Heaven" is an acid tipped, atmospheric techno number that has a rawness to it I really like. Apparently it will be a vinyl only 180 gram affair and it's coming out of Berlin, two ingredients that always mix well with me!

Reverb heavy kicks and a simple groove drive the track from the off while almost inaudible vocals chant and echo forth. The mix is unusual but it does work, slightly reminiscent of Greg Beato or Paranoid London only not in a distorted way, it has more of a pleasant hiss.

When the 303 hits and the big female vocal drops in the tune really bursts into life, thudding and wobbling, driven on by the open hats. The atmospheric nature of the record combined with the toughness really work, a very nice record.

(Apologies again, no bloody audio yet! Look out for it!)

Heartthrob - Someone Called Again (ISNISNT)

Slick, punchy and ready for the club is how I'd describe Heartthrob's music. The Minus star makes techno with swagger and flare.

This release on ISNISNT is a 4 track EP full of quality and classy moments. Firstly, as you'd expect from Heartthrob, the production is unbelievable. The drums have so much space but don't come across too minimal, there is real groove and rhythm coming from the bass and lead stabs, particularly in the title track. "Someone Called Again" is a proper club track, something I will definitely reach for in my sets. It twists and turns unexpectedly, building for the first three minutes then letting loose. When the dramatic, wonky horror synth erupts from it's bassy surroundings the crowd is guaranteed to go wild!

"Cougar Juice (driving past the jail mix)" has a more "Minus" feel to it, with it's robotic, technologic edges ripped straight out of a science fiction film, the sudden bubbly bass drop changes the vibe after a couple of minutes. The drums are, once again, so good. The hats sound so wide that all the other elements at the centre of the track shine individually. The reduced dub version rips out a lot of the harsh, sci-fi elements and beefs up the bubbling, wobbly bass.

"Let Them Go", surely a Hawtin favourite, is a proper minimal techno banger with modern twists. There is still plenty of groove from the percussion but the bass is a lot more traditional, with some wonderfully weird, futuristic sounds for the horse lovers out there.

A solid release from a fresh label, worth it just for "Someone Called Again".

Blackhall & Bookless - Kevins Spacey/Morgans Freeman (Jaunt)

I might be a bit early off the blocks for this one but seeing as these boys are the next Tough Luck Records release I figured I'd give their label and forthcoming tracks a little plug, not least because they are wicked tunes. Chris's Blackhall & Bookless are part of the Jaunt collective, primarily a club night started in Newcastle, they recently settled in London and now work in both cities. Jaunt will soon be launching as a label and, trust me on this, it's shaping up to be one of the most exciting new labels coming out of the UK.

"Kevins Spacey" is a properly tripped out, deep techno tipped house number. Soaked in Sushitech class, the lads have confidently blended looping, metallic chords with deeper stabs and monotone hi hats. Claps and interesting snare sounds flutter and provide rhythmic interest. A luscious breakdown full of feeling (but nowhere near over the top) will have you shutting your eyes and swaying for sure.

"Morgans Freeman" is slightly more banging but still retains elements of deeper, Berlin tech house. Again the maturity in the music is instantly evident, they aren't trying to shout about anything, just provide an achingly good loop to get lost in. Atmospheric, looping thrashiness that sounds like it's coming from the end of a particularly dank corridor play with fluttering, sunset vibes. It's a great contrast, meaning it will work both in the club and on the beach at the right time.

This release will also include a pair of top class remixes but I don't want to reveal anything before they do! Top stuff.


Check out the label - Tender Hooks

I was handed a record on a night out last Friday, it's always nice to get tunes like that, a personal touch goes a long long way! It was on Tender Hooks, which started as a party, playing host to the likes of DJ Koze and with a monumental 1st anniversary party coming up featuring Zip and Dj Sprinkles at Corsica studios.

High quality techno is the order of the day here and if you're into Border Community or Pampa then you'll have a good idea of what to expect. Their most recent release, Lakosa & Rick Grant's "Static"/"Temptations" is a dreamy, bassy trip into hypnotic techno. Mesmerising garage grooves shuffle while sequenced bass rolls along.

The success of the Corsica studios based party is sure to keep raising the profile of these guys and quality bookings like Zip and Sprinkles will do them no harm, check out the party here


Tough Luck Update…

We are fast approaching the release of TLR003, Blackhall & Bookless's "Therapy EP" will include remixes from Ed Davenport and The Jaydes (Bloody Mary and Attan). Early DJ support has been amazing and Im really excited for this one to come out. Expect a Mid to late May release (Record Store Day has pushed things back a bit).

Agree with my selection(s) this month? Anything I've missed, or anything that I should be checking out for next? Get in touch via or hit me via @jonnyRebel_uk on Twitter.