Techno aficionados, dust off your dancing trainers and prepare to get off your ‘record’ boxes. We’ve pulled together some of the station’s top plastic. They’ve been doing the rounds on the Fnoob airwaves. Here are three tunes to check out.
RAIMOND FORD – SILENT LIGHT EP (3-4-1 Cuts)
If like me, when you think of Switzerland you think of majestic snow capped peaks or exquisitely neat and tidy mountain reserves. Not to forget, a nation of perfectly polite people who can be summarised as being as sweet as the luxurious chocolate they are fabled for. You might ask, what’s their techno, like?
Judging by Raimond Ford’s first release of 2021, it’s pretty lush.
Swiss DJ, Producer, and label owner, Raimond Ford can be found residing in the South Alps creating electronic compositions that explore the deep Swiss valleys and mirror an other-Worldly beauty. “Silent Light EP” is an exquisite 3-track EP consisting of two stunning cuts of Silent Light (Motor Mix and Swivel Head Mix) and a bonus track, Vector Ray.
The motor mix kicks straight into action with a pounding kick drum, bubbling bassline, swirling, and rising synths to lockdown a deep groove that’s infectious. Ticking hi-hats echo as Ford applies more effects and introduces strange noises that help undulate the flow of sound. About halfway in, the warm hypnotic meanderings are invaded by a mighty monster of swarming insectoid synths. All of a sudden, the buzz and flurry rises into a crescendo of machine noise before dropping like a sonic bomb and gently subsiding like dusk’s fleeting light.
Swivel head does everything it suggests, and more. The truncated thud of a kick drum pushes us deep into a dark but not altogether unfriendly, place. Clanging and chattering synthesised chirps create a head-shattering experience. You can’t help but wildly swing your head at this point as the track builds with excitement. Waves of sounds blend like a chocolatier’s dreamy mix of ingredients. Giving way to a subtle chorus of melodious bleeps and blurts. Vector Rays is an intensely chiming groove that builds into a hypnotic rhythm workout. Ford’s clever use of micro noises combines with his careful drum programming to engulf the listener in mesmerising sounds that intensify the atmosphere and disorientate the listener.
An enthralling EP that is perfect for deep techno sets. Out now!
BOGLIN – SEA KELP (HYDRAULIX RECORDS)
Henry Cullen (aka D.A.V.E. The Drummer) has been pushing the envelope for more than 20 years. His Hydraulix Records is one of the most evolving techno labels in the UK. So, when Boglin ‘Sea Kelp’ landed on my desk, I had no doubt it was going to be a storming release.
For those who may not know, Boglin is Blair Thomson & Loukas Pour-Hashemi two very talented chaps who live in Southwest, United Kingdom. Their 2018 release, ‘Xerox’ came out on DJ Misjah’s, X-Trax imprint. A rather conspicuous title, ‘Xerox’ was no techno-copy, instead, it was full of originality summarised by saying it’s a deep pounding track of epic proportions. The linage continues with the first track on the EP, ‘Sea Kelp’ brimming with a dark oceanic atmosphere.
A solid kick drum powers towards the dance floor and a hulking bassline moving surreptitiously. Delayed hi-hats scrape and filter off the imposing walls of a dark abyssal space. An echoed voice, effects Layden and mashed up, spills out of the darkness, panning left then right before repeating and phasing out. With each break, programmed elements are triggered, tweaked, and released to disappear in the murk. A subtle acid squelch skirts around the outskirts of the soundscape like a shark chewing off its fins, preparatory to earth-shattering claps. A looping sonar radar bleep intensifies the rising tension cut short by a vocal sample, ‘If you run into… Sea Kelp’ – which sounds a lot like ‘Seek Help’ (Which some punters might need after hearing this, I can see a few munters mulling about like the dude in the YouTube clip of ‘Easy Lionel’ – check that out, very messy). The pressure lessens as the beat fades. All of a sudden, as if a Revenge class submarine were to burst through the kelp and fire a Polaris missile at the centre of the dance floor; an acid loop crashes down upon us. With no hope of a lifeboat to escape, the vocal snaps, ‘Sea Kelp’ and the tune goes into overdrive. Ship-wrecked or blown away, you decide.
Jerome Hill’s remix of ‘Sea Kelp’ is a more aggressive take on the original, and, any sense of subtly is gone. If you can picture Jerome turning up to the studio in a state-of-the-art Yasen-class submarine (it’s a humongous scary Russian sub) you’d know his remix duties were about to go ballistic. A bomb-dropping kick and ‘finger on the button’ fidgeting percussion turns clubbers into crewmates, marching to the beat of Jerome’s sound. Hi-hats and machine-gun snares rattle out the vocal snippet with such fury you’d be forgiven for running for cover. It’s a messy end for our clubbing combatants who are finished off with a spiraling effect. Jerome doesn’t let up, working the samples and effects builds more pressure before dropping in a menacing riff that detonates on the dance floor. The response to which is somehow bizarre, if like me, you might find yourself puffing out our chest, flexing your arm movements, and ripping your top off in a macho response to this absolute banger of a tune. This remix is far from a Cold War.
Last and by no means least we have ‘Conscious’, and it’s with a conscious I have to derail this review, I’ll come back to it, trust me. Back in the day (1994, to be precise), Cybordelic released a track called ‘Adventures of Dama’ originally released on Harthouse Records. It was a stellar track that got re-released and remixed countless times, resulting in DJs trying to fix something that wasn’t broken. They sped it up, slowed it down, and chopped it up… to which I shouted, just leave it, alone. Boglin ‘Conscious’ , isn’t a rehash, copy, or some such fakery. The only similarities it has with ‘Adventures of Dama’ is the vocal sample and, the fact it’s a belter of a track. Opening to crashing cymbals and the thud of a solid kick drum. Boglin sets off the ‘Consciousness’ sample and gives it plenty of echoes, building the track with a combination of ticking hi-hats, snares, and percussive elements to give it some rhythmic swagger. The bass line is an infectious groove made all the more so by triggering loops and one-shots before a riser halts all the commotion. And, does so to reveal a soft-edged metallic chord pattern that’s just too addictive. There may be influences of Dama but ‘Conscious’ is an awe-inspired adventure that if it were a remix of the said AOD, it would most be better than the original.
I’m a big fan of crispy seaweed laced noodles, and ‘Sea Kelp’ twisted my noodle. All three tracks are great, invest. Out now!
CARL SHORTS – SAVAGE (MECHANIKAL HARD)
It wouldn’t be a Fnoob review without raising awareness of one of our very own resident DJs, Carl Shorts. The UK-based DJ and producer best known for playing dark techno on our Thursday night schedule. He also has a string of releases on several labels such as Hydraulix, Blue Monkey, and Geometrik Records, to name but a few.
‘Savage’ is a serious bit of techno. A bullish, thumping kick drum gives us a frantic workout. Thanks to Carl’s crisp production skills. Hypnotic in parts Carl builds an immersive atmosphere with acid baselines and some stonking drum programming, eventually reaching its climax before continuing to roll out in with that killer kick drum (I need to get a sample of that, ahem, Carl..?). No holds barred, nonsense straight to the core.
SKiRRA is best-known for dark, brooding techno. He delivers an aggressive remix, clipping and crunching the kick drum. Adding a growling bassline that pushes it forward. Beat effects and a mighty dose of acid make for a riveting ride to lift the roof off. Head-shattering savagery.
Eddie Santini aka. Zero Dayz has been an integral part of global Techno music since the mid-1990s. A lot has happened since he was playing “Squat Parties” in London, UK. His time there must have rubbed off for this remix. I give it the Rude Boy award for smashing it out the park with this pumping, driving colossus of a remix. Wait till the breakdown for some old-school nostalgia, a raveline exploding with energy. This is a sick remix, polished production that fires on all cylinders. It’s downright twisted Techno and we love it. Zero Dayz remix is big, bad, and if you have to go a square go with some Eastend gangsters. This might be a good soundtrack to slap a few faces.
Eddie… you are the Guvnor, son. Well worth purchasing if hard techno is your bag.