Will Ward – Space Bells
Asquith and Deadbeat aren’t names you’d usually put together. The nostalgic nature of the former is a stark contrast of the latter’s dread Dub Techno. What they both share in common is an innate knack to provide a bruising kick. Will Ward’s ‘Space Bell’ is another release that carries such bombast. Described on Leisure System’s Bandcamp as an artist whose tracks portray ‘windswept techno’. Its brash sound serves perfect curation for events like Jaded at Corsica Studios, as is seen in this recorded set of his. Mixing in Truncate, Jones Kopp and Alex Bau, Ward selects cuts for the dishevelled patrons. Releasing EPs on Joton’s New Rhythmic and Audio Doughnuts, Will’s tracks certainly evince that of a seasoned composer. On ‘Space Bells’, however Will provides a cut to to follow a peak-time bomb at a cacophonous party.
One third of Circle Traps, Will was the central character who brought it all together. Speaking with The Trailer TV, he mentions being influenced by Fachwerk Records boss Mike Dehnert. The Berliner is adept at delicately sculpting a track, knowing masterfully where to position each element of sound. His tracks also diligently contain a perfect weight to them. Such influence oozes into ‘Space Bells’. It incorporates a triple note drum programming that is comparable to Leon Vynehall’s ‘Butterflies‘. Interlacing with the forceful drive of the drum, it is gratifying enough to just play the two as a tool. A fuzzy aura surrounds the track. Filtered hats give scents of white noise, creating a galactic atmosphere. The emotive bell patterns provide a petrichor palette similar to the tracks found on John Robert’s seminal LP Glass Eights. Brassy chords clamber, shrieking with trepidation. These sounds all feel grounded by the bass and drums, retaining a permanent swing to the track. Continue reading
Echologist – Just A Ride
Fuse London’s notoriety is the result of not only its parties, but also a defined brand of Minimal and Deep House that will certainly be a catalyst for those who wanting harder but just as dubby. Though Dub Techno seems to have hit the same cannibalisation peak that Tech House had allegedly experienced in the late 1990’s (with many releases copying the Basic Channel formula), two producers still fly the flag with dazzling dexterity. Deepchord, and South African producer Brendon Moeller, also known by his Beat Pharmacy or Echologist aliases. Moeller first released under these monikers due to Francois K’s Deep Space Media and Third Ear Recordings paying good money in exchange of exclusively releasing for them. Though steering away from past associations in his latest LP ‘Storming Heaven‘, Echologist prior releases were Big Room Techno cuts distributed on Mord and Electric Deluxe. His collaboration LP with Matrixxman, ‘The Black & White‘ LP has been a go to for functional Techno for us. ‘Just A Ride’ however is a Dub Techno track made for the main stage. Dropping in 2010 on his own Steadfast label, it is as atmospheric as a track can come.
If you’ve ever come across his Beat Pharmacy cuts you’ll know Brendon loves to add more reverb than Sven Marquardt likes rejecting people at Berghain. On his impalpable remix of Appleblim & Peverlist’s ‘Over Here’, Clone notes that Moeller ‘submerges the original elements under layers of delay and echo’. We’d say that’s a mammoth understatement. From the off, flumes of compressed white noise spurt in all directions. This is a reflection of the EP cover that features a cyclone in the ocean. Horns played in a manner that elicit a manner of reflection cavort. Chugging and groovy the bassline is mixed to provide the synth with symphony. An monumental breakdown takes place mid track, preserving only the horns on display. The track than lifts off with extra warped layers of chords moving up and down their variant octaves. If you could describe a track as a sonic representation of an F1 jet flying through a distant nebular, then this would be your pick. No wonder why the trancey Techno producer Petar Dundov included it in his Resident Advisor podcast. Continue reading
Ramadanman & Appleblim – Void 23
In his recent Resident Advisor Exchange podcast interview, Blawan stated that the post-dubstep releases of the late 00s and early 2010s sound dated if listened to today. A fresh rewind does in many cases explain why a pioneer of the genre like Skream progressively adopted tech-house scene as his home. However, ‘Void 23’ the collaboration between Bristol’s Appleblim & Ramadanman is one of a few surprising exceptions to the rule. Released in 2010 on Will Saul’s and Ninja Tune’s Fink Aus Music label, it’s a collage of house, techno, electro and dub that stands the test of time where many have failed.
The intro gives the listener a hint that this is not your standard track, the first 30 seconds substituting a 4/4 drum beat loop with an extract of an airport background noise. The soundscapes that simmer into the picture are eldritch yet atmospheric. The eerie ambience invoked is reminiscent of Akira Yamaoka’s Silent Hill soundtrack. Slowly but surely the drums affix unto the energy created. Once the aura is brewed, a zesty bassline fizzes under the surface, never taking claim of the protagonists role. The breakdown that dissolves the existing elements into oblivion is crafted in a way that was ahead of its time. The use of indigenous percussion reminds you of an Innervisions release coming from the last few years. Rampa mixed with ÂME and a tint of Marcus Worgull. Yet the ‘drop’ which turns the track on its head dispels such direction. It rumbles with a rolling lick that funnily enough reminds of Benny Bennassi’s ‘Satisfaction’. However, the sound here is unapologetically underground, the second half of the track being a gift sent down by the tech-house gods.
Alex Smoke – Dire Need (Tale of Us Remix)
‘What you sew you shall reap’ as Jesus Christ states repeatedly in the bible. After recently attending their Afterlife party at Hi Ibiza it was amazing to see the fruit of Tale of Us’ hard graft. Incredible sets from Maceo Plex, Adriatque and KiNK alongside second to none production, it was a display of acute attention to detail. Wade through all the hip of Afterlife itself, and the root of it all is the Life and Death co-founders. As my friend claimed, they went from being the influenced to becoming the influencers. What a contrast they are from their break out druggy ‘ket house’ cuts like ‘Dark Song‘ and their remix of Who Made Who’s ‘Every Minute Alone‘. Fast forward to now and their at times beatless, ariose, brand of techno has sprouted new talents such as Mathame, breathed new life into old heads like Stephan Bodzin and drawn in purveyors of harder styles like Kevin de Vries. Trawl any profound music blog comments section, and you’ll quickly find this style has it’s detractors due to it’s perceived cannibalism of itself (similar to 2010-2012 tech-house craze). None the less, when it works, it is cataclysmic. Alex Smoke is renowned for his abstract brand of minimal techno mostly on Soma and Vakant Records. Here, as DJ Mag state, they recalibrate Smoke’s ever-morphing original into a ‘driving and hypnotic remix, complete with wonky synths.’ A 2016 release on R&S Records, it’s peak Tale of Us showing their production prowess at its best.
‘Dire Need’’s monotone drawls and rich moody soundscape is fertile land for Tale of Us build upon. It’s Depeche Mode or an EBM low-pitch style vocal that merges perfectly with it’s Ellen Alien lurked beat. Where the original is like a hulking mechgiant taking strident steps across a dystopian land, this remix is like a USS Starship Enterprise hurtling through space. A pulsating beat kicks the track off alongside a staple stringed pad causing stress to the senses. Like Joris Voorn, Smoke is a well know classical musical loving instrumentalist. And the brassy toned, railing synths that punish in the original are stretched to taking the remix to a more euphoric landing spot. There’s a sense of iciness to the track, with the cold knocks of the percussion. As the breakdown hits, the anarchy taking place in the vocals add to the solemn nature. ‘Why do they notice/Why do they listen’ he chants with it’s political undertones. It is extra pronounced during the breakdown daring to assimilate the dancers to freedom its seeking. The charge of the ravenous sonic palette as it ascends back in brings an air of cogency in its exhilaration. Continue reading
Autoven – Danz Nite (Rigopolar Remix)
Mexican-born producer Ringopolar gives his fellow countryman’s track a makeover that supersedes the original 2016 release. In the spirit of his associated Swedish label Tom Tom Disco, the heteroclite vibes featured combine with top-tier percussion work. Though the DJ’s notable releases such as Sun Of Lemuria (Ransom Note) & Sistema Lunar II failed to capture an audience so far, this remix is yet another gem to be unearthed by lucky crate-diggers.
Assortment of vocal samples litter the track, from pitched-down male vocals to a chanting female choir & even tints of reverb-heavy vocals fitting for a Hot Since 82 tech-house cut. The core of the track comes in the shape of the ever-present pulsating arpeggio that experiments in shades of various filters. Restrained bassline provides the groove of the track that’s worthy of a place reserved in Daft Punk’s ‘Homework‘ catalogue. Continue reading
Münch – Note [VA002]
The artwork for the End Of Perception – ЛаBа EP features lava spill effluxing over frayed rocks. It takes crystals, volcanic glass & gases to form such molten rock. In similar vein, Raffaele Mezzanotte, known as Münch, amalgamates noise, atmospheric and ambient sounds to fossilise his creation. His contribution to the second compilation of the newly-formed Berlin label demonstrates the collectives potential to appeal to Giegling followers. Placed in-between Primal Code’s traumprianzian ‘Alhambra’ & Deepbass’ mesmeric ‘Separation Of The Present Moment’, ‘Note’ is a window to an alternative dimension of self-reflection.
The ambient pads used are reminiscent of Prince of Denmark’s ‘Darkspirit Cut‘, with its nihilistic acquiesce evoking somberness. Though it must be said that the Münch track carries a little more avidity. In the lineage of iconic atmospheric dub techno tracks, the runtime for ‘Note’ is extensive. This allows time for introversion that can provide therapy. Naturally for the subgenre, numb kicks amble along with humble conviction. Craven hi-hats hop on the this train of thought like a freighthopping rider wishing to go unnoticed. The midsection of the track introduces white noise that reminds one of a seashell resonance. This concept of the ocean colliding with magma can be taken to be a metaphor of the listeners worries soothed by the soundscapes of the track. Continue reading
Quince & Benny Rodrigues- Sweet Potatoes
Pretty crazy to think that guys like Benny Rodrigues can go from releasing tracks like ‘Sweet Potatoes’ to Papa Sven’s last summer favourite ‘Hor‘ under his ROD guise. That’s the beauty of underground electronic music though – like a chameleon it supports a range of shades and forms yet still retains the same soul. However building a track with Quince, the author of some high-octane jackin’ tech tunes over the years, was always going to strike gold. Quince & Benny Rodrigues combined in 2006 but released the resulting track in 2010. Distributed by Smallville Records, it’s an ideal fit for the label’s quaint and delicate Deep House cuts. The added dubbyness, however, elevates it to a place that none other can climb. Ultimately making you feel like you’re stuck in a dream.
Space Travel 303
The track is a musical opus dedicated to the Galaxy. With all that’s going on, each element swirls together to create a truely atmospheric experience. Delayed kicks play on every off beat along a simple xylophone beat. Fast Roland TB-303 hats sound like crickets in the forest, as a plodding bassline surfaces. Once you start to get your head around the ambience, a deep acid line spirals into the mix. This is before lush & serene pads kick in fully enveloping all the proceedings like mist within a forest. Beautiful and harmonic, the flutes elevate the track towards a mid-song break down. Emotive chords play autonomously, bringing reverie closer to reality. Continue reading
The beauty of releases coming from Dial Records, is that they’re just so musical. Always offering highest quality output as though Bach decided to spend a free month honing and sequencing one bar of music. Dial Records Co-founder Pawel’s Crillon holds a vivid and playful percussive experience made in stark contrast to the more chilling tones displayed in the majority of Dial Releases. Patrice Scott however builds on this, reminding us why he’s in the upper echleons of Deep House producers.
Ready for a rooftop bar in Central London, the warm synth pads sit on top of a standard night time groove. By restraining the amount of percussion and replacing them with twilight synths, the track brings a highly sophisticated feel. Continue reading
D5 – Sides of Space
Delivering atmospheric techno D5 – Sides of Space takes ones mind to another dimension. The track was released in 2006 on Delsin Records unbelievably as a B side cut. This pristine track deserved an A side just to itself. Was it that they didn’t realise what a gem had been formed by the British based producer? Well going by his standard, by D5 and his former alias Dimension 5, this was just another Diamond among Diamonds.
Sasha – True ft Dems (Michael Mayer Remix)
After last year’s banger Out of Time was released on Kompakt, it was only a matter of time before another team up happened. This time the prog don track Sasha – True is remixed by the mighty Michael Mayer. What we get from this remix is a truly compelling deep tech experience.
Last Night On Earth label boss has always been know for his aesthetic. An immersive underground sound that aims to foster an experience. The context of the club is seen as a place of eureka for the Welsh DJ titan.
Here Mayer expands upon the chorus of the original. Adding a sub bass, a few lashings of extra synth to the fore as well as chopping up the gorgeous vocal from the original. The spirit of the original A track that can be used at a low or high bpm, for many a dance floor moods.
Retaining the emotion of the original, but expanding on the dance floor scalability, Mayer’s remix makes an ultimate dance floor weapon. Sure to be in the pockets of Afterlife DJs and the like all this summer long.