At least from a commercial standpoint, the electronic underground's biggest reveal of the fortnight came on radio, Hudson Mohawke's 'Ryderz' announcing his upcoming LP Lantern in typically forthright fashion. Coming on the heels of collaborator Kanye West's BFF Jay Z announcing a much-vaunted new streaming service, the role of Rinse FM in the HudMo press rounds was significant: against all the odds, radio matters to electronic music as much as ever.

From Tim Sweeney's Beats In Space in New York City, to standout shows from the likes of Laurel Halo on Berlin Community Radio, the internet has afforded us access to top-class music radio like never before. As the days get longer and hotter in London, evenings will come to be dominated by Rinse, NTS and other community gatekeepers. Of course, overlooking the role of streaming platforms like SoundCloud and Mixcloud in this phenomenon would be a mistake: venture capital and the glow of laptops are surely no replacement for the romance of, say, hearing a crackly Goldie tune for the first time, but the medium continues to be well-suited to DJs and listeners.

The lionisation of '90s pirate radio by projects such as Four Tet's Beautiful Rewind now seems oddly mistimed, with artist-led broadcasts from all over the world leading the conversation - and the dance - like never before.


Hudson Mohawke - 'Ryderz' [Warp]

Like Daphni's 'Yes I Know' before it, 'Ryderz''s chief appeal is the greatness of its '70s sample, and it pays homage to that fact in its title. But the rap-informed, internet era stylisation of that name hints at how Hudson Mohawke's latest distils the appeal of the contemporary Glaswegian dance diaspora: tasteful, classicist music crossed with the youthful, exuberant, taps aff vibe of Sub Club. Though his forthcoming second album Lantern sees release on electronic institution Warp, Ross Birchard found fame as a figurehead of that city's LuckyMe collective, and 'Ryderz' could just as well be taken up as a manifesto by contemporaries Numbers. At the same time, more than ever Ross Birchard seems distinct from his city, even if his rueful mutterings about the 'parody genre' that sprung up in the wake of his and Lunice's TNGHT project's festival success has made him wary of American EDM culture.

'Ryderz' makes his appeal to Kanye West clearer than ever. Here, Birchard is indebted not just to The College Dropout's soul samples, but to the furious drums on 'All Of The Lights' and the era-clash of 'Bound 2'. When the track escalates into a flurry of patented Mohawke percussion it sounds like it will have just as much trouble squeezing into smaller clubs as TNGHT's 'Higher Ground'.

It's difficult to say 'Ryderz' stokes anticipation for the upcoming album though when it has already found its perfect home: this is a track that was made for pirate radio (or, in the case of Rinse, pirate gone straight). Birchard uses the sample to build anticipation - the whole track feels like pure gassing, really - and D.J. Rogers' backing singers sound not so much beamed in from another time (which, technically, they are), as from a different frequency.


Truss - 'Kymin Lea' [Perc Trax]

Much of Truss' previous work, and that of peers like Blawan and Perc, can be categorised by its relentlessness: full steam ahead, barrage techno. But if that music was designed to subsume you, 'Kymin Lea', Truss' return to solo work, is relentless in a different way: it doesn't let the listener settle in or find a groove. At any given moment fizzing circuits or broken chords will break through to keep you locked in Tom Russell's disturbed, disconcerting reality.


JT The Goon - 'Wars' [Sulk]

Having come up producing for rabble-rousing crew Slew Dem, JT The Goon has found a new lease of life as one of the most consistently 'avin it producers among the Boxed family. At his best he refashions well-worn grime motifs - sinogrime synths, gunshots and FPS effects - into something highly melodic and fresh, and here he's followed his great Edgem EP with Boylan and Dullah Beatz with another rave workout. 'Wars' is more stunting than aggression; combat at its most cartoonish, music for Street Fighter rather than fighting in the streets. That's not to say it doesn't have the capacity to be an absolute rabble-rouser. It's a deliberate, self-consciously banging beast, and makes a perfect third release for Boxed honcho Slackk's Sulk imprint.


Lakker - 'Pylon' [R&S]

As Eomac on last year's 'Tube' for Lucy's Stroboscopic Artefacts, one half of Lakker came close to perfecting the dark arts of techno production. The kick drum seemingly came from nowhere but had actually been there all along and the 'drop' wasn't so much built towards as used to serve the feeling of constant build achieved by the genre's finest tracks. Reunited with Dara Smith, Ian McDonnell has helped produce an altogether different beast. 'Pylon' builds - its intricate sound design is so foreboding it outdoes any blockbuster trailer's'BWONG!' - but it does so towards a more defined goal. And when it gets there, after four whole minutes of clacking drums and forlorn piano that recall the Aphex-approved duo's IDM influences, all hell breaks loose.


Electric Wire Hustle - 'Look Into The Sky' (Seven Davis Jr. Remix) [somethinksounds]

You need only look at his work with Kutmah to hear the common ground Seven Davis Jr. shares with hip-hop-cum-soul duo Electric Wire Hustle, but his remix of their 'Look Into The Sky' completely transforms the original. Starting out with the homemade feel of many of his productions - a soulful, snatched vocal over a carefree house track - the New Yorker kicks the track into second gear halfway through. A throbbing bassline, more forceful than funky, takes off, accompanied by soulful coos in an effect reminiscent of Brooklyn's TV On The Radio. From humble beginnings we're gifted a leftfield gem which never loses its prettiness even when it ups the urgency.

Ekoplekz - FACT Mix 491

Ekoplekz's FACT mix begins conspicuously, with a lengthy excerpt of a talk by the gloriously deadpan, unabashedly intellectual critic and broadcaster Jonathan Meades, and ends with another foreboding voice, this time the disembodied vocal on an exclusive Wrangler remix of Ekoplekz's own 'Severn Beach'. In between, Edwards touches on sort-of jazz with Charles Hayward's drum-driven sax squall 'Searchlight Tattoo' and gurgling electro with Nochexxx's dusty 'Last Club On Da Left', but the mood doesn't waver from the pessimism and knowingness of Meades' opening ramble on the façade of the 2012 Olympic Games.


Hysterics - 50KG Mix

Although Night Slugs cohort Jam City makes an early appearance, the selections on Hysterics' 50KG Mix clearly set out the project's stall as a different beast from Philip Gamble's more famous alias, Girl Unit, with playful takes on scrappy house and techno the order of the day. The congos on River Ocean's (a.k.a. Louie Vega of Masters at Work) 'Love & Happiness' are a particular joy, as is a track from the new Levon Vincent LP following - of all things - a Kylie Minogue instrumental. Even an excursion back to Baltimore, a fruitful Girl Unit hunting ground in the past, picks out ghetto house rather than club, with Frank Ski and Miss Tony's wickedly profane 'Tony's Bitch Track' almost stealing the show. When Delroy Edwards' mucky L.I.E.S. highlight '4 Club Use Only' signals the closing flourish, it functions as an apt mission statement.


Tropical Waste - NTS show with Endgame and Neana

As well as putting on parties, London's Tropical Waste host a must-listen monthly radio show on NTS, and here they're joined by associates Endgame and Neana for a three-hour marathon. Gage & Kevin Jz Prodigy's delirious ballroom/grime hybrid 'Bad Bitch' is the session's first highlight, and plenty more follow. Neana provided a remix for the forthcoming deluxe edition of Kelela's Cut 4 Me mixtape and Rizzla's rabble-rousing rework of 'Keep It Cool' from that release features here. A track from British Ecuadorean MC Blaze Kidd, Lotic's uncharacteristically pretty 'Fractures', and a hard-edged but fun-loving remix of SOPHIE's still-great 'Hard' perfectly encapsulate the Tropical Waste aesthetic.


Mumdance - Rinse FM show

On last month's FABRICLIVE 80 mix CD, Jack Adams had a lot to say - arguably too much. The 'weightless' sound he and Logos are pioneering with their Different Circles imprint floated up against the rough-hewn UK techno of Untold, and collector's edition grime (a VIP of his and Novelist's phenomenal '1 Sec', and the fan-favourite Riko Dan VIP of the aforementioned duo's 'Take Time') blew up into classic hardcore. Adams is a man of many tastes, and almost as many talents, but all those influences are better suited to the rapid-mixing, eclectic style of UK pirate radio. Freed from the constraints of the official mix format - and with it, the need to make a 'statement' - Mumdance comes alive for two hours on Rinse.