Maksim Dark – Laplander
DJs such as Magda, Joris Voorn, Paco Osuna and Guti all like to edit tracks live. Their styles of mixes are characterized by chopping up and remodelling tracks at will. You cannot get away with playing a track for 20 minutes straight without it permeating exhilarating energy. Our previously reviewed Vladimir Dubyshkin’s ‘Overland Train‘ is one example. Another is a track that was played by Dubfire in his 2017 Time Warp mix. Step forth Maksim Dark’s ‘Laplander’. This 2018 release was a perfect fit for Dubfire’s SCI+TEC label, with it’s penchant for sleek, robotic Big-Room releases. Hungarian collaborators’ Paul Strive & Zenbi’s ‘Wanna Tell You‘, or Rosper‘s’ ‘Revenge‘ are a few which carry similar bleak candour. ‘Laplander’ is a cavernous release, bringing predatory ardor akin to label boss’ Dubfire’s hit-release ‘Roadkill‘. Hailing from Russia, Maksim has released Techno on a slew of labels such as Sian’s Octopus as well as Der Hut. Being included in his third release on SCI+TEC, this stalwart Techno track will blow hearts and minds.
Maksim’s 2018 collaboration with BOHO ‘Octopussy‘ was likened by Progressive Astronaut to being ‘a dark and Alien track that casts a spell over you and will be stuck in your head forever’. A homogenous tone can be applied to this track. With a title of ‘Laplander’ you can be sure it was inspired by the harsh, panoramic nature of the Artic climate. Beginning with a gentle touch percussive pattern, the intro brings an allusion to the forthcoming proceedings. Trembling with fervour, the opening bassline induces sentience, conceiving a techno-advanced environment. Pulsating cluttered sonar bleeps add to this bane world. An eery string synth splays itself. Eventually, a scourging modulated synth rockets up and down the octave with largesse. It is a truly jolting experience, reminiscent of Maetrik‘s best cuts. As the components repeat in a loop, the bass and synth elements increase in loudness within the mix. Maksim is a master manipulator at infernal vocals, as can be traced in many of his other productions. A vocal appears to croon either ‘West Phenomenon‘ or ‘Voices Nominal‘. The brusque nature of the sample makes it hard to make out. What is for sure, however, is the fact that this chant helps create insensibility on the dancefloor. The chimes that play in and out before the break down are neurologically invigorating. All before being swept away by leviathan modulation. Continue reading
MR TC – Golden Gate
Retrofuturism is used to define “the use of a style or aesthetic considered futuristic in an earlier era“. Artists such as Bruce McCall, Frank R. Paul and John Harris painted their visions of the new world. At times, the concept is used for stylistic vision found in Hollywood narratives. The film industry has produced movies like ‘Metropolis‘, ‘Brazil‘ and Stanley Kubrick’s ‘2001: A Space Odyssey‘, each offering their interpretation of the future. A sci-fi environment, of course, needs its own soundtrack. Progressive, psychedelic rock bands such as Pink Floyd formed space-age worlds full of anachronisms. Pioneering Jazz musicians such as Herbie Hancock propagated the branch of Afrofuturism. His 1975 album titled ‘Flood‘ features an album cover featuring an African-American astronaut. Yet none of the music genres come close to fitting as well as the electronic genre. The futurist world of technology gave birth to its soundscapes. Kraftwerk’s album Radio-Activity is an artefact in this respect. Forty years down the line, faint echoes of its phantasm can be traced in modern releases. Judging by his tracks Thomas Clarke, also known as MR TC, is a cum laude student of the German collective. ‘Golden Gate’, his release on Jennifer Cardini’s Correspondant 06 Compilation. The LP combines “palpitating ambience [with] chuggernaut technoid trips“. It is this year’s time travel back to 1970s Düsseldorf.
The track begins with drum instrumentation best described as downtempo Carl A. Finlow. The underscoring arpeggio moves along in an ascending order. Its analogue sound comes close to matching the 1980s soundtracks of Halloween 3 or Videodrome. The lackadaisical tempo gives of a sense of banality. One can imagine a scene of a lonesome robot carrying out its duties on an abandoned starship galaxies far away. All the while random spurts of ray gun and machinery samples lurk in the background. Then enters the liquid sine bells, accompanied by echo and reverb. The nautical sound feels almost doleful, contrasting with the dispassionate laser stabs. The dichotomy between emotion and enginery is united by the kick. The question, however, arises whether this kick belongs to the beating of the heart or the motor of the machine. This concept of man vs. machine was explored by labels such as Dubfire’s SCI+TEC. Using presets that intentionally sound nostalgic, MR TC creates an exhibition of retrofuturist aesthetic that is captivating. Continue reading
Deep Dish Presents…. Prana – The Dream (Skylark Remix)
Before Dubfire became an NBA All-Star DJ of the underground dance music world he ran one of most revered Techno and Minimal Record Labels, SCI+TEC. A major influenc on the scene, it pioneered the ‘Big Room’ sound in the late 00s. He was one half of house music duo Deep Dish. Famous for a slew of hits, including Say Hello and Flashdance, Dubfire & Sharam were a great duo who included different styles from Rock to Progressive. The ‘Prana’ project also included collaborators Brian Transeau (BT) and famed techno producer John Selway. Some tracks can destroy classic tracks. This remix by Skylark, a Nic Fancuilli and Andy Chatterly collaboration project, is a Deep House track that is a real sideshow to the originals, and complements it like a Lexus does a high end Toyota. Added onto the 2004 re-release of The Dream LP to coincide with the re-release of the ‘Penetrate Deeper’ mix album, it’s a track certainly for the dreamer.
Using elements from each mix of ‘The Dream’, Skylark streamline the best elements to make a smooth and dreamy rendition. At a party-starting pace hats, and tribal drums seen in a Defected Records release initiate proceedings. Continue reading