Quenum – Vault Element
As one half of the formidable Production/DJ duo Azimute, Quenum is a well known name within the Minimal appreciation circles. Co-producing one of the greatest Minimal tracks of all time in 2003’s collaboration with Luciano, ‘Funky Orange‘, as well as seminal collaborations with other Swiss collaborators Daschund & Lee Van Dowski. Quenum’s cuts tend to be as inventive as a Russian Sports Chief’s denial claims during a doping probe. We first heard ‘Vault Element’ in 2008 on a Sven Väth’s Ninth Season CD, and it was a track rather unconventional even for the conceptive genre of Minimal. Ever since, it has been one of our go-to tracks when introducing a novice to Minimal Techno.
‘Vault Element’ makes one feel like they’re encased within a vault which in this context is the dancefloor. In the majority of his tracks Quenum lashes the mix with a plethora of percussion and it’s no different here, with the melody carried by a noise created through a hollow but aluminous object hitting a desk. Chopped up mutant voices belch ‘time’, adding a real sense of eeriness to compliment the off kilt piano stabs. As soon as your ears start to gauge what’s going down is when the the track truly unravels. Piercing the cerebral like a vengeful mob hitman are the strident laser stabs. Sounding like they’re meant for a hard trance track, slowed down these have the force of a plasma beam intentionally placed to send the dancer into a galactic trance. Added-in are minor key sounding pads which one may hear in a Halloween movie placed sporadically throughout the track not to dissimilar to the synths in his track ‘Calypso 3000‘. Half way through the track the robot voice kicks back in saying ‘move on’ one the top of the chunky deviant bassline. This comes all before a puissant beat switch in which the synths change track entirely. The track is a true mind melt.
Quenum has always made prodigious tracks that are safe for a Watergate Berlin dancefloor. ‘My Furious Thing‘ and ‘Bubble Gum‘ were released on Crosstown Rebels to captivate the dancefloor with a telepathic 4/4 groove. His track ‘Boomerang‘ is another floor-killer with that consistently hypnotic Minimal vibe. Yet tracks like ‘Agbaja‘, and ‘Vault Element’ are the crown jewels in the Swiss producer’s discography of certified heads-approved classic cuts. True gold by a true legend.