Europe Volume 1
Aurora Techno Records
TBR: May 27th
This is the first release from the brand new Aurora Techno Collective. Their mission is simple, to unite European and international communities from across the continent and beyond through the medium of great sounding techno. We are all one family after-all, and if we share the love of banging tunes with mind-melting mixes then it only fortifies our identity even more. Getting a music production together from all corners of the continent is no easy task. Finding time to get in touch and establish working relationships with musicians from other geographies takes dedication and perseverance. Never-the-less, the dream is real as we stand before the latest creation - one of four already in the framework.
To open up, the UK is given top-slot. It's so refreshing and relieving to know that despite political separation, the people on the landmass still consider us one of them. I for one feel a twinge of guilt for not being part of the Union however I have to keep reminding myself that I don't need guidelines to be a nice guy. Hesper Act is a fresh face on the techno scene and brings an astronomical influence. Babbaj66F demonstrates exquisite sound-sculpture and dynamic shaping of atmosphere. The music opens with eerie chimes and space-age rumblings of mechanical pressure. It spans out with throbbing vibrancies which scatter digital tones across the stereoscope. As it progresses, the tune decreases in power and begins a tranquil journey through ambient melody and echo. Like a cosmic journey, the music takes us from a hub of activity to a loneliness only explained in generations.
After the graceful opening sequence, track two breaks open the techno drum and hits us with a pounding bass. Digital voices creep and climb across invisible frames that glisten in their effects. Rhythm builds, quick drums are doubled up with shaking snares and slicing treble tones like cymbals thrown into dynamic orbits. We're led by the gut through the crowd to the centre of the floor in order to fully encapsulate the music. Mattia Prete, famed from the luminary Jazz O Tech label from Lecce in Italy, brings us Pidocchio. It's a throbbing rampage through tangled beats and robotic poetry.
Nino Sebelic joins the party with Smog. It begins with disharmonious melodics which create a tensionable atmosphere. Neat beats slide through with crafty insight while energy is gradually given to the bass. Fiery beats then surge forward in rivers of thunder as splashing cymbals combine with kicking bass that floods the sound with push. This is Serbian and it's heavy. We're thrust into hypnotic dance motions by the sheer power of the rhythmic surge. Behind the flames can be heard smokey melodies which rise and twist in the upward force.
Next up begins on a fruity bass motif which rumbles with digital distorto-bass. Wooden thumps and chimes clatter among shaking beads and rattling sounds. Background static crumbles in random tunings as a vocal sample begins to repeat. 2000 Machines conjures an atmosphere of digital synchronicity and aspects which all have a well researched place in time. Loose fizzing sounds give a slidey underway while static infused beats continually mark its passage. Ireland's Fran Hartnett offers a calmer yet rich journey.
We're hit by a swelling undercarriage of sonic rumbling that's pitted with tribal rhythms in distorted sustain. A feel of extra-terrestrial vortices and sweeping trajectories lends an alien kinesis which pulls us into realms unknown. Beyond the white-noise and frothing static the bass drum pounds onward in scatterings of rhythm. New rhythmics are added. Bass stretches out and percussion sprinkles in phasing vector plots. A map of sound is drawn from cartographic radials and gradated tensions. Stanislav Glazov delivers Letters, and with a progressive rise in pulsation and tone, a meshwork of sounds create a searing hunt into raging territories. Russian techno always has a distinctive and effervescent backbone.
They Always Come Back is a deep and introspective number all the way from Greece. We are with Here Now There Then. Drum kick builds under a blanket of electro-fizz while cymbal strikes gradually fill the voids. Shimmering metalwork and empty spaces dance under the light of repeating rhythms. A synthesiser melody finds a home in the empty shell, like a hermit in a cave, solitary compositions muse and wander within buildings of crystalline bedrock. Spacious journeys through enclosed avenues reveal an ever more pressing sense of being lost among familiar things.
A quick kick-drum and snare-cymbal combo rolls out the carpet for a thrust with someone pushing from behind. Yet more break-neck speed beats unravel as a slower throbbing bass tone swerves through the sliding corridors of sound. Volume then increases across the spectrum which reminds us how to dance. Extra bass then finds a platform to stand on, pumping its fist in the air while stamping its feet in time to the drum. A unitone dynamic surges up and down in a continual snaking motion. Stndrd from Spain brings on Placebo and it's just as good as the real thing.
We finish with FU 5. Intrance opens with a harp like cacophony of disjointed arpeggios and scales. Butterflies launching from windy leaves build into a vast cloud of colour and motion of many heights and depths. It's like being caught on a fishing-line, we're yanked by the mind into realms of uncomfortable outworldlyness. It makes sense because this artist is from Argentina. Why not? That's what I say. It's as good as gold.
Rowan Blair Colver for The Electro Review.