In his recent Resident Advisor Exchange podcast interview, Blawan stated that the post-dubstep releases of the late 00s and early 2010s sound dated if listened to today. A fresh rewind does in many cases explain why a pioneer of the genre like Skream progressively adopted tech-house scene as his home. However, ‘Void 23’ the collaboration between Bristol’s Appleblim & Ramadanman is one of a few surprising exceptions to the rule. Released in 2010 on Will Saul’s and Ninja Tune’s Fink Aus Music label, it’s a collage of house, techno, electro and dub that stands the test of time where many have failed.
The intro gives the listener a hint that this is not your standard track, the first 30 seconds substituting a 4/4 drum beat loop with an extract of an airport background noise. The soundscapes that simmer into the picture are eldritch yet atmospheric. The eerie ambience invoked is reminiscent of Akira Yamaoka’s Silent Hill soundtrack. Slowly but surely the drums affix unto the energy created. Once the aura is brewed, a zesty bassline fizzes under the surface, never taking claim of the protagonists role. The breakdown that dissolves the existing elements into oblivion is crafted in a way that was ahead of its time. The use of indigenous percussion reminds you of an Innervisions release coming from the last few years. Rampa mixed with ÂME and a tint of Marcus Worgull. Yet the ‘drop’ which turns the track on its head dispels such direction. It rumbles with a rolling lick that funnily enough reminds of Benny Bennassi’s ‘Satisfaction’. However, the sound here is unapologetically underground, the second half of the track being a gift sent down by the tech-house gods.
‘What you sew you shall reap’ as Jesus Christ states repeatedly in the bible. After recently attending their Afterlife party at Hi Ibiza it was amazing to see the fruit of Tale of Us’ hard graft. Incredible sets from Maceo Plex, Adriatque and KiNK alongside second to none production, it was a display of acute attention to detail. Wade through all the hip of Afterlife itself, and the root of it all is the Life and Death co-founders. As my friend claimed, they went from being the influenced to becoming the influencers. What a contrast they are from their break out druggy ‘ket house’ cuts like ‘Dark Song‘ and their remix of Who Made Who’s ‘Every Minute Alone‘. Fast forward to now and their at times beatless, ariose, brand of techno has sprouted new talents such as Mathame, breathed new life into old heads like Stephan Bodzin and drawn in purveyors of harder styles like Kevin de Vries. Trawl any profound music blog comments section, and you’ll quickly find this style has it’s detractors due to it’s perceived cannibalism of itself (similar to 2010-2012 tech-house craze). None the less, when it works, it is cataclysmic. Alex Smoke is renowned for his abstract brand of minimal techno mostly on Soma and Vakant Records. Here, as DJ Mag state, they recalibrate Smoke’s ever-morphing original into a ‘driving and hypnotic remix, complete with wonky synths.’ A 2016 release on R&S Records, it’s peak Tale of Us showing their production prowess at its best.
‘Dire Need’’s monotone drawls and rich moody soundscape is fertile land for Tale of Us build upon. It’s Depeche Mode or an EBM low-pitch style vocal that merges perfectly with it’s Ellen Alien lurked beat. Where the original is like a hulking mechgiant taking strident steps across a dystopian land, this remix is like a USS Starship Enterprise hurtling through space. A pulsating beat kicks the track off alongside a staple stringed pad causing stress to the senses. Like Joris Voorn, Smoke is a well know classical musical loving instrumentalist. And the brassy toned, railing synths that punish in the original are stretched to taking the remix to a more euphoric landing spot. There’s a sense of iciness to the track, with the cold knocks of the percussion. As the breakdown hits, the anarchy taking place in the vocals add to the solemn nature. ‘Why do they notice/Why do they listen’ he chants with it’s political undertones. It is extra pronounced during the breakdown daring to assimilate the dancers to freedom its seeking. The charge of the ravenous sonic palette as it ascends back in brings an air of cogency in its exhilaration. Continue reading →
Lawrence – Marlen (Carsten Jost & DJ Richard Remix)
Released on Dial Records in 2015, DJ Richard & Carsten Jost combine to reengineer an ambient house cut into a profound dancefloor weapon. A fan of Dial Records since my mid-teens, I’ve always been excited to see new artists pushed by the crew. With Minimal and Deep House bosses like Efdemin, Carsten Jost, Roman Flügel & Lawrence on the roster, they’re more gifted than the finest brain surgeon. Allowing for creativity and weirdness is their Modus Operandi, and DJ Richard truly fits the bill. The IDM and Techno on his breakout Grind, and later releases on Dial are triumphal in melancholic ingenuity. After years of grafting with label mates Aron Arneson and Young Male on White Material Label, Rich fits the Dial ethos of pushing the boundaries. Having a newbie on the label, and an old head collaborating is adumbration that the method may change, but the message remains the same. Their remix of ‘Marlen’ takes the Dial brand further into more rugged territories.
The bass that murmurs from the start is like a mole that pokes it’s head out of the ground. Poking and probing for what’s above ground, but not loud enough to be seen. A sumptuous kick that you can tell Carsten would’ve engineered. He also has runs an avant-garde rock band named the Misanthrope CA Project with Robert Kulisek. Weird and wacky a sweeping vocal goes from let to right. It sounds like a cat growl on autotune. Kept from the original is the masterful dollops of synth which as primed for the grey sky. DJ Richard is built for this kind of weather, as eery cinematic soundscapes drawl. “I like romantic sound design, but an upsetting palette” DJ Richard told The Fader. It’s a charm that works well. Listen to ‘Love‘ from Perishable Tactics or ‘Pink’, out on Benno Blome’s Sender Records. You will understand Carsten is is cut from a similarly somber cloth. It is his flawless piano work, such as that displayed on Pink that makes this magical. Warm and innocent, it perfectly matches the candle lit cover art. Continue reading →
The subconscious state of dreaming has never failed to titilate humanity. As Steven Kloves writes “In dreams we enter a world that’s entirely our own”. The state of lucidity, irregularity and incertitude has led some of the more avant-garde underground artists influence their production. Fittingly named Italian trio, Agents Of Time, take the concept of alternative dimensions even further in this track titled ‘Lost Dreams’. Andrea Di Ceglie, Fedele Ladisa & Luigi Tutolo come together in their debut track released by the New York label Stone Records in 2013 to create an experience that’s emerges the innermost self.
Noticeably, the introduction of the track features an electric guitar strumming over a Cliff Martinez-inspired ambient prologue that’s underlined by a satiny kick loop. The resulting sound parallels the outro track of an action melodrama from the late 2000s. The delayed lower ends tabs are reminiscent of their fellow countrymen Tale of Us label Afterlife‘s soundscapes with their molded asymmetry. Plagued with contorted chord progression, the freeroam of the leading synth is kept in line by the insomnolent bassline that dances in reversal. The breakdown, absent of a kick, does eventually enter the picture around the midpoint. It is more more sonically expansive, tampering with an element of elixiring cosmos. Refusing to dwell upon the outer space for too long, the primary baseline kicks back-in, returning the capering groove that zeniths the track to its destiny. Continue reading →
The artwork for the End Of Perception – ЛаBа EP features lava spill effluxing over frayed rocks. It takes crystals, volcanic glass & gases to form such molten rock. In similar vein, Raffaele Mezzanotte, known as Münch, amalgamates noise, atmospheric and ambient sounds to fossilise his creation. His contribution to the second compilation of the newly-formed Berlin label demonstrates the collectives potential to appeal to Giegling followers. Placed in-between Primal Code’s traumprianzian ‘Alhambra’ & Deepbass’ mesmeric ‘Separation Of The Present Moment’, ‘Note’ is a window to an alternative dimension of self-reflection.
The ambient pads used are reminiscent of Prince of Denmark’s ‘Darkspirit Cut‘, with its nihilistic acquiesce evoking somberness. Though it must be said that the Münch track carries a little more avidity. In the lineage of iconic atmospheric dub techno tracks, the runtime for ‘Note’ is extensive. This allows time for introversion that can provide therapy. Naturally for the subgenre, numb kicks amble along with humble conviction. Craven hi-hats hop on the this train of thought like a freighthopping rider wishing to go unnoticed. The midsection of the track introduces white noise that reminds one of a seashell resonance. This concept of the ocean colliding with magma can be taken to be a metaphor of the listeners worries soothed by the soundscapes of the track. Continue reading →
Dope Ambient vibes for your Monday Morning from Japan’s Hiroshi Yoshimura Soundscape 1 Surround. Released in 1986, but feels fresh in 2018. As the album artwork suggests, the soundscapes are very aquatic. The sounds are efficiently mellow and unpretentious. For anyone that is a fan of Brian Eno’s work, this will be a real treat. The influence of the English ambient master can particularly be seen in ‘Time Forest’ – where the synth sounds echo Apollo: Atmospheres and Soundtracks.
Checkout Discogs for the rest of Yoshimura’s pioneering discography.
Malmö based Swede DJ Different usually releases deep house records that sound closer to Ross From Friends than the Chemical Brothers. However, his latest release ‘Angels’ forms a bridge between the two. The soul of deep house, drawing influence from peak 1990s Moby, works immaculately with the intensity of breakbeat drums borrowed from Stanton Warriors, giving the persistent ambience a chance to radiate. This allows DJ Different to weave a terrain of trance mixed with moods of downtempo. Your feet and heart are inspired at the same time.
DJ Different – Angels justifies the artist’s name. Ultimately what you are getting is a breakbeat track at house track tempo. With such BPM, it would be a surprise to find that Bicep haven’t featured this gem in one of their recent sets. Transcending old skool jungle vibes that take inspiration from Future Sound Of London – this one’s guaranteed to command the dancefloor while unveiling a unique experience for the ravers who are part of it.
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
There is no doubt that Traumprinz, also known by his aliases DJ Metatronand Prince of Denmark, has touched countless listeners with his transcendental fusion of ambient, techno and deep house. Resorting to an enigmatic restrain from the public eye, Traumprinz enraptures the hearts of many through the sole medium of his music. This week’s Essentials feature focuses on the artist, who’s affiliation with the German label Giegling, has elevated the collective to an international recognition. Though a recent interview has revealed that the producer left the group “early last year“, his legacy continues to thrive, creating new fans on a daily basis.
Everyone holds certain memories that resonate with them throughout their lives. For some its their first childhood crush, for others its the day of their graduation. Dig deeper and you’ll find those who recall the first time they played a Traumprinz track. The ethereal nature of the artist’s production fosters an aura that awakens the inner essence of being. Listening to Traumpinz, in any transfiguration of his aliases, is ultimately a sacred experience, similar to such of listening to a fellow arcanum of Burial.
Below is the selection of our favourite essentials. An empyrean synthesis of euphoric trance, deep house cuts and techno drums. The discography of Traumprinz is a catalogue of experiences facilitated by your context. Your own essential selections will by shaped by the memories you make, in the truest spirit of the artist’s intentions. Continue reading →