Marco Shuttle – The Vox Attitude
‘Techno is a poor attempt to substitute robot sounds for what was once actual instrumental and artistic human expression’ stated Ryan Walsh in 2012, writing for the Daily Collegian, ‘It’s not as pure nor as genuine a music experience’. It’s a damn shame that he’s never listened to this track in question, ‘The Vox Attitude’. As described by Juno, the cut is ‘swung heavy with booming warehouse rhythms and nerve jangling cut up vocals’. Collectively, it is these two elements that keep it pure, released at a time when techno lost its way slightly. Magda realised the power of this, and seeing it rollick in after a Drexciya cut during her Boiler Room mix was a memory I will never forget. Released on the Swedish label Färden Records in 2010, it received its own re-release on Eerie Records. Sounding like no other, it is just as brutal now, as Sonja Moonear showcases in her Replay Madrid mix.
Another weapon of mass destruction released in the same year was the era-defining ‘Convolution‘ by Stockholm duo Skudge. Dubby with hints of deep house, it paraded an incredible fierce diva vocal demanding ‘Give it all up’. A similar vocal takes the forefront of Shuttle’s track, chopped up to say ‘YOU’ with a spectred gaze which then echos. A low-end sub bass stomps the track, with shuffling hats flickering over the top. Hypnotic bongos enter the background, played in double time. It extrapolates a steamy Brixton Electric night with Luciano at the helm. Supremely acidy, fettered modulations of a protist nature infiltrate the fray, rising up and down with the tide. With the reverb on overload, infectious lower mids sound like underwater pulses emanating from a submarine. The spherical nature of the track adds substance to Marco’s claim in his interview with Inverted Audio that ‘Producing tracks is a cinematic experience’. The apodosis of this entire concoction is a dancefloor losing itself. Continue reading
Youandewan – Youandme (On My Mind)
When the real Dubstep was in it’s heydey, boy oh boy did it come off well. Melting other styles like 2 Step, Jungle and Garage it was a blank canvas for creativity. Released in 2011, Youandewan uses a nostalgic nod to the 2 Step days with this cut and its brilliance still can be shined through to this day.
Dubstep hats kick in over a smooth sub bass that has real baritone like character. It’s only one note, but the chords played give the track that 7pm Summer in south London feel. Beautiful Rhodes piano chords looped over the top make it sound pretty, akin to something played by Moomin, Christopher Rau or Pantha Du Prince. It helps make the track ‘Deep’, helping a DJ to mix it in with more function deep or tech house. Continue reading
Blawan – Getting Me Down
Normally reserved for any of the main strands of the underground electronic genres, sampling a Soul/RnB vocal is a frequent as expecting to see Kanye West tweet something controversial. Except for a Techno artist that is. The genius of Berlin based, Barnsley born Blawan however is contrary to this finding the nous to be able to twist hit track I Wanna Be Down by Brandy into this scrumptious techno floor killer released in 2012.
The main part of the track is certainly the pitched up vocal, fastened to the melody as fittingly as the embroidery on a Versace. It’s oozing the poise of Usain Bolt – it just knows it’s sitting on a win. Underneath this is a snaking, nasty and rasping electro-tinged lower mids and jaunty sub bass. Petite and palatable, the percussion on this cut is similar to the experimental experience delivered by John Roberts. Continue reading
Konrad Black & Art Department – Graveyard Tan (Version 2)
Art Department’s infectious house releases meant they were the underground scene equivalent of Orlando Magic with peak Shaq x Penny Hardaway of the early 2010s. Had you entered an one of Hackney’s hot spots in summer of 2011 you would have found the crowd singing along to the lyrics of “Without You”. On Graveyard Tan they collaborate with the versatile Canadian producer Konrad Black. The track, released in 2012 on the No.19 Music label, is so thumping your neighbours’ cousin will be asking for the Track ID. The artists synergism results in a cutting-edge release. The preeminence of a thundering bassline combined with raw synthesiser sound conceives a firecracker.
Subb-an – Self Control (Original Mix)
Subb-an has previously stated that his biggest inspiration in music is Ricardo Villalobos. Surely, on a reputation for enjoying a bit of a vibe, you can hear that inspiration in this track from the word go. Infectious vocals on Subb-an – Self Control make this One Records tech-house release an absolute bomb on the dance floor.
Starting off is a muddy, groovy bassline with the personification of the vocalist – it really does love itself, and knows how hypnotic it is. It’s the perfect relationship with the vocalist, at first chopped up, before proceeding to state ‘When I move my body, every body watches/when I move my body, everybody stops.’