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The good ship Ransom Note sails on!

Continuing our commitment to releasing the finest dance music from planet Earth, our latest missive comes from fresh-faced Belgian kit freak Placid One. Squeezing out analogue techno from a studio full of synths that burble and shimmer and croak, Placid’s lead track ‘C Balloon’ is a drum-less masterpiece, an arpeggiating ascent into a chrome-plated future. The track belongs in the lineage of the emotional best of Detroit; as mysterious as it is melancholic, it’s a vision of computer blues for the 21st century.

It’s followed by ‘Bombay Persuasion’, a jitter of broken tech-funk building to a rumbling throb of bass, and ‘Life’, which chops up classic breakbeats with late night acid secrets. All three tracks combine Placid One’s youthful exuberance with a yearning for the hardware mentasm of early Brit pioneers; the ghosts of Aphex Twin, Orbital and Kirk Degiorgio can be heard echoing through their grooves.

On remix duties we have Deutschland’s finest Cass. who provides a blissed out reimagining of ‘C Balloon’, unravelling its synths into an epic of found sounds and ambient drift. This is followed by a floor ready refix from Ransom Note favourite Timothy ‘Heretic’ Clerkin, who rolls ‘C Balloon’ into a warm house jam, all classic synth hits and sun-rising acid bubbles.

Bawrut follows up his amazing 2015 Randon Note debut "Ciquita" (12"s of which will now set you back silly money on Discogs) with another selection of patented techno numbers from the Madrid-based producer. A brilliantly fun and incendiary EP, these four tracks come on like a whirlwind journey through a Bawrut DJ set, with something for every time of the night. "Ghettoscar" fuses African chants with burbling acid, building the kind of goodtime dancefloor warmth Bawrut is famed for. "More Cowbell" does exactly what you’d expect, giving DJs a glorious, cowbell-powered disco bomb that fuses the spirit of Incredible Bongo Band with classic NYC house. "I Hear Voices" is a crazy ride, with an expertly cut up vocal sample repurposed into a weird, descending riff that’s quite unlike anything else out there. Throw in Bawrut’s trademark kitbag of carnival whistles, rattling Latin percussion and a creeping acid line that works itself up into a soul-salving joy and you’ve got a modern classic on your hands.

Finally, lead track "Three Sounds" is probably Bawrut’s biggest moment to date; a peak time jacking techno monster built from the most minimal of elements - drums, claps, a one note bass squelch and a tom drum gone wild. Bawrut takes this tom sound and treats it like a 303, pushing it far off the rails, working it up and up, twisting it through pitch and frequency like a man possessed, raising its pressure ‘til it tears off the roof. There’s no one else making techno quite like it - and you can expect dancefloors to be going crazy to the mania of "Three Sounds" throughout 2018…

So there you have it - four more missives from the wizard of Madrid. Play ‘em loud.

Mother of Mars is the latest evolution of Vito & Druzzi, two New Yorkers who have provided the 21st century with some of its most innovative dance music. The duo first came to fame as the rhythmic backbone of The Rapture, NYC pioneers who found global fame with their angular post-punk and howling disco. Since then Vito & Druzzi have had a prolific career as remixers and producers, producing leftfield disco killers for a range of labels including Warp and Throne of Blood. "Seed 2 Sky" - their first release as Mother of Mars - sees the duo fuse live krautrock drums with pulsating synth loops, creating two epics of space and rhythm that owe a debt to ‘70s kosmische pioneers like Tangerine Dream. It's resplendent in that technicoloured, rainbow road glow and cushion soft electronics and holds its own against other more established classics of the genre. Definitely one to check out...

Marlon Hoffstadt is a rising star as both a DJ and producer, effortlessly joining the dots between classic rave and the future of techno. Taking a break from running his Retrograde label, Marlon has cooked up "Observing The Known" for Ransom Note Records. Over three tracks of warm synths, bubbly acid and emotional chord progressions, the EP sees Marlon reimagining house music for today’s dancefloor, taking the passion and energy of ‘80s Chicago and giving it the production heft of 2017 Berlin. Opener "Floating" is a jubilant piano house number, shot through with 303 gurgles, tropical chimes and a rose-tinted nostalgia, it conjures up memories of dancing on sun-flecked seas and white sandy beaches. "ARP+" sees the mood change as redolent strings converge on a late night acid pattern, signaling a move indoors and into a the club. B-side opener "Batavus" keeps us firmly on the floor as thick bass patterns support anthemic piano stabs and euphoric waves of energy; combining all the best moments of a holiday in the sun into one pulsating wall of energy. London-based Scott Fraser adds a remix of "ARP+" that takes Marlon’s number into a vintage warehouse party, with snapping electro drums and classic 'seasick' bass ident, ramping up the claustrophobic pressure.

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