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
Seth Troxler – Love Never Sleeps
Seth’s output isn’t as strong these days but there was a time when he released banger after banger. ‘Trust‘, the Tech-House bomb with Tiefscwarz unfurled tribalism Luciano is now more associated with. ‘Hurt‘, in collaboration with Matthew Dear aka Audion although Emo Minimal, brings an essence of soul. This track however is straight into the realms of Brian Eno alternate reality. One listen is all it will take to go into another realm. Dropped in 2008 on Crosstown Rebels, ‘Love Never Sleeps’ keeps a Minimal blue print but heavily nods towards the Deep House leanings that was welcomed with aplomb towards the end of the 00s. Seth is a Tier 1 headline act these days you can guarantee will play at Burning Man & TomorrowLand. However a regular at Circo Loco DC10, Time Warp, Sonar, Fabric (often doing a b2b with Craig Richards) & Romanian Minimal Festival Sunwaves, the big stage performances have never taken the polish off his underground roots. This is most displayed in this track.
Coming from Detroit, you know that hypnotism is going to be present. Even just the drawl itself is hypnotic. First Heard on a Nic Fancuilli Global Underground CD, I was fascinated by its charm from the start. Heavy-knit bass plays buoyantly in a simple 2-note pattern. It’s thwacked with the loud thump of an Osunlade or Green Velvet cut. Scraps of warped synths hack at the track. Groaning with the growl of a pissed off blue wale, the synths are cinematic. Picture watching a Mission Impossible and the shot panning across a city with a countdown to the end of the world. They instil a sense of dread throughout the track. Various chopped vocals are on display. All short and all ghostly. The first two sound like a man high on Nos, saying ‘Let’s go’ and ‘Never Mind’. The second is an Aretha Franklin female lifting swirling ‘ahh’s’ in the air. It’s said as though the listener is stuck in a dream-like state of David Lynch creation. The whole concoction makes it feel as powerful as voodoo with the way it bewitches.
Matthias Agyuo spoke on the state of mid-00s mnml in his monumental hit, DJ Koze’s remix of. ‘Minimal’. ‘Got no grooves, got no balls’ he sang. This track however see’s a real shift away from that accusation. It must’ve been as fresh as fresh cut grass. His ventures with Lee Curtis, Shaun Reeves and Ryan Crosson as Visionquest saw further musical exploration. These days, he’s not making much music, having to balance his packed out tour schedule with the running of his Shoreditch BBQ restaurant Smokey Tails. If he is, it’s usually as Tuskagee with the Martinez Brothers. More would be good.
Matthew Burton & Kate Rathod – Warehouse Fool
Partners in life as well as partners in the Studio, Matthew Burton & Kate Rathod are a British born Berlin based duo. Known for their live acts featuring ethereal, woozy and just plain out there sounds this is no-nonsense after hours listening. Landing in 2012 under Visionquest, Warehouse Fool is the A-Side to their EP The Flip Side. Press play to take your mind, soul and body into another dimension.
It’s a track for rooms lit by candles and as such slithers in at a snails pace BPM. Crisper than Norwegian winter air the hats patter with nuance. Burton once informed RA ‘Kate brings a more musical element to the music. She’s always good at busting out melodies, chords and pads which I always found more difficult. I usually start things off with getting a good groove together.’ In light of this it’s Kate skills which takes centre stage. Similar to Daniel La Luz, Nina Kraviz or Dana Ruh, Kate is adept at using ghouled vocals. Elongated and airy they suit the environment with aplomb. A two note ambient synth is played in sync. Fading and echoing in and out are filtered rain drops. Recordings of spacecrafts taking off and landing help render this Alice In Wonderland Like world. The subtleness and erratic nature of these field noises apprehend the cerebral to send it off a cliff descending into an interstellar abyss. Continue reading
Blond:ish Feat. Bahramji – Laberinto
The term ‘a trip’ is associated with tracks & sets that offer extended playtime. With scientific research concluding that listening to electronic music for a prolonged period of time modulates serotonin & dopamine levels in your brain, invested listening sessions can be rewarding. Blond:ISH’s ‘Laberinto’ is a treasured pearl in this category. Collaborating with Bahramji, a veteran Kurdish musician hailing from Iran, the Canadian DJ duo capsulise their entrancing hippie spirit with an export of progressive techno that takes the Western listener to a foreign world.
‘Laberinto’ combines coloured refractions of an Öona Dahl set with the pacific instrumentation of Lee Burridge. In fact this Kompakt Records release would feel very at home on an All Day I Dream label compilation. The use of stringed instruments that synergise with a reversed sound sample brings to mind Nicolas Jaar’s production. Filtered kicks allure, cofunctioning with a two-step bass that gives a sense of a cassette player stuck on the loop. Bahramji’s singing completes this mosaic influenced by the Orient. His lamenting, echoing vocals lead the meditation as if he’s a yoga guru struggling to come to terms with his vocation. The total cutoff of percussions towards the closure of the song the track leaves the listening crowd with the sole voice of a Kurdish vocalist accompanied by Qanun, a Persian instrument. The completion of a transportation to a new sphere undertaken by the listener. Continue reading
Autoven – Danz Nite (Rigopolar Remix)
Mexican-born producer Ringopolar gives his fellow countryman’s track a makeover that supersedes the original 2016 release. In the spirit of his associated Swedish label Tom Tom Disco, the heteroclite vibes featured combine with top-tier percussion work. Though the DJ’s notable releases such as Sun Of Lemuria (Ransom Note) & Sistema Lunar II failed to capture an audience so far, this remix is yet another gem to be unearthed by lucky crate-diggers.
Assortment of vocal samples litter the track, from pitched-down male vocals to a chanting female choir & even tints of reverb-heavy vocals fitting for a Hot Since 82 tech-house cut. The core of the track comes in the shape of the ever-present pulsating arpeggio that experiments in shades of various filters. Restrained bassline provides the groove of the track that’s worthy of a place reserved in Daft Punk’s ‘Homework‘ catalogue. Continue reading
Quenum – Vault Element
As one half of the formidable Production/DJ duo Azimute, Quenum is a well known name within the Minimal appreciation circles. Co-producing one of the greatest Minimal tracks of all time in 2003’s collaboration with Luciano, ‘Funky Orange‘, as well as seminal collaborations with other Swiss collaborators Daschund & Lee Van Dowski. Quenum’s cuts tend to be as inventive as a Russian Sports Chief’s denial claims during a doping probe. We first heard ‘Vault Element’ in 2008 on a Sven Väth’s Ninth Season CD, and it was a track rather unconventional even for the conceptive genre of Minimal. Ever since, it has been one of our go-to tracks when introducing a novice to Minimal Techno.
‘Vault Element’ makes one feel like they’re encased within a vault which in this context is the dancefloor. In the majority of his tracks Quenum lashes the mix with a plethora of percussion and it’s no different here, with the melody carried by a noise created through a hollow but aluminous object hitting a desk. Chopped up mutant voices belch ‘time’, adding a real sense of eeriness to compliment the off kilt piano stabs. As soon as your ears start to gauge what’s going down is when the the track truly unravels. Piercing the cerebral like a vengeful mob hitman are the strident laser stabs. Sounding like they’re meant for a hard trance track, slowed down these have the force of a plasma beam intentionally placed to send the dancer into a galactic trance. Continue reading
DJ Linus – K.B.s Groove (Kris Wadsworth Love Letter to House Remix)
Kris Wadsworth’s reputation as a top tier producer needs no question. The pop, crackle & snap of the lower notes on one of the monumental tech-house tracks of the 2010’s ‘Lime & Pink‘ hit every ear cavern in a way which had as much of an impact as Frank Ocean’s Channel Orange did for the RnB scene. As anyone would, were you to discover such an intoxicating squelches, you’re bound to make a brother, sister or two. One of the highlights is his remix of DJ Linus’ K.Bs Groove, released in 2012 on Initials. The track, as the lead vocal states is electrifying.
The low-pitched male vocal on this track sounds like a evil villain featured in a Japanese manga hailing from another dimension. KW lets it play out saying ‘When I feel good, I think of you, then I touch the sky’. A flat single note underpins this before it precedes to tell you ‘It’s Hades Groove, it’s your groove.’ There’s likely never been a more haunting voice in dance music. It effortlessly exuberates suave however, once the squelchy lines start teasing you. If you’ve heard Lime & Pink one cannot help to start wincing, knowing what’s about to hit you. Mixed-in is a different sequence with same low-end bounces that are like a huge rubber bands being strummed by a giant orc. It offers more squelch than marches towards Mordor in Lord of the Rings. KW is equally an impressive Deep House producer. His use of a shadowy deep synth on the top makes this track truly statuesque. Continue reading
DHS – Watch The Sky
When you think of all time greatest Trap banger, Young Thug’s Check, Future’s Codeine Crazy or Migo’s Versace will all spring to mind. DHS’s ‘House of God‘ would have to be one of the most widely recognisable house & techno classics with more remixes and versions than Donald Trump’s lawsuits. ‘Watch the Sky’, a 2002 release, loses the functionality that made House of God such a functional trip, instead giving you a track so impressively imaginative. It cements a case for why many consider early 2000’s releases as groundbreaking times for experimentalism in the underground scene.
Radar pulses is the only constant in the beginning, radiating over the top of a chameleonic mix fussing indie rock drums which fade quickly in the a dubby bass, tapping triangles and drum rolls. Before your mind has the time to comprehend what is going on, a vocal sounding like Ron Burgundy tells everyone to ‘Watch The Sky’. Like a UFO popping straight out the cloud, wonky synths walk off the track like a drunken man in stumbling motion. More extraterrestrial high and low end shrills are added to this melting pot of a track truly giving the listener a palette of placed sounds crafted masterfully like a Leonardo De Vinci invention. 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.
Traversable Wormhole – Closed Timelike Curve (Marcel Dettmann Remix)
Marcel Dettmann’s remix of Adam X’s original track is what it is – a song so perfectly crafted for the dance floor. It’s more brash than a Trump-Kanye lovechild. Released in 2010 on Chris Liebing’s CLR label as part of a series of EPs, it really does make you feel like you’re in a Closed Timelike Curve, surrounded by a pounding bass.