As small of an island it may be, Iceland has produced some real pacesetters for the world of music. Sigur Ros, Björk and Exos are just some the names that can be drawn from the hat. ‘Being super bored and stuck on an island…could be the answer’ claims Bjarki, the latest international export from the country’s Underground scene. Another longstanding name that has been bubbling above the surface levels since the mid 1990s is the Reykjavík duo GusGus. A collaboration of Biggi Veira and Daníel Ágúst, the act has been responsible for a number of deviceful hits that include ‘Arabian Horse’ and ‘Over’, as well as a a memorable King Britt remix of their track ‘David’. Their signature parading sound is often affiliated with powered vocals. ‘Fuel’, however, further spotlights the duo’s instrumentation capabilities. Coming from their 2018 album ‘Lies Are More Flexible’ it is a slow-footed synthesis giant.
Released by Oroom, the track can be best described as being a 110 BPM fusion of Trance, Ambient & Electro. Biggi claims the introduction to the acclaimed Belgian composer Jean Michel Jarre‘s album ‘Oxygen’ broadened his perspective to the possibilities of musical composition. The sound of that particular era is returned to here. The track echoes the aesthetic of the album that aims to explore ‘strange chord structures and arpeggios of the old synth wave stuff back in 78-82‘. Subversively, however, elements of future sounds are incorporated, with 1990s Progressive House breakdowns taking centre stage. Transcending of genres has always been common trait for the duo, bolstering a discography that includes everything from synth pop to dub techno. The track’s underlining feature that glues all the fragments together is the perpetual modulation. Shifting its form even through the introductions of Cattáneonian vocals and layered synths, the ever-changing intonation gives the track its spirit. Continue reading →
The benefit of a Trance-tinged techno cut is that it can give a monumental lift to a set. In the same way that a Balearic soulful track melody does to a house set. Pig&Dan are probably the best in the game at making Techno-Trance hybrids that often grace fiery dancefloors. Such envisioning conceived by Benjamin Damage certainly helps thrust the clubs skywards to the highest levels of Paradise. A 2014 release on the now defunct 50 Weapons label, it motorcades enough bass to puncture readying chests. No wonder it featured on Illusive’s ‘Best of 2014’ list.
Lifting off from the start, the track is assembled with complete nuance. Due to Damage’s beginnings in the UK Bass scene, everything is programmed to a T. The drums are tightly knit. It ensures a small club can make the most of its impact as much as the Tomorrowland Festival main stage could. That UK Bass experience comes in handy with the low ends pounding. As though he’s just testing you, dribbles of the synth chords patter in. Getting more panoramic by the count, the track reaches full lift off. Like a NASA rocket ship taking off from Earth, the track then strips down the drums and bass for a exhilarating shower of synths. Clustered and twisted like the Greek mythology’s monster Hydra it displays its arms at full rage. It certainly will get you ‘Up’ should you even be sober. Continue reading →
Trance can be a curse word in the underground music scene, its innocent melodies often interpreted as tacky. But producers like Michael Mayer & Peter Dundov release trance-influenced music in such a refreshing way it can never truly stay irrelevant. Trance with Acid? Rarely seen outside the terriers of Gabba and tracks above 150bpm. Tin Man however flips the script and ensures your aural senses will be addled to continued perplexion. Released on his 2014 LP Ode, Vertigo (Vocal Mix) is a slow burning euphoric melting pot of Acid, Trance and Techno. It’s an exquisite showcase of a producer who is willing to push the boundaries.
Crunchy techno hats kick in from the start that Robert Hood would’ve been truly proud of. Riding along with the sub-bass is a acidic mutation, giving a weighty drawn-out low end that has a real funk to it. Acid bass has never been so good. Swirling synths that would normally be heard in a Paul Van Dyk trance track make the track sound elegant in this case. It is all played at a slower pace to add biosphere into the journey. This is alongside filtered quivers that add real zing like a majestic bird marking its arrival to the surrounding. Continue reading →
Made in 2001 Joy Kitikonti’s Joyenergizer, is a joy to behold. Normally, Hardcore and Dutch Hardstyle genres have been deemed to be a gateway to EDM. Yet there’s still a raw energy in its essence that is to be loved. Techno DJ’s of late have been incorporating tracks with elements of such ”Harder” styles into their sets. A ‘Hard Trance’ track, according to discogs, I’ve witnessed this track played pitched down twice now in 2018 by Pan-Pot smack bang in the middle of their set, as well as by Amelie Lens. The bare power of this banger absolutely obliterate the place both times.
Trance is definitely back in the scene. Over the past few years, it has been creeping its way more and more into the sets of prominent techno DJs, who’ve previously played it with abandon prior to the minimal explosion of the mid-naughties. Like this track, more and more techno tracks are incorporating trance-like, euphoric elements, (Stephan Bodzin’s remix of The Beginning is a great example) helping bring more panned soundscapes to the minds of club goers. And its certainly clear as to why.
An eeriness to the track is certainly felt, kicking off with a minor key, alien like sub bass akin to that of Goa-Trance. The difference with these type of tracks and that of actual, pure Trance, is that there is no ‘peak’ breakdown of a track, and a subsequent drop. These elements made it easier for original trailblazers such as Tiesto and Armin Van Buuren, among others, to make an easy transition that followed the eruption of EDM.