Techno of the highest order here with Thalanx and his Sub-Label Recordings EP called ‘Nahua‘. The opening track, titled ‘Desolate’ is a progressive underground techno track that takes you on a rollercoaster ride from the first arpeggiator through to the last drum hit. The melodic elements draw in the listener before the hard hitting low end and rhythmical drive transform the track in to a club worthy floor filler.

This producer has clearly spent a lot of time crafting his sound and sculpting the direction for his music to go in. There are obvious influences and nods to more atmospheric and euphoric tracks, which add to the huge amounts of energy that are buried in the track and creating the excitement when listening. I really liked this track, especially the softer musical elements and their contrast to the harsher sounds.

This is fine production skills to say the least, with crisp drums carving through the wall of synth sound and working with the effects to create a track that has a real heartbeat and sense of energy. As an opener on an EP, there is no better way to be introduced to a collection of tracks. The release is made up of three tracks, all in a dark and minimal techno style which are influenced by rich synth work and tribal percussion. Each track is individual but yet recognisable as Thalanx.

Jack Bacon drops his ‘Dark Matter EP’ on Sub-Label Recordings and the track ‘Icarus’ is an absolute blinder. A near 7 minute exploration of the atmospheric sides of techno and deeper music.

The track starts with a progressive beat with beautiful evolving pads that swell and move around the stereo field allowing the smaller details to jump through the mix. All of the synth work that follows and develops throughout the track is brilliant and really enjoyable to listen to. The bell like sounds that flutter over the top of the track give so much expression, and this is all before the arpeggiated pad riff floats in from the background before propelling the track forward.

The glitchy percussion exaggerates the beat and gives a sense of urgency to the track that really brings it to life, complimenting the smooth pads and rolling reverbs.

As a debut release on the label, this is a really strong collection of tracks and if you dive in further and listen to Aeris and Orbis as well, you will be well and truly satisfied with you 20 minutes spent floating through the atmospheric techno that Jack Bacon really has down to a fine art.

This landed in my inbox recently, and from the first hit of the kick drum and roll of the bass line had me hooked. Sumerio brings us the track “Apnea D”, the follow up to “Break”, another track worth checking out if you are in to progressive Techno. This is an impressively produced track that has lots of movement in the high end and arpeggiated riffs, taking full advantage of the stereo width. This is something that I really like in all styles of music, especially electronic based pieces because there is a tendency for these styles to be produced with very mono blocks of sound or static movement.

Coming from a live background, I love to take advantage of the width in a mix, and again, the drums in this track are really well produced, spaced out across the stereo field but also crisp, punchy and well layered. This gives an amazingly strong base for the track to build on, allowing the bass to drive the track forward with such momentum and energy that you can’t help but move along with this track. I think that this would be great on a night time drive through tunnels or the rain.

A subtle siren discordantly drops in and out occasionally, which is brilliant attention to detail, and these subtleties really add spice and flavour to the track. I will definitely be keeping my eyes and ears peeled for more from this artist and really hope that there is more to come in the not too distant future. Brilliant stuff all round. You can follow Sumerio on Facebook.

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Astron is a percussive, groove driven track that has beautiful melodies and sweeping energy throughout that encapsulates the listener and weaves a spacey tapestry of synth work and arpeggiated riffs around you as the track develops. Hernan Cattaneo and Soundexile have really locked in to a mesmerising rhythm while writing this piece of music and you can hear the potentially contrasting influences coming together in the mix through choices of instrumentation.

I think that the track is caught somewhere in between techno and house genres which is a really cool blend and creates a track that has the progressive variations of the former style and the continuous skip of the latter. Overall, the production in this mix is really clean and everything in the mix has it’s place. The stereo width in the drum pattern is great to listen to through headphones but the whole track screams for the club and a sound system.

Astron is available on Sudbeat Music.

A Spiral in the Dark is John Torri’s latest techno offering on Sub-Label Recordings. This strong 4 track EP includes two original tracks and two remixes of those tracks. The production throughout the selection of tracks is brilliant with really precise, crisp drums that seem to have their own pulse and energy. The driven bass line pulsates while continuously complimenting the groove in the drums. The progressively developed synths give a position of release from the intensity of the rhythm section, and they are so well crafted and designed to contrast against the rest of the track. This really captures the sound of John Torri and builds on his previous releases.

What I really like about this track is how the track develops, almost to the point of insanity with so many instruments creeping forward in the mix and different drum parts capturing the listeners attention. If you listen to the track for a few seconds, you don’t notice the manipulation in the mix, its oh so subtle that you all of a sudden think it has changed completely. Brilliant stuff.
Antrim from Argentina brings us his own style of feel good, groove based progressive techno music with this absolutely brilliant three track EP available on Sudbeat. The whole EP has a defined style and accomplished production values that hold the attention of the listener superbly. ‘Bawa’ is the opening track which plays with those upbeat and positive vibes that make you want to dance. This is a fantastic track which oozes with energy and the infectious rhythm is impossible to ignore. 

The vocal soar in and out of the mix, adding the personable feel to the track and connecting the listener to the festival sounding atmosphere that the instruments sit within. The ambience around the vocal is so cool, I love listening to ethereal vocals that drift off in to the distance. The drums are well produced, crisp and punchy, which form a strong backdrop for the rest of the instruments to sit on. The bass is rounded and warm, the synth riff is almost a percussive tone the scratches and slides over the rhythm section with precision and swing. The softer pad sounds are a great contrast to the rest of the instruments that are slightly more aggressive, so these pads create a welcome difference to the sonic balance. The EP also features the tracks ‘Confused’ and ‘Jadidat’ which are worth checking out also.

You can follow Antrim on Facebook and Soundcloud.

Amelie Lens – live bij Studio Brussel