You’ve got to hand it to those YouTubers who are the heroes we need but do not deserve. A vehicle for upcoming artists to get their music promoted, it certainly has its uses on the other side of the spectrum. Frontleft365 covered some of these in their fantastic feature that included interviews with Houseum, Slav and CMYK. Growing in number, such channels have offered not only exposure for those looking to get their name out, but also serving as inspiration to fellow producers. These have been in particular rich in genres of early 90’s IDM, ambient, breaks, jungle, techno and trance. Thessa Torsing aka Upsammy’s 2018 Dekmantel set was a beautiful, meandering sound safari covering the aforementioned genres with a retro tint. Hailing from the Netherlands, her ascendency has been no short of paramount, rapidly moving from playing in local clubs to nights at Panorama Bar. Her productions have been cherished and treasured, bringing a mix of breaks, Techno, IDM, ambient and Trance. Releases on Whities & Die Orakel gathered great attention, called upon by Mr Fingers for a remix alongside Joey Anderson and Kode9. ‘Another Place’, the titular cut on her 2018 debut EP on Rotterdam Label Nous’Klaer, is a mutative beast that is utterly mesmeric.
In conversation with DeSchool, Upsammy recalled her father having “loads of electronic mix CD’s, like Tiësto’s Forbidden Paradise, so [Torsing] listened to those.. growing up. Another major influence was MTV Lounge Vol. 3, with artists like Moby and The Future Sound Of London‘. ‘Another Place’ is an emotion-led, retro futuristic track, cut with a different cloth that uses the same blueprint. Pick any track from the nostalgic YouTube Channel, 2trancentral and you’ll find the same esoteric tropes written all over. Indulged in delay from the off, chimes and a bleep knock echo and streak through both ear canals. An drum pattern that goes into double-time on the second 4/4 beat keeps things off kilter. This all happens before a razoring dubstep & techno hybrid bassline, akin to one found in A Made Up Sound‘s (aka 2562) ‘Crisis’ enters. It also carries the same urgency as of Shed’s ‘Wax 1001B‘ acid lick. Blissful and alien synth-lines supersaw and oscillate, sounding straight out of a Roland J-8000 or Access Virus A/B textbook. Droplet sounds play out in assorted patterns in the background, before a minute long breakdown set ups the most euphoric of atmospheres. The bass then drops combined with the precision of the cymbals to truly transport the listener to a place far distant. Continue reading →
The Dekmantel official site describes Palms Trax as “the undisputed people’s champion” who brings the triad of “warmth, heart and a pinch of insouciance too“. Truly, it would be difficult to the imagine the festival’s 2019 line up without Jay Donaldson’s alias being placed near top. The vicious spirit of the annual event has been synonymous with the English DJ who’s energy and life-affirming approach to mixing has made him a fan-favourite. His 2019 Dekmantel release ‘To Paradise’ is the latest chapter of Palm’s varicoloured catalogue. Reflective of the festival’s main stage sound, there is no question of a doubt that the Dutch collective have fully adopted the Englishman into the family.
Boomkat calls the track a “deep Euro house-style jacker“. Resident Advisor options for a “throwback Italo-infused house record” description. The serotonin-pumping multi-layering of shrilling melodies accompany the meeker interpretation of the drum looping you’d expect from a Rush Hour release. Considering Donaldson’s father is a “fan of Maurice Fulton“, it comes as no surprise that his soon has a knack for the good vibes that carry soul. In interview with DJ Broadcast, Palms describes Talking Heads’ ‘Remain in Light’ as being one of his favourite albums of all time. Drawing influence from the band-associated decade, an archetypical 1980s bassline becomes the focal point of ‘To Paradise’. Its ever-changing levels of intensity and chord-progression breathes it life of its own. The producer’s blues & jazz upbringing trickles down in the continues evolution of the track. Though mastered with magnificence, the analogue elements are recognisable. You can almost imagine Palms performing it live on a vintage Casio keyboard. Although, such concept for the official video of the track can only bring a smile to your face. The outro of the song fades into a sun-kissed ambient outro that spellbinds the listener for almost two minutes. In such finesse conclusion, the seventh level of heaven is reached. Continue reading →
The contribution by the Netherlands to music created with a computer cannot be underestimated. The three royalties of trance who ruled the airwaves of the scene were all Dutch. The current posterboy of EDM proudly wears his country’s orange colours when performing mainstage. However, the nation’s influence on the underground scene is equally as impressive. Dekmantel and ADE festivals bring thousands of pilgrims who gather to pay their dues at its annual gatherings. Renowned Amsterdam-based Red Light Radio radio hosts global trailblazing DJs ranging from John Talabot to Danny Daze. The range of the local DJs hailing from the Low Lands comprise of veterans such as Boris Werner & Legowelt, respected crate-diggers like Antal and emerging talent including Job Jobse, Benny Rodrigues and of course, Young Marco. Marco Sterk, the face behind the last alias on the list, has been slowly turning up the heat on the production cooker over the years. Released on Greco-Roman in 2017, his remix of Roosevelt’s breakthrough track ‘Sea’ is the culmination of his halcyonic interpretation of Deep House.
Marco’s signature sound combines soft percussion work akin to Nu-disco and Italo Disco cuts, with euphonious melodies. His Welcome To Paradise (Italian Dream House 89-93) Vol. 1 compilation is a retrospective, shoegaze house melodies that are a perfect fit for a hazy afternoon. It’s also a fair reflection of his production. With an infectious chord-progression dancing along to the rhythm conducted by a gentle kick, his ‘Sea’ remix incorporates the leading synth from the original with ease. While the elements separately lack modular sophistication, their effortless coherence is sonically rewarding. Tints of melancholia colour the 1980s palette that paints a landscape of Arpeggios. Young Marco portrays a tranquil scenery with the mastery of Wes Anderson’s direction.