For the first in a brand new monthly series Philip Neeson below picks a selection of the best in recently released techno and electronica.


Helena Hauff: 'Funereal Morality'

Released through Werkdiscs, Berlin art-techno practitioner, and no nonsense mix-it-up DJ Helena Hauff finally gets round to putting out her debut album Discreet Desires. Hauff's 12's up to now have been of a generally modern warehouse tech and - at points quite lengthy - experimental triptych flavour. And yet things here things are more than a touch different, adding to a more album-like journey and - dare I say it - almost accessible feel. Not exactly pop techno, mind, but certainly something that comes across quite suitable for an evening of home listening.

There is a kind of sci-fi themed, semi-disco outer-reality going on here, and the album is both neatly-delivered, decidedly energetic, and yet still manages to sound subtly warped. From the dark disco College-esque 'L'Homme Mort', to 'Funereal Morality''s alien life call-and-response and sinister edge, Discreet Desires is a record that works both for the mind and feet.


Regis: 'Blood Witness'

Not entirely dissimilar in flavour and feel to Discreet Desires veteran UK producer and DJ Karl O'Connor showcases his eclectic production skills over the course of compilation 2010 - 2014 Manbait, taking in shifty dark ambience, dirty rotten house, and pushalong techno shakers. Ike Yard and Raime are among the acts pulled around with on the LP, that also includes a couple of our pruducer's own tunes. Check out one such track, the dark and sexy tribal rhythm of 'Blood Witness'. Manbait is out now on Blackest Ever Black.


Laurel Halo: 'Drift'

In Situ is the third full-length-- and first for Honest Jon's-- from top head techno and all round abstract doodler Laurel Halo (unless you prefer to call its eight cuts an EP), and follows up on 'Chance of Rain'-- which was one of this writer's favourite LPs of 2013. 'Drift' can be found on it, offering up some dub-laden, hi hat boogie amidst Halo's signature cut-up, minimal dry patterns, and general out-there soundscapes. In Situ is not short on on-the-hoof, almost live-playing, playfully-serious whimsy and sinister shuffle, and another top Halo release.


Call Super: 'Meltintu'

Call Super and Houndstooth continue their nice release form with the Migrant / Meltintu release. The item is a retro-modern 15-minute dose of nature-giving, homely-yet-complex electronica-leaning dancefloor. From the beautiful, dreamlike 4/4 Balearic opener of 'Migrant' to the, in some ways polar opposite, heavier and spacily cumbersome B12-like 'Meltintu', the whole thing comes wholly recommended.


Vai: 'Dust'

Sons of Idaia is a six-track release on Leipzig's Holger label - their eighth in fact. Vai sticks to minimal techno and ambient gorgeousness throughout, creating slowforming, pastel-colored curios of rich subtletly and under the radar cleverness. Things shift and come alive like a mouse in an attic full of children's musical toys as during the minimal, elasticated repetitive pull of opener 'Dust', while Llia Alma Delay brings with it an eerie ambience and creeping, trippy beats. Quite enjoyable.


Trikk: 'Abstract Language'

Just released on ManMakeMusic, Bruno Deodato AKA Trikk's new 'Abstract Language' 12" is described as "gritty house" on the press release. The A-side mixes like a sort of post Underworld bit of moody and grimey prog house, while Deviation 33 goes more for the locked-in rattling percussion and slowly evolving cold dark atmospherics. The release is made up of the latter cut handed a sprightlier bpm and a touch more transient makeover by label mate Locked Groove.


Lurka: 'Partials'

Released via Black Acre, this two-track release by Lurka begins with 'Partial''s atmospheric post dubstep, concrete pads and... wait for it... lurking (woohoo!) industrial lure, while the flipside 'Mach' teases us with its slippery Plaid-like groove. "Awkward, skewered funk" is how the press release describes this one. I couldn't put it any better myself... and I just haven't.


Sam KDC: Psychic Dirt

Hold on in there, me hearties, for this be a bit alright. Psychic Dirt is the new EP by Sam KDC, a bit of a roller-coaster of gritty drum & bass tightly-wound wonder, and dirt-smelling, dripping-and-gripping dubcore industry. Think everyone from Tech Itch through to Shackleton. Yep, that good. The 4-track Psychic Dirt EP is out now via Samurai Music.


Mike Gervais: On My Own

Some wavey-formey techno bangers from Midwest producer Mike Gervais (not a very rock & roll name, admittedly). The On My Own EP's three late-in-the-night techno cuts begins with the title-track's vibrating space rush, before the deeper 'Cut And Thrust' goes all out tightswitch Richie Hawtin IDM-ery, and standout Relax closes things with alarm bells, curious clickware beats, and teasing pads that's altogether reminiscent of early Ellen Alien. The On My Own EP is due on Gervais' own SYSTEM label.


Roscius: 'Petrol'

Taken from the new EP on the MUTA label WMD#2, 'Petrol' is an intricate, curiously layered bit of post Aphex Twin (or AFK or Astrobotnia). Tricky beats untangle as empty room electro-jazz ambience wander in the near background. The track can be downloaded via XLR8R, who go on to call the track insular and eerie. I find it to be one of those that for some reason sounds better when listened to via earbuds. Maybe I'll write an essay on why this is one day.