Schneider & Galluzzi feat. Florian Schirmacher – Too Late To Land
In Maceo Plex’s recent Time Warp mix, the American DJ played a track dedicated to the festival’s 25 Year Birthday. He’s certainly not the first to have dedicated a track for such special occasion. Think Da Hool’s ‘Meet You at the Love Parade‘ or Mike Huckaby’s ‘The Tresor Track‘. Heck, type in Berghain into any streaming platform and you’ll come across hundreds of tracks titled after the notorious club. Already having the maestro Moritz Von Oswald dedicate the track of the year to their label, Cocoon really outdid themselves by dedicating a whole LP to the concept, Cocoon Morphs Tokyo. Hosting three parties at Japanese venue Womb, it featured exclusive bangers by Ricardo Villalobos, Tiefscharz and Guy Gerber. The highlight of these cuts, is Galluzzi and Schneider’s weapon of mass Minimal Techno destruction, ‘Too Late To Land’. Hearing the two collaborate for Minimal heads equals the creation of a DC vs Marvel movie for comic book fans.
The LP is also a celebration of the world-renowned German photographer and artist Andreas Gursky and Sven Väth. Andreas has been responsible for the design of Cocoon Club in Frankfurt, as well a many of the set designs featured at the Cocoon Parties. The cover art features a shot of the crowd below a poker-dots laced silver sheened curtain that draps over the dancefloor. The aesthetic is sonically replicated in the track. It starts with an ascending filtered chopper noise that harmonises with the modulation. Clever. Any producer wanting to learn more about the art of subtle glockenspiel percussion needs to rampantly study this track. The two so effortlessly displayed here click perfectly to give it soul. The muddied bass line bobs up and down in toe. Capping the track off though is the metallic, wonky, robotic synth stabs that darkens the tone. Similar to Schneider’s collaboration with Jay Haze ‘Acai‘, these are dialled up fifty notches to give the listener a jolting experience. Coupled with the drawled vocal saying ‘It’s too late to land‘ it leaves you in agreeance that you’ve gone way too far to stop the trip into outer space. Continue reading
John Hopkins – Singularity (ANNA Remix)
Jon Hopkins’ ‘Singularity‘ album featured sounds as dense as Beijing’s pollution during peak-hour traffic. Leading from the front, the title track ‘Singularity‘ announces itself more grandly than the UEFA Champions League final. Exploding into the oblivion and giving semblance to its title, the track leaves the listener begging for more. Step forth Brazilian-born artist ANNA. Though the DJ Awards carry less weight than a Trump speech on Russian collusion, her 2016 Breakthrough Artist of the Year award was fully deserved. It was almost impossible to have avoided hearing her Kompakt backed track ‘Hidden Beauties‘ feature in any of the headlining Techno sets of that year. With fine releases supported by labels such as Terminal M, Tronic and Toolroom being delivered since 2012, it was only a matter of time before ANNA reached peakdom. Some can let the pressure of a massive hit get to them – not for ANNA it seems. Continuing her hot streak form, her ‘Singularity’ remix keeps her unequivocally in the limelight.
According to Resident Advisor, the original track utilised field recordings of thunder. ‘The track is supposed to have a dangerous, foreboding sound to it‘ explained Hopkins in his ‘Machine Love’ feature. It’s a thing of uncanny beauty in the way the elements drone. On her remix, ANNA decides to paint a picture of the entire world encountering an apocalyptic thunderstorm at once. The track starts with the use of the original’s swelling drones. While Hopkin’s version unravels in swelling, the bass of the remix drops harder that Thor’s hammer in Ragnarok. It’s a ditto of the ‘Hidden Beauties’ bassline, played in a clockwork rhythm. In conversation with Ask Audio, ANNA recalls that her take was made using the Furthrrrr Generator module. Describing it as mightily powerful is an understatement of titanic proportions. Dropping in a hulking kick and swelling cymbals, the original’s classical organ line simmers over the top. It is a brooding end of the world sound native to a movie such as The Day Earth Stood Still. Stabs of the modulated bassline kick in louder and louder before being held in distortion. It’s heinous, akin to Leatherface obliterating your face with a shotgun. The breakdown retains the instrumentation of the original waiting for the kick to usher back in the remaining elements of the track. This leaves the listener picking up the pieces back together. The end result? Dancefloor destroyed. Continue reading
Viers – Let My Mind Breathe
Back in the Summer, I saw Maceo Plex at Hi Ibiza play an all night set. One of the highlights, was Spec X’s ‘I Don’t Do Ecstacy Anymore’. Punishing, panned bass? Check. Simple droning vocal? Check. The simplicity won fans all over. A track with the same template, Bjarki’s трип release ‘I Wanna Go Bang‘. absolutely destroyed the dancefloor. Using a similar approach, Viers delivers a track that should stand the test of time. Watching Carl Craig bring it out at both his Exit Festival and Boiler Room sets from this year makes it pretty clear what will happen should a DJ drop it in a set. Hardwax sums it up as a ‘perfect big room DJ tool techno banger’. Nothing more, nothing less. ‘Let My Mind Breathe’ was featured on three individual BBC Essential Mixes in 2018, one of those being Len Faki’s. Viers’ third release on Faki’s label, Figure, it fits inline withers penchant for other releasing other walloping Techno releases.
Figure describes the track as ‘transporting imagery of neo-futuristic Tokyo streets’. Well part of that imagery must include Godzilla. An undertow monster bass rollicks in, fading louder by the second. Squelchy robotics and double-time hats support the looming disquietude that’s about to take place. Monomania is then induced from the bulging sawtoothed bassline that dominates the top. For Techno aficionados, saying no to repeated replay of the track will as will be hard as for a gambling addict declining a free night at Cesare Las Vegas. The vocal is vocoded in a darkly nonchalant manner, a paradox in itself as it asks to Let It’s Mind Breathe. The poetic chant of meditation is ironically surrounded by the most pressurising of noises. 303 staccato stabs plonk on the half beat to add a loop-sided nature. White noise clusters consume the track at the break down building tension, before letting the epic bassline seize control of the centre stage again. Continue reading
Maetrik – The Reason
With the advent of the internet, designated streaming services such as Boiler Room & Be.At TV have allowed limited amounts of FOMO to take place for those who couldn’t make the party. DJ Mag, Mixmag, and Resident Advisor have even jumped in on the act and ramped up their hold on the wall streams. Rarely do DJs get the chance to record live, nor purely of their own tracks. And it is hard to think of this ever taking place at a Cocoon Ibiza party. Eric Estornel, the American DJ more commonly known as Maceo Plex, Maetrik and Mariel Ito bucked this trend. In 2012, his Live at Cocoon Ibiza Mix CD did just this. ‘The Reason’, also released on Cocoon hits just after the crescendo of the mid point of the mix. Placed perfectly, it’s a belter ensuring serious dancefloor vehemence.
The track starts off with a low end synth stab lightly throbbing as though it’s a malfunctioned alarm of a spaceship. Panned, but slowed hats sit alongside groaning of shapeshifting mechanical clamour. Strenuous sub-bass, akin to a hydraulic breaker give the track serious poundage. Bells, which more sound like Notre Dame Church bells are struck hard. With the force of a MBL player hitting a home run it’s sequenced to help balance that nasty low end. Like on 2017’s smash ‘Ninex 7-C‘, Estornel displays exquisite, pulsating modulations. Grumbling and gurning, this heavy mid range has serious piercing venom. At it’s peak it shrills reverberates with so much power so much you get a cardio vascular workout just by listening. Maetrik loves a mutated vocal just like on ‘Herb House‘ or ‘Crush On Me‘. Amongst other ‘Reasons’ this one says ‘You’re the reason I can’t breath’, anybody listening live probably would be saying this back to Estornel. Supporting interstellar noises are paraded around to help this track stick to its extraterrestrial blueprint. Continue reading
Maceo Plex – Your Style
Spanish producer Maceo Plex’s come uppance in 2011 was well deserved. It came as a serious surprise after crate diggers saw years of producing techno bangers under his Maetrik monkier. It was a full 180 degree turn. Dropping sleazy deep and tech house on his Life Index EP, Crosstown Rebels seemed the perfect label. We first heard this cut on a Catz N Dogz podcast in Jan 2011, and were instantly blown away by it’s slinkiness and the precision in mixing. A sexy cut, it was one certainly curated for the lovers.
This though it certainly emboldened by the vocals. After stating, ‘Desperate for your love, I can’t sleep/I got all the love that you need’, the hook infectiously repeats ‘Girl I love Your Style.’ Spoken in a sordid manner, it is brilliantly supported by the heavy panting placed in synchronisation with the mid-range sounds. Wisps of air plume alongside airy synth stabs reserved for marbled fashion house hallway music. These plumes are like the steam blowing from a pressured factory valve, adding to the steaminess of the track. Maceo Plex’s tracks tend to use heavy mids, and use them for the melody like on ‘Mirror Me’. On ‘Conjure Dream‘, the jittery low mids in conjunction with the sweeping synths show just how in a different way. For Your Style’, it was very fitting for the time with it’s plonkiness yet tough and uncompromising style. No wonder it was released on Crosstown Rebels with that similar funk heard on Jamie Jones’ ‘Hungry For The Power’ remix. In keeping with his ethos of keeping this a bit sci fi, laser beams flutter in and out. It is because of this that the track could also be a warehouse party weapon. Continue reading
Oscar L – Primewire
Oscar L is making huge waves in 2018 with his cavernous Techno track ‘Monster Tube‘ getting huge play this festival season. Joseph Capriati opened with it during his Awakenings Festival set recently to aplomb. Released on Adam Beyer’s Drumcode Record’s sister label Truesoul EP ‘Multiplayer’, ‘Monster Tube’ was just one of a few recent Spaniard’s banging peak-time cuts. ‘Primewire’ is a destructive howitzer, that deserves all the accolades available on the table at the DJ Awards Ibiza if there ever was an award for the ‘Techno Tool of the Year’.
The track seems primed for the apex shenanigans Ritchie Hawtin or Dubfire to renovate during one of their sets. Double-note bass bounces with the fervour of a late-running express train and ensures heads are bopping. A powerlifting start that would normally be found on a SCI+TEC release, gives the track a real oomf from the off. The knocking percussion adds the final molecule needed to complete the chemistry of a robust rhythm. Filtered ratchet noises hover around your head to raise your appetite for some fierce Techno. Hi-hats can really make a track and the ones on display are premium. The cherry on the cake however is the ‘doing’ like bleeps that any fan of Minus would appreciate. Continue reading