Wolf Trap Records - Red Series
TBR: 5th June
Wolf Trap Records unveil the Red Series. A subgenre, peripheral outlet, and experimentation arena, this new avenue is headed by Wolf Trap regular Stefan Weise. With a harder and darker direction, the Red Series wants to demonstrate a more brutal and less subtle form of techno that reaches in and grabs you by the gut. Oleg Mass brings us a new EP of analogue and tactile techno from his home in Ukraine. Previously releasing on Octopus, Elevate, Credo, and Fachwerk, it seems that Oleg Mass feels at home almost anywhere.
It begins on a grubby kick-bass layered with various depths of tone. A distorted drum resonates through and bouncing thuds fill the void. Odd samples of sound decorate with abstract, something moving through slurry then voices and crockery. The beat continues all the while with sprinkles of addition creating a flux in the flow. New drums and percussive sounds replace the abstract samples to bring us into a dusty realm of strange reverberating tones and rhythmic explorations. Title track Hydraulix takes us in with an eerie and adventurous array of sounds.
Zauberberg opens on another dirty thump-bass. It taps along with minor percussives which elevate the main thunder. The beat plods on with a steady pace. New beats with tonal character of their own are injected to bring on new force in the direction of composition. Rhythm dominates as each aspect serves to boost the flow of tempo which rattles along like a train.
The next track opens with oscillating tones which bounce and squidge along in a breezy tempo. Deep jungle like bass throbs in beaty sections while the melodic analogue progression warbles into new areas. Disjointed sampled rhythms and phrases merge together in a syrup of sound. Vocal sparks like naked wires, deep and resonant, while the rhythm builds with extra elements. Swishy synths dive and swerve around axes of stereo positioning as garbled and compressed tones merge with sudden and off-kilter beats. Verfall takes us into cybernetic realms of shady techno while thumping us with heavy bass.
Rejection starts with a blip melody which rattles along a staticy bassline. Tonal melodics bleep in repeating phrases that reservedly chime to a cracking and thumping bass. Shakers are added that fill all available space. This lifts the track into another level of pressure. As it evolves and progresses, new dimensions open out with various aspects and percussion instruments. High velocity rhythms break through the repeating motifs and lend various angles of incline to the energy in the room.
Rowan Blair Colver for The Electro Review.