Those of you who have been following Berlin’s 50WEAPONS label since it began its mission a decade ago will doubtlessly be sad to realize that it’s getting set to reach the end of its run. It’s been a rich 10 years for the folks at 50WEAPONS (and all those who snapped up their releases), but all good things must end. And between now and the end of the year, the label will release numbers 40 through 50 in its catalog, thus fulfilling its mission. But it’s not as simple as that, of course. Fear not, 50WEAPONS will be going out amid plenty of fanfare, commemorating its farewell with a tour, a box set and more.
Modeselektor, Monolake, Shed, Truncate and Addison Groove, are only a few of the artists who will be among the label’s final batch of releases. There will also be a special collectors’ box set coming out on December 4, celebrating the 50WEAPONS saga and containing lots of cool extras.
And in case that wasn’t enough, there’s a world tour in the offing, which will find a batch of the label’s core artists hitting major cities all across the globe. It all adds up to a grand sendoff with plenty of ways for fans to take part in the final 50WEAPONS farewell. Keep a close eye on the website for updates and info.
While hesitating to use the word focused, Heliosphere is techno that seems more settled, even at its most aggressive, than when Damage gets together with partner Doc Daneeka. A uniter of calms and harbinger of storms, his dream casting banishes the velocity of when he’s at his hardest, taking a higher plain tenure that truly makes him the master of his own destiny. Benjamin O’Shea, a producer giving you bang for your buck and who becomes a locksmith sent to pick at the gates of 4×4 fury, packs lots in for a product that on the level is a relatively short and uncomplicated experience.
“010X” is a clipped shuffle that’s motorized with funky edges or vice versa, a dual arrangement that permeates the album the same as where deep can also mean headstrong. “End Days” is near enough post-dubstep, a cautious threat as much as it is a nicely nudged surprise to the left and with a valuable role to play in the album’s drifting through space – “Light Year” is techno at daybreak right the way through to nightfall – and subsequent plummeting out of orbit. And boy will you feel the Gs: there’s the Detroit head-clamp of “Delirium Tremens,” “Extrusion” tip-toeing through a Twilight Zone with lead boots on, “Spirals” cartwheeling down a black hole, and “Swarm” a slave to the metronome. On form, on target, and another 50Weapons fast start to the year.
Though it’s been a bit of a mixed bag for albums with 50Weapons this year, you know they’re not a label who’ll finish the year quietly. Jeremy Guindo as amateur astrologer Bambounou takes the manipulation of bass to every corner of the universe for the good of speaker harm, putting in the air miles/light years towards a mildly spacey theme throughout his debut LP.
This manipulation makes for a clipped low-end spectrum masking a sometime identity crisis/any bass is good bass theorem. From the off, “Any Other Service” can’t decide whether it’s garage, footwork, dubstep or an unclassified wobbly bass form that’s flicked through the techno family album, yielding the more straightforward beating of “Data.” There’s definitely some 2-step and grime running through “Capsule Process”, though Guindo is up on leaving the beats open ended for all to interpret; and again, he ceases splitting infinitives to then lay down “Splaz,” a work of quicksilver Detroit techno.
Held together by minimalist gravity in no particular order, it’s unclear how KRS-One would react to being chopped into a booty-seeking footwork track, but it’s definitely the Blastmaster holding down “Let Me Get”. Then there’s the maximalist approach taken for the very Jam City “Great Escape,” jerking the flow in discovering new existence, and a homage to the space/electro continuum on “Challenger.” Bambounou sees as many bass opportunities as there are stars in the skies – a thoroughly modern mishmash.