Saturday, 28 May 2016

Various Artists – The Electronica Sound Of Planet Earth Volume 1 – Xenology Records

HE’S reinvented himself more times than Madonna has that there John Morrison. Black Jack, or even BlackJack, Mr. Man, Submorphosis, it’s hard to keep up at times with the experienced DJ and producer, a stalwart of the Scottish underground electronic scene. Now you can add to the list ‘label boss’ as, in cahoots with DJ partner Jace Syntax, he’s gone and launched his own imprint, Xenology Records.

It’s quite a debut for the label too, a staggering 20-track compilation of fresh techno gems culled from an eye-catching roster of well-known and well-respected artists including Derrick Thompson (aka Drivetrain and owner of Soiree Records International), Derek Carr (For Those That Knoe) and Rennie Foster (F Communications/Rebirth), not to mention Morrison and Syntax too. And why not, it is their label after all.

Between them they know their way round a techno track this lot and, boy, does it show with one super production following relentlessly after another, a mouth-watering and value-for-money two hours plus of intelligent, high-quality techno.

Standouts abound. Cliché it may be, but there really is something for everyone depending on your musical bent. There’s the rapturous and futuristic uplifting techno of the aforementioned Carr’s simply-titled X, Hughes Giboulay’s Variable, J Garcia’s Moon Roof and Jules Wells’ magnificent arms-in-the-air number You Are. And how could I not mention Stevie B Brown’s catchy piano-driven stormer Dirty Soul [piano mix, of course]?

For something more ethereal and intergalactic take EBE’s sumptuous and aptly-named Spacely, Mark Ryal’s deeply Rough and the charming Light Side from Andron Electron. The head honcho’s are no makeweights either. Syntax’s Alien Biology is a melodic and trippy little affair, whilst the sprightly and hypnotic Separate Entity showcases perfectly the ability of Mr. Morrison, who has long-standing and deeply-rooted connections within the Detroit underground electronic scene. He’s a busy boy too these days with fingers in numerous pies including a forthcoming release on a project close to my heart. Stay tuned.

For now though Morrison and the Xenology crew should bask in the credit of a job done well and a debut that promises even more good things to come. Full marks.

Check out:
The Electronica Sound Of Planet Earth Volume 1 @ Juno