Having released his first record about twenty years ago, X Erie’s founder Horacio Cruz is an undoubted veteran and Swiss army knife of the underground Spanish Techno scene. He’s also the founder of the vinyl store Tech On Records in Granada, Spain, which does way more than selling disks, being also a record label, providing mastering and graphic design services, as well as promoting techno events.
Although today we focus on his label X Erie, Cruz’s involvement in the scene has established a solid bridge between Spanish and UK techno over the last three years, with important artists such as Christian Varela, Mark Broom and Flug. “X Erie 5” features gems from Scottish veteran Gary Beck, Spanish rising star Orbe and Cruz himself.
Gary Beck is probably not particularly expected in a media that usually sheds light on a – say – low floor of underground techno, but this is maybe forgetting too fast that a few years after his first works, he has also been producing alongside Edit Select for a long time, before producing his Drumcode anthems, and that the underground values have always flowed through his veins. Although his two first tracks are very powerful and dark, there is a strong connection with deep and hypnotic techno.
The first moments from “Pale Fox” sound like a Deepbass tune on steroids: the cyclic voices and unexpected percussions entertain the brain while the heavy beats and the nice swinging toms achieve to provoke the dance. Can’t stop the techno train!
As an impressive and effective steamroller, “Stone Mirror” starts strong and never slows down its energy until the last beat. Supported by a repeated voice that transmits a feeling of urgency, through a heavy bouncing kick and efficient cymbals, the track can only crush the dancefloor. This is a classic techno tune, a bomb of energy and definitely the most powerful groove of the EP.
For the third track, “Memocracia”, containing an alienating repetition, Horacio Cruz brings us back to the original hypnotic techno aesthetic of Detroit. A monophonic synth, with a short release melody repeated over and over, added to a very simple yet efficient drum sequence, associated with random high-pitched noises, make the track crafted for the mental techno momentum of the after party. It offers a long trip to enjoy.
Orbe produces the fourth and last track of the EP with a nice spatial touch in line with Eduardo de la Calle’s style, which is a pure delight! Having demonstrated recently how much of a prolific and talented producer he is, after having released a full album on Axis – Jeff Mills’ record label – Orbe delivers a very intriguing journey with “Signal Exchange”, which is perfect to build up a set.
Available in vinyl format as well as in digital stores, X Erie 5 (also found as “X5 Vinyl” on Beatport) is an amazing tool to have in your DJ bag or your USB stick, as it features four perfectly produced tunes that fit at multiple moments of a set.