Various Artists - When I Was 14
Nina Kraviz's Trip presents When I Was 14, a six track conceptual album featuring a rare appearance by Aphex Twin under his AFX alias with the recent Soundcloud favourite p-string. Plus new tracks from the Trip all stars Bjarki, PTU and Nina Kraviz among others. Showcasing her talents as a selector not just in the club but as a curator and label head, Nina Kraviz's latest instalment in the Trip series boasts a stellar line-up underground techno. First things first, we have to talk about the recent diamond in the Soundcloud upload, AFX's haunting straight line techno banger p-string. A track that lands somewhere in between SAW85-92's ghosted melodies and the eyes roll back kickdrum techno of Caustic Window. It's been considered by many to be the highlight of his recent Soundcloud mass upload and expertly showcases his futurist club track mentality that stands way ahead of everyone else in the game, while still unmistakably being classic AFX techno.
We are super psyched to report that as well as this, Kraviz has rolled out six other tracks that stand tall next to AFX with a heightened sense of sound assurance. Core Trip producer Bjarki (who's Trip 12" Arthur And The Intergalactic Whales sold out in no time when it dropped) gives the liquid tech sensibility of his recorded in one take Bæpolar, before Barcode Population's Temple Ball kicks the door in, proper floor focused techno gear. Elsewhere, Russian duo PTU cross strands of techno with a breakbeat bass heavy core that cements them as ones to watch. The mysterious Untitled by Biogen is an unedited live cut that comes out of nowhere and lobs ya head off before vanishing as fast as it started. Nina Kraviz drops a stripped back house number featuring minimal elements but caters for mass impact. A stunning comp of proper techno that gives nod to the original hardcore '90s sound while paving the way forward with an immense substance and pressure.
Various Artists - Don't Mess With Cupid, 'Cause Cupid Ain't Stupid
Nina Kraviz's TRIP presents Don't Mess With Cupid, 'Cause Cupid Ain't Stupid, a double 12" compilation featuring AFX under the Universal Indicator alias with 15 c7 is pure Rephlex acid techno of the mid 90s variety.
Loaded up with uncertified bangers from the extended TRIP family, alongside AFX there are tracks from PTU, Bjarki, Pilldriver, Shadowax, Roma Zuckerman, Exos, DEKA and of course, Nina Kraviz herself. Highlights include the rather rubbery electro of Biogen's Hexagraphic, the dark garage twist of Exos Grasshunter, the Rhythm & Sound on a summer holiday of Roma Zuckerman's wavey 'Zero' and of course the classic acid AFX of '15 c7' - summer scorchers all round!
Consider this a new innovation in the dynamics of acid.
Various Artists - locus error
The latest in a long line of various-artists compilations from TRIP Records, locus error is probably the most complex and intriguing set of productions that the label has released to date. Old-skool trance has become more prominent in the TRIP sound of late and the influence is more keenly felt than ever here. Analemma (aka SOPHIE and Huxtable)’s ‘Plunging Asymptote’ and Alan Backdrop’s ‘Nizaj’ are particularly ravey, transporting the listener back to the 90s with their pounding big-room beats and stabbing synth melodies. locus error’s title-track - delivered here by Carlota - does something similar while softening up the tones to give things a bit more of an IDM-techno flavour.
While much of the rest of locus error also brings the dancefloor heat, some of the entries here are more obtuse than the harmonious tracks named above. Kyoka’s ‘Link’ and PTU’s ‘Black Smokers’ both throw off their stride with quirky percussive hiccups while Ryan James Ford’s ‘Royal Legion’ rolls along on the sort of stubborn locked-groove we occasionally find on releases from labels such as The Trilogy Tapes and Novamute.
Building on the success of previous compilations like Don’t Mess With Cupid, ‘Cause Cupid Ain’t Stupid and Happy New Year! We Wish You Happiness TRIP bring together a collection of producers at the top of their game with their new collection locus error.
Buttechno - badtrip
badtrip, the latest LP from Muscovite upstart Buttechno, is another set of leftfield techno excursions that further solidify the Russian as one of the modern clubsphere’s more intriguing voices. These tracks largely feature the sort of nagging beats that one finds in the work of fellow Trip artists like Roma Zuckerman. However, the final treatment takes them away from minimal techno and into a more abstract space, one pitched between Giant Swan and the quixotic excursions of The Trilogy Tapes (a label on which Buttechno has previously released). At its most lively there are also shades of Bjarki - another Trip act - to badtrip.
Various Artists - Happy New Year! We Wish You Happiness!
If TRIP Records’ Happy New Year! We Wish You Happiness! compilation is anything to go by then it’s clear that label boss Nina Kraviz is taking a positive mental attitude into 2019. And why shouldn’t she? TRIP had an excellent 2018, and on the basis of these tunes it seems as if that form will continue throughout the coming year. Buttechno, Vladimir Dubyshkin and Kraviz herself are among the contributors to this leftfield house and techno collection.