John Talabot – Voices
Oriol Riverola is a fascinating figure in the underground scene. Having entered the frame in 2009 with his afro-disco release My Old School EP, the Barcelona man is now best know under his John Talabot alias. His career includes releasing on the prized Indie label Young Turks, touring with The XX and establishing a well-respected label in Hivern Discs. Electronic Beats describe his production as “four/four electronic music [that is] emotional rather than [a] physical trigger”. More recently, his collaborative project Talaboman with Axel Boman has produced picturesque releases like ‘Loser’s Hymn‘ and ‘Dins el Llit‘. Talabot’s 2016 Permanent Vacation release ‘Voices’ encapsulates the Spaniard’s pursuit to make music that is about “creating an experience or recalling a [warm] memory“.
Hivern Discs releases are often characterised by their pitched percussion layers. Tracks such as JMII’s ‘Bailar‘ give the patterns their own identities. Similarly to Round’s “Glass“, at the core of ‘Voices’ stands its cadence. The modulation of the female voice samples pulsate at various tempos and sequences of notes. Halfway in, the breakdown of the track removes all but the visceral chantment which echoes with its accompanying reverb into the listener’s soul. The feeling is mutually chilling as it is stirring. Though the drum loop return to retain its position within the framework, it is the subtle bass stabs permeating around the 5 minute mark that give the ultimate climax of euphoria. Gerd Janson’s Version Conga edit adds more groove, arguably at the expense of the original’s emotion. Continue reading
Pional – XME
Madrid-hailed Miguel Barrios possesses a rare singer-producer combo that has enriched both sides of the coin. Working under his Pional moniker, he has spent the last decade featuring on a number of respectable underground labels. Most recognised from his fellow Spaniard John Talabot’s ‘Destiny‘ track, his vocals hold an empyrean quality that would grace the lead of an indie band. The chameleon-like approach to production, likely owed to his multi-instrumentalism, ensures his production is forever on a mission to reinvent itself.
Young Turks associate’s latest release ‘XME’ is his first on Phonica Records, a label that holds a special place in our hearts. Displaying his signature sound that fuses morose with rhythm, its comes as A1 track of the EP. In the spirit of releases from his fellow Hivern Discs compatriots, tracks from Pional tend to brandish drum patterns that sound greatly agrestic. The tribal drum used in substitute of a snare on the track gives it a verve that feels Mother Natured. Warping, low cutoff bassline cambers in rhythm, giving guidance to the synthlines that dazzle the show. Continue reading
Benedikt Frey – Out Of Here (feat. Javolenus)
Darmstadt local Benedikt Frey will not be requiring Elon Musk’s assistance for reaching Mars. His range of releases coming from such labels including Ethereal Sound, Mule Electronics and Live at Robert Johnson demonstrate one trait in common – they equally sound extragalactic. The DJs discography consists of alternative soundtracks for ‘Invasion of the Body Snatchers’, Plutonic acid party weapons and themes accompanying launches of Space X. His bachelor thesis alone feels like an exhibit of a dystopian experiment created by the Fourth Kind. ‘Out of Here’ feels downtempo in comparison, yet retains the viscid quiddity of xenomorph.
Filtered, timid kick drums drop you a clue within the intro that the track is likely to fall under the nu-disco category. Martian frequencies approach you like a UFO-investigator at an vacated Area 51site. Vintage Italo-disco snares begin to shiver. It reminds you of calibre attested by one of the finest exports from Naples. Brass synth stamps its authority with magnitude that rivals the Behemoth creature from ‘The Mist‘. It dances with a water pot clanging hi-hats substitute in an offbeat unison. As the track draws to its conclusion, hauntingly mellow siren lingers on the fringes of the soundwaves. It serves as a reminder of the producer’s intention to create an extraterresteral atmosphere.
TB – Invitation To Love (Original Mix)
At times, you come across track are shaped with a clear vision in mind. ‘Invitation To Love’ is a prime example of such, being crafted perfectly as a track to be played within the first 30 mins of a summer festival. Taking influence from Moby’s ‘Go‘, the track sounds like a 2013 remix from the Italian DJ duo Tale of Us. The original sample comes from Twin Peaks OST’s “Laura Palmer’s Theme”. The sense of TV’s mystique is combined with tints of acid and 808 drums. Channeling the ambient synths, the track maintains its core purpose throughout.
Released in 2012 as part of Hiverned # 2, it serves as a more expansive partner to Marc Piñol’s claustrophobic ‘Arrebato‘ cut. Mastered by Andreas, supported by such as Guy Gerber at his Chicago rooftop Rumor parties. The track maintains a consistent downtempo rhythm of around 110 BPM, aiming to hypnotize you into waltz. It offers a less kaleidoscopic vibe than contemporary Hivern Disc releases from producers such as Pional or Alejandro Mosso for example. Yet this elevates the essence of the track’s enticing scent. Continue reading