Various Artists ‘EPM Selected Volume 2’

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Title: EPM Selected Volume 2
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With its opening gambit the latest compilation from our good friends at one of the UK’s finest electronic music promotion agencies-turned-record labels states the intention clearly. “We want filth… we don’t want commercial interruptions… leave us alone.” Despite the paraphrasing, hopefully you get the point.

As was proved with both EPM Volume 1 and EPM 10 (released to celebrate the firm’s tenth anniversary), when EPM does techno it does it properly. Underground dancefloor music concerned with lulling the listener into a pounding hypnotic trance, it’s precisely the kind of plain and simple approach to quality studio craftsmanship aimed at sweaty venues we appreciate in this office.

This time round we’re treated to some weighty, fillet-steak heavy cuts from artists such as Orlando Voorn, whose rather tense (thanks to those Motor City string refrains) yet upbeat, percussive Wiggle represents a peak time highlight from the track list. Meanwhile, the likes of Paul Mac keep it funky and more groove focused, his appropriately titled Old seeming to reference a period of time long before the current strain of increasingly popular pounding genre interpretations came to the fore, when things were more focused on dubby harmonies. Choppy snares and tracking cymbals layered atop of waves of subtle harmony. So far so good then, everything in between and on either side of the aforementioned pair keeps the standards similarly high.

Whether it’s the thoroughly malignant Acid Spore from Kristian Heikkila- destined to enter the brain and refuse to stop buzzing like some wasp in a jar- or Carl Taylor’s intelligent take on old broken beat horn and bleep filled rave tones Perplexer (here brought down several notches on the tempo scale), this is well and truly one for the heads to lose their heads to, and whilst that may be divisive to listeners looking for something other than up front techno, as the introductory samples on opener We Want Techno (another bomb from Heikkila quoted in the first paragraph here) explains, there’s nowhere EPM would rather be, at least in the context of this particular outing. Fine work, fine work indeed.