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It's no April fools, folks - for a twelfth release on Variant Electronic the label's mastermind Luke Creed has gathered up a rather solid handful of fresh talents, some of which will inevitably represent the further directions of contemporary techno. The result rendered varied and interesting, which really is no surprise given the diversity of the line-up: on one hand you have Natasha, Dalosso, and DNoize, who have already recommended themselves well through EPs on Variant Electronic; then there's a reliable Wunderblock and Sub Amp associate Regulär, as well as Subsist and Taro Records partisan SØRN, both of whom have not been previously featured on the label - which they compensated by providing two contributions from each. And let's not forget Luke Creed himself, who needs no introduction to those whose residence is not located below the ground level and has a rock above it which simultaneously serves as a door and a metaphor. Now then!
Natasha opens the affair with Consciousness - a 130 BPM stomper that makes use of hefty kicks, high-reaching, panning glitchy chirps, waves of white noise, seldom distant vocals and groovy, house-leaning bassline, while Luke Creed's early-AFX-redolent, IDM/breakbeat offering Apollo - same tempo - surprises with elevated ambiance, cushion-soft pads, acid-shaped backdrop and stretched-out, lo-fi bells that leave a distorted trail of reverberation after them closer towards the conclusion. First contribution of Regulär comes down to a 128 BPM, minimalist dish REG#1, where the 2 ever-perpetuating acid basslines oscillate across low-seated kicks, needle-thick bars, occasional metallic pads and claps, and rim hits, that are immediately followed by sweeps of hats, but the story is completely different on 2 BPM-faster Polarity, where linearity of the drums is replaced by syncopation, which is attached to almost every percussive element, and the reign of care-free atmosphere is now overthrown by sinister bass, indifferent bleeps and an ever-present, uncanny, abyssal ambiance. The fact that the second half takes a substantial jump in pace will become evident soon after 136 BPM-paced piece Magnetic starts playing - after a minute of suspenseful ambiance and low-passed kicks, Dalosso will unleash the latter in full swing, demonstrating that those acid-soaked speaker-piercers are really up to no good, dominating the low range under dry hats, cybernetic bleeps of all varieties, and a bitcrushed, chiptune-evocative bassline. In Denied, which runs at the same tempo, SØRN engages deeply grounded kicks, arrays of claps, clicky bars, panning bells, a catchy bassline loop and an unyielding droning signal, as the follow-up For Other Uses raises a BPM above and unleashes widely panned, wobbling, atonal acidic fields that arc over three basic elements of percussion - kicks, claps, and half-bar shifted, short hats. DNoize, who ends on a high note with contradictorily-named slasher Rob Goes To Bed, maintains the tempo and throws 4/4 kicks to perform hammering duties against asynchronously bleeping stabs, reverberated open hats, sandy 16/16 bars and a rapidly oscillating, irresistible acidic bassline.
There's enough varied material here for it to cater to any technohead, and if you frequent warehouses as a DJ, you'll definitely be using some of it in your sets.
Release Type: VA / Album
Release Date: X April 2017
Release Format: Digital
Record Label • Catalog: Variant Electronic • VE012