Following a Halloween weekend in Berlin, it is no surprise that every sound that I now hear is associated with techno – sticking my head out the window of a moving car was the inexorable percussion or the simple chink of a teaspoon against the side of a mug could be one of the individual sounds that layer up. Having suitably cured my techno-phobia, here is a crash course for those daring to know more about this crazy, synthetic and industrial genre.
Pampa018 B DJ Koze – La Duquesa (Efdemin remix) (Pampa Records, 2014)
A subtle rework of a tune by the legendary DJ Koze that definitely plays by the techno rules. The addition of beats and bleeps gives a less intense industrial vibe, offering a sort of marriage between Detroit techno and the hardcore Berlin Tekkno. Efdemin (AKA Phillip Sollmann) is signed to the infamous label Ostgut Ton and frequents the notorious Berghain. Over the Halloween weekend Efdemin, Marcel Dettmann, Ben Klock, Fiedel and Answer Code Request (cripes) took to Rome to celebrate the label’s birthday, with the police closing down the shindig half an hour early.
OD – Sol Baize at the Chinga (OD/MB, 2015)
At first, little seems to stand out in this track, but given further listening, you begin to pick out different layers and how they slot together, producing another more ambient vibe. Courtesy of the mysterious Olmo Devin, a harmonica, whale call sound and guitar riff give the piece gentle fluctuation before an abrupt close.
Seth Troxler – Junkyard Tool (TKG004) (Tuskegee Music, 2015)
Seth Troxler is an absolute God. He offered us this cheeky take on techno back in May, but keeps the track very firmly in his ballpark. Layer on layer combined with steady percussion gives a more robotic style. With Troxler’s DJ career setting forth in 2002 in none other than the birthplace of techno, Detroit, it is no surprise that his produce is first class.
Blue Hour – Axis Motive (Answer Code Request Remix) (XLR8R, 2015)
Here we bring the vibe more to the Berlin scene, coming straight in with a relentless drum, darker synth evolution and more sporadic industrial interludes. Answer Code Request is another name allocated to Ostgut Ton and the punch associated with Berghain residents. A newly done remix simply adds to the intensity and intricacy of the original track.
Planetary Assault Systems – The Eyes Themselves (Mote-Evolver, 2015)
One final truly techno tune to immerse yourself into. This is a classic example of true Berliner echoes of industry, complete with piston sounds and tantalizing build up before eventually letting all hell break loose. Also going by the name of Luke Slater, this artist is one of our own, but has made an international mark in techno history. Another release from earlier this year proves that the genre is far from fizzling out, despite its ‘underground’ characteristic.