Aarden Records, it’s the story of three friends from Belgium, Mike Deem, Wolken and Sedric, who are breathing atmospheric techno from morning till night. They spend most of their time sharing music and supporting artists: they are DJs, producers, blog writers and created the label with a lot of humility, shedding light on rising talented artists, such as Kontinum, Adhémar, Doctrina Natura and Petite Astronaute.
A first VA in 2019 and a second one in 2020, both with a long list of tracks, show how much the artists relate to Aarden Records’ authentic approach. The label is discreet, makes no noise, in the pure tradition of the underground collectives which have a disinterested and generous love for music. The label’s catalog yet keeps on growing and in few years only, already contains about 20 valuable releases.
We are now in 2021, waiting for the “yearly” new VA, and here it is: “Bear In Mind” surprises, firstly with its stunning artwork and secondly with productions following each other with a particularly great consistency for a VA, designed like one journey. The artists are on the same page, offering us a high quality work with a nice community spirit.
“Blank Pouring” by Corell is an absolute mood setter, carried by a beat carefully submerged in a haunting drone-ish ambience. Sounds are coming and going in waves, adding a great aquatic feel to the piece. “Kalypso” is one more beautiful dub-infused techno track from the definitely very active artist Polygonia, who blesses us with a lot of material this year, both as a DJ and producer. Laima Adelaide, who also released a fabulous EP this month, which we’ve reviewed, is not left behind with two impactful minimalist tracks. “Hyenas” by Biocym has a strong cinematic dimension, with sounds bouncing around the stereo image resulting in head-spinning brain-twister. “Lost Humanity” by Alexskyspirit creates an instant intimacy, driven by a beat set in the background and accompanied by efficient melancholic dreamy pads. “Averno” by Vinz Exe seemingly calms down the release’s global energy with its two minutes long ambient intro, to bring back the motion in an even more efficient way right after. “Prithvi” by Pattrn, based around a hard hitting kick and offbeat bass, gives the instant pulse to dance, extended with the smoother – but epic – “End Of Spectrum” by Reign. “Funktionswert” by AXOON, with its broken beat and elegant sound design, comes as a great gem, both for the mind and the body.
The VA has been beautifully curated: the tracks are effortlessly talking to each other, which nicely contributes to the overall feeling of having listened to a high quality collective work.