Arian 911 – 7 Melodies
Tehran-born, Frankfurt-based DJ & producer Arian 911 supports a look that would qualify him for the role of Freddie Mercury’s right-hand man. Striking coal-black hair compliment a moustache from the 80s to complete a look that is effortlessly elegant. A fair definition of his music too. To understand the man behind the production, a work of investigation is required. Discogs claims Arian Beheshti was an Ibiza local all the way back in 1993, being a Cocoon Ibiza resident since its inception. This would explain ‘Dadap Dadap‘, his 2009 minimal release on Sven Väth’s label that will leave thirsting for water. Circa. 2013 you’ll find electro releases associated with his name. ‘7 Melodies’, the first of his two inclusions in the annual Innervisions’ Secret Weapons compilation in a row is yet another metamorphosis. A tender form of melodic techno, perhaps one Arian is most suited for.
‘7 Melodies’ states its ambition in the title of the track – to create a multilayered template of intersecting sound palettes. The challenge of such aspiration is the element of solidarity. Ensuring, that all of the sonically elements homogenize rather that compete for airtime. And, in this respect, Arian shows his maturity. The pads shine with phosphorescence like neon lights illuminating the dark. He creates a watercolour painting splashed in colour, a mesmerising experience of synesthesia. The official video is fittingly a mirage that is kaleidoscopic. Innervisions label itself has classified the track as a strain of Deep House, however, this would only be relevant if one is to take 2010s interpretation of the subgenre. More suitability, this is the sound of the self-effacing melodic strains of techno manufactured by such as Roman Flügel, Mano Le Tough & David August. Regardless, the end outcome is euphoric. Continue reading
Circa 2007 back in Oz, I came across this dope Progressive track track by a Melbournian named Lewie Day. The track was called ‘Alright’, and it got lost in the abyss of my old Hard Drive. Out of sight and out of mind, I never really looked out for other music from him. Fast-forward to 2016 I was seeing Bjarki play at The Pickle Factory. Conversing with a fellow Aussie about the scene back home, I asked him about Lewie Day. More shocked than a Euromillions lotto winner, I proceeded to find out that Day operated as Tornado Wallace. How did I not know that he was the founder of Melbourne Deepcast, a podcast behind one of my favourite releases of 2010. Anyhow, for a man battling against the tide of Happy Hardcore, Hardstyle, Electro House and Dubstep I was proud to say the least. His follow up release on Delusions of Grandeur (the sister label of Freerange Records run by Jimpster) featuring a dope Linkwood remix, ‘Always Twirling’ was Tornado Wallace’s reminder that he was here to stay.
Talking about both monikers in his interview with Juno, Lewie claims ‘Tornado kind of opened up as I was making music less about a druggy sound and more of a drinking mocktails by the pool sound.’ I would add that it’s a pool fluoresced by the moonlight, as the scattered hats spray around like a lawn sprinkler. Single note keyboard stabs are placed meticulously on beat, with a sampled disco guitar rift quietly strumming in the background. All of a sudden, the reason why the track gets it’s name hits for cortex. Melting and folding into each others company, panned chords twirl revolvingly at a slowed paced to take full effect. Once the pads kick in, you feel at full flight over the clouds as it soars the higher registers. A vocal sings ‘Back to shake em down’ as ‘You broke my heart, because I couldn’t dance’. A breakdown of epic proportions then takes place with Wallace displaying some supremo synth work glittered with minor key swirls. It’s like a painter dipping it’s bush into gloops of paint, ensuring there’s as much drag as possible as it paints over the canvas. The bass is a groovy affair with slackened disco flair to keep things chill.
At 116bpm, it is a cushd track great for mixing in with Disco or Deep House. Bringing variety to what Lewie has recently releases, such as the IDM displayed on ‘Lonely Planet‘ and more indigenous sounds of ‘Kakadu‘. Whatever direction he does take, however, it is always maintained at the highest of heights when it comes to music craftsmanship.
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
Galcher Lustwerk – I Neva Seen
Galcher Lustwerk’s I Neva Seen is a hip-house track with a twist. The track’s deep, with the vocal stirring into the beat like warm milk pours into espresso to form a perfect flat white. Short but strong, punchy and velvety smooth. Whizzing to the upper stratosphere of the underground in 2013 via his ‘100% Lusterwerk’ mixtape of his own originals, I Neva Seen is a true head boppin cut. Like some of Burial’s jams, some tracks are ideal for a walk in an urban environment. This is one.
Silky smooth chords sway in lazily, making the listener feel relaxed. It has an old school feel but feels brightened by the hats and knocks in the background. Field recordings of a wave kicks ensuring the track sounds extra wavy. Galcher’s use of vocals are too dope. Clearly influenced on the leaned out rap style of fellow New Yorker A$AP Rocky, Glacher raps about being blown away by a girls drug habit, across town, midtown and down town. Something ‘I Neva Seen’ before he alludes. A fitting companion for the beat.
Raphaël Top-Secret & Nelson Bishop – Chekema
The melancholy reality of Paris meets arcadian tropics on this deep afro-disco cut. In an era where a DJs Instagram profile is an facet to their success, its refreshing to come across Raphaël Top-Secret. The French producer lets his releases sketch his identity, removed from any fashion statement. His production varies, covering lo-fi deep house, San Francisco funk and, of course, exotic disco edits. Collectively, the warmness evoked by his cuts feels so detached from the rainy climate of Rue Du Faubourg St Honoré. ‘Chemaka’, a 2016 release on Antinote is a paragon of this.
This time, his collaborator is a fellow compatriot Nelson Bishop, whose prior release ‘Grosse Tête’ dates back to 2007. The EP proffered a range of analogue synths combining minimal, funk & disco. Bishop’s influence is felt here on the teetering synth pad that oscillates like the waves of the Banzai Pipeline. Crimson colours dance around like the flames of a ritual dance. The constant here is the drum arrangement, which sounds like a djembe used to create a rhythm that prompts your feet to move. Continue reading
Theo Parrish – Heal Yourself and Move
Chicago Legend Theo Parrish has a reputation for delivering outlandish, yet sleek cuts. Always off kilt, his distinctive sound stays recognisable. Mixing in the Jazziness that symbolises much of the Chicago sound akin to contemporaries like Ron Trent, ‘Heal Yourself and Move’ is something special. It’s meditative. Released in 1998 on his classic album ‘First Floor’, distributed by the ground-breaking UK label Peacefrog Records, this track is the pinnacle of electronic and organic synergy.
The 118bpm makes the aura woozy from the off. It’s a low key affair, the improvised sounding midi bass trembles for 40 seconds before a sub bass and salt shakers kick in and out. It makes you want to stretch out and get ready for a good dance. The pace increases with the background clicks growing in whilst a man who sounds like he’s warming up in the background hums. Together you get an intoxicating mix, the overtone plonky keys providing a real experimental edge. Continue reading
Son.Sine – Upekah
Hailing from New Zealand, Son. Sine hides his face behind a handful number of releases. And all exhibit a masterful understanding of deep tech. Upekah originally came out as a record back in 2000. However the track was revived as part of the EP release by the Dutch label Delsin in 2013.
The track has received support from the Italian techno-duo Mind Against and its easy to see why. Taking it its time, a cracking ambience guides a steady soft kick and layered mellow synths that follows the remainder of the track. The crackle is central to track even being sampled to sound like a clap around the 1:30 mark. For those who are patient, Dub tech is a rewarding genre offering sonically the right environment for introspective thought & self-reflection. Its eternal value rests in the fact that its production isn’t influenced by trends