Elektron Analog Four synth, Elektron Digitone synth, Roland TR-8S drum machine and its extension 7X7, Boss DD-500 delay pedal, Boss MD-500 modulation pedal, Eventide Space reverb pedal… Darkduction’s studio – or “Granular Spectrum Studio” as he likes to call it, by esteem for his label – for sure contains all the basic gear for the experimental techno enthusiast that he is.
Darkduction is a music player in the very first meaning of it: he “plays with music”, eventually turns off the light to enjoy his gear’s light show, eventually hits the record button to release some of his loops, after having done all the post-production job himself.
The “music player” brings us back to the sunny country of Colombia, his home place, which doesn’t stop surprising us with its large hypnotic techno communities and emerging artists, thinking of MedellÍnStyle, From A Lost Place, Aleja Sanchez, !nertia, Zemög, Launaea and Szórëgg for instance.
However, Darkduction has never really been among these golden projects in our artistic heart, because for us, “playing with music” is not really “making music”. A deep dive into his discography shows what we call “the alienation of the mad scientist”: complex loops of techno, not really hypnotic because too overfilled, tracks lacking of storytelling, resulting from more or less unaccessible cerebral jams.
But then comes “Estigia”…
If the musicality was admittedly also often an issue in the Musique Concrète of the past century, the experimental approach has however an undeniable positive side, almost by definition: “the creativity”, “the originality”, “the uniqueness” that it can potentially bring.
Darkduction is “in the game” since 2014, but produces since 2018: he’s young, his music is young, which has some advantages: the energy to evolve fast and the freshness…
As a DJ, he impressed us lately with a fresh mix for Kubo Stream, recorded earlier this year. On the production side, “Estigia” not only confirms the 2021 artistic turning point in his evolution, but – for us – is the release behind which he becomes “more than a music player.”
When diving into the EP, what comes first is the infinite pleasure not to have another clone of Deepbass’ or Mike Parker’s music. We love their sound, but “being a genuine artist” – “creator” by definition – admittedly comes with the ability to be “innovative” or, if not, at least “different”, which is where Darkduction is now leaning toward with talent.
“Estigia” plays the intriguing card straight from the opening track, a dark ambient mesmerising piece. In the second track “Tartaro”, a fat flanger in the bass spectrum instantly catches the attention, expected to strengthen further in a quality surround PA. Some minimalist polyrhythmic kicks punctuate the bass living sound in the manner of a taiko drummer, giving to “Tartaro” an impactful, tense and charismatic vibration. The bass flanger is back on the third track “Estigia”, this time on top of a deep atmospheric loop, giving a new trippy experience to the listener and building up the fascination. “Master Numbers”, the last track, comes as the climax of the journey, extending the trippy state, while sending a call for the body to stand up and reach the dance floor.
Darkduction has succeeded to create a more minimal – and therefore more efficient – work than usual, surprising, coherent, while taking the best out of the experimental approach: the originality, the uniqueness. This is the result of some years of practice, which were worth the effort, knowing that it brought him to – what we consider to be – this “important release”.