53RD SELECTION – A new one every Monday.
Want to stay up to date with the most recent music, for instance for your DJing? Each Monday, we list and comment on our favourite releases of the moment. This week:
KVLTÖ Records – V Years Vol. 1 [KVLTÖ Records, 2023-03-17]
As you know, artists usually have tons of unreleased material in their hardware, so when a label requests a track for a VA, it’s easy to go through this list and many artists do that. If a track is unreleased, it’s yet because it doesn’t reach the labels’ standards usually (or the artist’s). As a result, each week, we experience lots of poor VAs while digging.
On the contrary, KVLTÖ Records is celebrating its five years anniversary with a phenomenal monument of music. There is nothing to throw in this compilation. Each artist seems to have taken the project very seriously. We guess that label owner Martyn Päsch has also something to do with this achievement…
No matter what, we are in to sing “Happy birthday” on top of the VA’s trippy hypnotic techno tunes, but having no microphone, you won’t hear us sadly. Too bad!
HAPPY ANNIVERSARY KVLTÖ 🙂❤️
HOD – Metanoia [Deflection Music, 2023-03-17]
“Metanoia” means “change of view”… on Colombia?
HOD is also very familiar with KVLTÖ Records for having released the excellent “Supernatural Disclosure” on the label lately.
In the past few years, he has been very active for our greatest pleasure, and he’s already back with “Metanoia”, beautiful with a flawless production.
If “being Italian” is often synonymous with “talent”, “being Colombian” seems to become also more and more a pledge of quality. Hod, Aleja Sanchez, !nertia, Zemög, Launaea, Dåggěr; they are all super-talented and make us almost regret being born in another country.
Sam Wilson – Onda di movimento [Blush Recordings, 2023-03-17]
After a mind-blowing mix on KVLTÖ Podcast (please, stop it KVLTÖ), Sam Wilson followed up with a remarked participation on Space Textures’ last VA and continues to impress with the present solo EP. It’s hard to believe that his first release is only three years old. If like Caue, he doesn’t deny some influences from Affin‘s music, yet his work on the amplitude is particularly exemplary, reminding also SAAM’s vast soundscapes and sonic confidence. Wilson is on a rocket to join the panel of well-established deep techno artists.
Bas Dobbelaer & Vand – Remixed [Something Happening Somewhere, 2023-02-27]
Do you remember this remix for Oslated?
Laurent Garnier in its last VA, Dozzy and Shuttle in the present one, looks like the Dutch label SoHaSo has decided to be surrounded by totally unknown artists lately. Happily, Gal Tsadok-Hai, Ultrastation and Shoal add a bit of fame to this project and we thank them deeply for that (😜😘)
The six maestros (and not five: “Ultrastation” = Cosmic Force and label owner Dos Santos) have been reinterpreting tracks from two past EPs: “Laren” and “ZL2“. Behind them: Bas Dobbelaer and Vand, also Dutch, also very talented, with their entrancing dubby tribal sound, so dearly to Jong-min Lee from Oslated.
We invite you now to play a thrilling ping-pong game between the original and remixed versions to compare them. No winner in our humble opinion, just dope music…
Samuel Rohrer – Codes Of Nature [Arjunamusic Records, 2023-02-10]
Rohrer and his band Ambiq humbly remain in the background to value Villalobos’ work in this magical live show:
Rohrer fusing music genres in a solo act:
To appreciate this release, you have to deconstruct the links that your mind naturally makes to categorise the music. If you don’t do that, you will waste time trying to connect this album with known tribal techno signatures, from artists such as Hakimonu, Rambadu or even Bas Dobbelaer and Vand whom we just mentioned. Yet the versatility of the acoustic sounds from the present album will systematically prove you wrong, with potential permanent damages to your honourable musical self-esteem.
Instead, we invite you to visit this album under the angle of Jazz, which is “a non-genre”, which is “not made to be intellectualised on”.
Awarded trumpeter Marsalis explained: “Jazz is the power of now. There is no script. It’s conversation. The emotion is given to you by musicians as they make split-second decisions to fulfil what they feel the moment requires.”
Samuel Rohrer, from Switzerland, is first and foremost an acclaimed Jazz drummer, well-inspired improviser, and through “Codes Of Nature”, he unveils the roots of living music in a fusion of genres. It’s a concert, but it’s not exactly a concert. It’s a reviewal, a reset. It’s a moment for your body and mind to abandon themselves to the playfulness of music.
Unknot – UNKNOT [Sublunar, 2023-03-08]
We missed Unknot01, Unknot02 and Unknot03, but happily, Mother Music brought a bundle of the trilogy in front of our eyes and ears. Behind Unknot are label owner and techno producer Sciahri and electroacoustic musician Emanuele Porcinai, who perfectly complement each other with their respective expertise. Dark yet accessible thanks to well-dosed minimalism, as well as intriguing and captivating motives, the album is made to be visited and revisited. A touch of musique concrète barely noticeable in the structure keeps the listeners alert and subtle drones sometimes make them touch the stars, such as in “Strain”, cosmic and meta-cosmic. “UNKNOT” – the bundle – is a superb piece of art.
ASC – Hiding In Plain Sight [Horo, 2023-03-17]
If our scene contains many valuable labels, the most innovative ones for us are Prologue, Hypnus, Well Street Records and Horo. Drum’n’bass stalwart Presha created Samurai Horo in 2011, which became Horo in 2016, at a time when he was leaning toward techno. He wanted to operate a fusion between Drum’n’bass patterns and techno tempos, which defined Horo (and also Grey Area, in partnership with ASC and Sam KDC). Problem: Horo’s very unique sound signature, deep and polyrhythmic, has not been as popular as planned and works very slowly now, focusing on sure values, such as ASC. “Hiding In Plain Sight” is undoubtedly sublime and virtuous, obviously prepared with lots of care. Horo is one of our favourite labels and we wish it a brighter future.
Our guest today comes from Leipzig, Germany, a city with a strong culture of DJ collectives, thinking of Nebula, Aequalis, IFZ, PVC, most of which our guest is involved in. After having released well-designed atmospheric techno EPs on emblematic labels such as Circular Limited and TGP, he stated in 2022 in a Facebook post his will to stop working with labels. He opened a Bandcamp page for his new self-released creations and launched his own imprint Mnestic right after. Having a clear vision of the latter, he doesn’t release his own material on it “to avoid denaturing it” (in his own words). It says a lot about who he is: a man of values and, for us, a very interesting artist.
DJ, PRODUCER AND LABEL OWNER OF MNESTIC
Peter Van Hoesen – A Swing Is Not A Throw [Time To Express, 2023-03-13]
Kontinum: “A Swing Is Not A Throw” is Peter Van Hoesen’s new release on his own imprint Time To Express. Expecting his quirky style, I was not disappointed. Allow me to comment on the tracks one by one:
The release starts with a more experimental take on contemporary techno. A nasty lead sound combined with pitch-shifting drones and a slow feeling breakbeat makes me feel like I am on the last day at a psytrance festival and things start to get very weird.
“Subjects From The Past” is an easier one. A crispy and groovy beat shares the frequency spectrum with a main theme consisting of the call and response of a bassline and an oddly delayed lead sound. The Theme falls apart in the middle section of the track and gets replaced with a noisy and lush pad that leads the tune towards the outro.
“Purity Death Spiral” is a mental club banger. The bleepy and immersive main theme apparently aims to cause severe synaptic failure over the course of 7 minutes, which is always a good sign for a quality track. The driving and noisy beat gives less experienced listeners something to grab on to as well and I am really looking forward to playing this one in a fitting situation.
“Vola Flash” follows a more deep approach by using a huge and epic pad as the main element, which is then replaced in the middle of the track with Van Hoesen’s typical sound design. The piece feels kind of inverted to me since most of the tracks I know tend to have the more atmospheric part towards the end and not the beginning. It is in my opinion a very fresh approach.
“Imposter” reminds me “Breach“, the track which made me discover Van Hoesen’s sound some years ago. It’s a groovy yet straightforward beat combined with a bright pad and modulated basslines, which give an airy and soothing vibe to the journey. Even though it is a very physical track, I think it will work best in open-air situations rather than in dark basement clubs.
Overall, this release really showcases Van Hoesen’s ability to create unique dancefloor-orientated techno pieces. You can sense his experience and his approach to taking elements from his live shows and converting them into quality tracks. The EP is one of the strongest releases from him in the past years in my opinion.
* Page’s cover picture: Oye Kreuzkoelln in Berlin, a record shop from a member of our community.