Tuatha – [2019] Connecting Environments

Unusual ambient techno with atmospheric synths and laid back beats, akin to Delirium.

Dark ambient sounds give way to regular beats. Dance music like made for clubbing (or rather lounging) just before dawn. Production quality is excellent. Chilean netlabel Cian Orbe specialises in various darker electronic experimental genres, for which this is a more approachable example of.

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Gridline – [2014] Videogame

Pure synths (no samples) and drums lead to an instrumental or melodic techno album. Made not for dancing, but for attentive walking.

Gridline is the music project by Serbian artist Predrag Grujic. Starting in 2012, he released several albums and EPs on the two-sided Japanese label Bump Foot (Bump for techno et al., Foot for ambient, IDM, …). This is his first Bump release, and quite quiet at that. Melody lines and only subtle beats make this more (artsy) pop than dance music. Its liberal use of cold sound textures and reverb occasionally remind me of a church organ.

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Brk – [2015] IIIIII

Ice-cold dub techno, the gin tonic of music. Edgy synths, minimal harmonies, and subdued percussion.

Dub techno is not for every day. It has a distinct lack of mood, neither happy nor sad. Then there’s the minimal harmonies, the long-form stretches of monotonous monotony. So what’s to like? Actually, I don’t really know. But on certain days, the meditative nature, the lack of a clear mood, and the analytical sound just work.

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Erugo Purakushi – [2017] SPARK

Trippy synthwave techno ambience. Slightly experimental, yet thoroughly enjoyable as upbeat background music.

Minimal, vowel-free netlabel MNMN Records pumps out a steady stream of diverse, slighly experimental music. This item with catalogue number 483 surfs on the edge between synth wave and glitchy ambient. 9 tracks, each longer than six minutes, make for a pretty spaced up ambience. Continue reading “Erugo Purakushi – [2017] SPARK”

AKU – [2010] Insomnia

Unforgiving hard trance. Take upeat house, remove unecessary vocals, keep just the beats.

Following up on my plan to review more from Bump Foot’s catalogue, I dig through over a decade of electronic music. This release could stand up in a fight against Juno Reactor and Paul Oakenfold – if music were a competitive combat sport, that is. Continue reading “AKU – [2010] Insomnia”

Ramacod – [2017] Fang

Digestible microsampling. Hundreds of millisecond-long snippets, beautifully arranged, form a danceable melange.

This artists knows how to create a distinct sound, that you will be able to recognise, even after just hearing it for once. I guess that producing these arrangements, made from hundreds of tiny sound samples, must be quite laborious. But the effort pays off in a discernible, groovy end result that you certainly won’t forget. Continue reading “Ramacod – [2017] Fang”

Dream Generator – [2007] Glazed

Old-school techno meets IDM. This gem from long-standing (active since 2001 and running) netlabel Kahvi offers an interesting blend of 90’s techno sounds and 00’s more refined approach to Electro. While the beats and bass synth lines sound almost retro to my 2017 ears, melody and harmonies sound fresher. Continue reading “Dream Generator – [2007] Glazed”

Various Artists – [2016] Toucan Music Presents 2016

Excellent trance mix. Toucan Music is one of the household names for well-produced electronic dance music in the Creative Commons scene. It has been releasing free music as a netlabel for more than ten years now, and its annual mixes never fail to impress. Last year’s mix contains 20 tracks. Continue reading “Various Artists – [2016] Toucan Music Presents 2016”