No Logo, a vinyl and digital record label founded in Southampton, have announced that their third release will be “No Future Vol. 2”, featuring club-ready techno stompers together with a pair of unusual and unhinged remixes.
When No Logo began as an event promoter in Southampton a few years back, they gained the respect of the local electronic music scene via their minimalist aesthetic, efforts to promote local artists (including the “Soton Sound” compilation CDs given out at club nights) and ability to get popular underground DJs, such as Ben UFO, Boddika and Oneman, to play intimate venues, like The Cellar. No Logo have been absent from Southampton night life for a while now, but the recent growth of Southampton’s house music scene, propelled by promoters like Warehouse Southampton and Future Garden, feels like a continuation of their groundwork. The No Logo crew proved there was a market in Southampton for club nights playing quality electronic music, instead of the usual dark pit filled with cheap mixers, dire music and a sound system that makes your ears bleed!
The No Logo record label was born out of this connection to the dance floor, getting off to a stellar start last year with the “Coding” EP, produced by Southampton resident State. This was followed by the first volume of the “No Future” compilation series, released earlier this year, which saw State return with “Trenchard”, accompanied by a bruising techno workout in the form of Myler’s “Bad Jokes” and a pair of deep rollers from Divided and Rommek.
Now, it appears the label has become No Logo’s prime focus, as release of their third record, “No Future Vol. 2”, is expected any day now.
The second instalment in the “No Future” series pushes a harsher, more industrial sound and collates tracks from up-and-comer Ansome, American analog techno don Paul Birken, young Italian producer G-23 and previous No Logo artist Myler. In advance of its release, No Logo kindly sent us full length copies of the tracks and short clips have also appeared on the No Logo Soundcloud page, so you can hear them for yourself.
First up, it’s Ansome’s industrial stomper “Ships & Castles”, which screeches and clangs before banging into action with a heavy thump. White noise and what sounds like the squeal of a rusty swing combine to give the track an uneasy yet energised feel and when the hi-hats shuffle into the mix it’s hard to keep your shoulders from shrugging. I was really impressed with the quality of the production and Ansome does a great job of containing a chaos of noises within the mix. It’s a solid banger that would sound thrilling on a big system, perhaps in a set from the likes of Blawan or Surgeon.
Paul Birken’s hellish interpretation of Ansome’s original scraps the 4/4 thump in favour of a futile, twisted beat and a tortured synthesiser screech provides the main refrain. The track certainly pushes the envelope sonically, but feels as though it’s building up to something it never quite reaches. Listening to it feels far too masochistic for a rainy weekday afternoon after a long day of work, although it could translate to the dance floor better during one of his legendary live shows.
Like Ansome’s track, G-23’s “Rhythm Sticks” goes in hard from the get go, relying on a heavy stomp, syncopated scratching noises and the clang of steel pipes. An ominous low end synth meanders drunkenly throughout while the pounding combo of kick and click continues and you can’t help but shudder slightly at the overall sense of dread. Unnerving stuff!
Departing from the rest of the tracks on the EP, Myler’s IDM remix is a mechanical monster on the hunt, paying homage to the likes of Squarepusher and Aphex Twin. The break beat backbone to this beast is a distorted ball of restless energy and glitches rake across the skittering percussion with reckless abandon. After around a minute, a muscular, grime-like square wave bass joins the fray and the track lurches forward. Throughout, Myler constantly switches things up before you’ve had long enough to get comfortable and this exciting effort would certainly get a lethargic dance floor back on its feet.
Overall, it’s a solid release that provides something darker and heavier than the label’s previous output. It’s great to see No Logo hitting their stride with an international offering that still retains the stripped back, no-nonsense approach to music that was present from their beginnings in Southampton. A release date has not yet been announced, but the test pressings are in, so the vinyl should be hitting the shelves soon.
Ansome - Ships & Castles
Ansome - Ships & Castles (Paul Birken Remix)
G-23 - Rhythm Sticks
G-23 - Rhythm Sticks (Myler's IDM Remix)