Space Textures – Textures 3
(Space Textures, 2021-08-09)
After “Textures 2” that we reviewed (here), the young label “from outer space” is back with the third chapter of the series and the fifth release from its discography. Owned by veteran Fernie from Glasgow, founder of the defunct trance label Aurora Recordings, the “Space Textures” project appears to be looking for reviving the space music of the past century, in an updated contemporary version, consistent with the Scottish school of hypnotic techno.
Fernie’s second release on the label contains a remix from Edit Select, which came as an important sign to confirm the music orientation. A fun fact: “back in the days”, pioneer Michael Stearns was describing space music as “tranquil, hypnotic and moving”, creating without realising it a link between the music genre – a pillar of the psychedelic and chill-out culture – and today’s hypnotic techno.
We however all know that the sound of a label mainly comes from its artists. While the two first “Textures” were clearly showing the Scottish orientation, with producers such as Petite Astronaute, whose deep drones often evoke Deepbass’ ones, the new VA opens up itself to more various sounds. They are designed by artists who already own rich musical worlds, such as Laima Adelaide, who has injected into Klar her subtle experimental and tribal view, as well as SPN & Infinity, who have invested their melodic talent in the project. Newcomers with fresh ideas also took part, such as Kairogen, who built an intense atmospheric track out of river field recordings, harsh drones and well-dosed synth melodies, and Pattrn, who appears in some VAs with efficient electrifying gems.
The label aims to give a “full creative carte blanche” to the artists, but it’s the first time that we can really sense it, with such variety. The Scottish flavour is still well highlighted in “Textures 3”, through the beautiful meditative tracks of SAAM, Farazdeck, Fernie and Adhil Moorish, and has a standard-bearer: Mechanist, whose track “Gegenschein” is the undoubted flagship of the release.
Mechanist, from Southampton, has a long list of musical achievements already, with a few of his works grouped on a Bandcamp page that we recommend visiting. “Gegenschein” kicks off with the bass hitting straight away, leaving no room for anticipation. The firm 4/4 beat sustains the hypnotic chime bells and the liquid organic flavour which fades in. Subtle pads and dreamy arpeggios embellish the experience, enveloping the listener in trippy cosmic layers, as promised by the concept. Each individual sound is clear and distinct and when working together, they induce a timeless relaxing state. “Gegenschein” (“Reply”) is for sure a warm answer when hoping for better days to come, and has been exceptionally well produced.
The track has set the tone of a great album, displaying what the label is all about: deep atmospheric techno leaving a great sense of satisfaction and awe.
WRITING BY: BRANDON MOREY AND CEDRIC FINKBEINER | 16 AUGUST 2021