More Chocolate Milk And Brandy. This one for a post sunset toast. The sun given way to the moon. Music with a bit more of a 4 / 4, a kick. Machine-driven. Anticipating the night to come. The end of calm.
Back in 1993 / 94 trance wasn’t such a dirty word. Andrew Weatherall was championing “melodic techno” of all kinds at his Sabresonic events. Be it Peter Namlook`s 4Voice, the Psychick Warriors Ov Gaia`s drum rituals, or Underground Resistance`s Astral Apache.
But you’d also hear “trance” at the Cafe Del Mar, with Jose Padilla and Phil Mison spinning b-sides and ambient mixes from these self same, or similar, 12s. Afrikaan`s Holiday, God`s Groove`s Prayer Five, Jam & Spoon`s Stella, or Galaxy 2 Galaxy’s Journey Of The Dragon.
The selection here aims to reflect that, collecting a few new releases, and one reissue.
The reissue comes care of California’s Smiling C, who pick up DJ Mad A & Dr. Stevie The Ambient Guru`s Mad Vibe E.P. A piece of enthusiastic UK rave, originally released in 1990. Where Mad A`s jacking Chicago rhythms are off-set by Dr. Stevie`s guitar. Switching between Hawaiian surf, sitar-like buzz and stoner vapour trails. Think Steve Poindexter`s Computer Madness with added wah-wah riffs. Or Pam Hogg`s Garden Of Eden getting it on with Drugs` Brain On Drugs.
Akasha System`s Echo Earth, on 100% Silk, was conceived on days and nights spent in forests and traveling a wilderness of back-roads. While its keys create sighs and swells, percussion gently shakes, rattles and rolls. Blurring the boundaries between techno and house, like, for example, Jerome Sydenham & Dennis Ferrer`s Sandcastles. Its Juno-60 emitting bottom-end boom and womb-like warmth. Its introspective, dub-influenced dance-scapes and atmospheres, diving deep on Sunken Relics, and peaking with the final, title, track.
More obviously techno / trance is Greek producer Mikael Delta`s Elation, on Inner Ear. Its author describing the album as “therapeutic vibrations” for a “world lost in fear and hostility”. Where fractals sing sweetly, and angels are sampled, a la Aphex Twin`s Xtal. Their laughter dodging bottomless twists and distortion, clattering metallic percussion. Where drums alternate between punchy glitches, big tribal thumps, heart-like timpani, and beats slowed to a crawl. Stately fractured piano mixes with the crackle of Pole-like static in a symphonic Murcof-like race. Manipulating your emotions with strings, both real and synthetic.
Conversely, more obviously house is Luca Taverna`s collaboration with Chris Coco, entitled Mina. One of 10 tracks created with Luca`s vintage 909, DX7, and M1. Recorded in Ibiza and then remixed by a quartet of Luca`s fellow Italians. The original runs a super mellow 115BPM, its high-hats tapping like typewriter keys. Juan Moretti gives the tune a friendly hit of acid. Soaks it in warm, smiley, orange sunshine. My Friend Dario slows it slightly to 107, and fitting it with a funkier jazz, fusion, feel. Leo Mas & Fabrice also submit a subtle rearrangement. Stretching the synths into aching muted arcs. The tone reminiscent of Victor’s “Unclassic” Go On Do It.
The above tracks formed part of a show broadcast last night on FM Karuizawa.
Kuniyuki – Touch – Mule Musique
Sasso – Four – Northern Life Records
Castel – Latch – Echo Volt
Mikael Delta – Daylight – Inner Ear
Akasha System – Echo Earth – 100% Silk
Luca Taverna & Chris Coco – Mina – Disappear / Minimalsoul
DJ Mad A & Dr Stevie The Ambient Guru – Levitating Pharaohs – Smiling C
LX72 – State Of Resilience – Phantom Island
Kuniyuki – Rain Of Ocean – Mule Musique