Dense & Pika – Amber
Just like Rakim is often quoted to be your favourite rapper’s favourite rapper, the electronic underground scene has a few nominees for the producers category. Names including Terrance Dixon, Tin Man & Blawan are sure to make the shortlist. Likewise Dense & Pika are likely to get a shoutout, with their consistent releases striving to push the scene forward. Even Mathew Dear has previously asked the pair for their production secrets. What characterises the duo’s career is their diversity in production. Want to hear a deep house album released through Crosstown Rebels? Then checkout the 2010 release ‘Runner’ under their Glimpse alias. In need of a warehouse anthem? Their remix of Tiga’s ‘Planet E’ has you covered. And of course, ‘Amber’, a fitting tribute to the 1990s progressive techno scene interpreted through the lens of 2018.
Nostalgia Ultra ’90
Right from the get-go symphonic synths akin to Faithless’ monster-hit ‘Insomia’ lead the direction of the track. In support, tonic hi-hats bring a buoyant tone. Booka Shade influenced bassline manoeuvres around in the background teasingly. Once the mix-in section establishes itself, Ambstep genre female vocals glide in. The primitive cry of emotion almost feels like a throwback to God Within’s ‘Raincry’. Around the 2:38 mark comes an unforeseen turn – suddenly the track restructures itself into a tech-house banger. With a thumping energy, its a section worthy of a Bicep’s Essential Mix set. No better way to demonstrate Dense & Pika’s vigour to innovate.
Officially released on their own label Hypercolour, ‘Amber’ is a great introduction to Alex Jones and Chris Spero. Its preview on the surprising, cross-cultural Danny Tenaglia b2b Guy Gerber set demonstrated the track’s potency. A distant echo of the 1990s, it is a jungle of soundscapes that testify to the craftsmanship of the producers. Often drafted for authentic raver sets, Dense & Pika here cater for the raver spirit in a nostalgic way. Their, perhaps at times overzealous, audacity to go for the spectacular is rewarding in this instance. Equally as likely to be heard at Sonus as it would at Kappa FuturFestival, ‘Amber’ is sure to rule the 3 am airplay of countless summer nights.