Hot on the heels of his critically acclaimed Whalesong EP for Trelik, OCH returns with another equally crucial deep club orientated two tracker. "Sophisticated Animated" contains a level of funk and energy that is often lost in today's house music. Being constantly inspired by the US pioneers of the genre, OCH presents stripped back Chicago grooves alongside heavy analogue bass and jacking percussion, teasing with a sprinkling of 303 acid and a sparse yet deadly piano solo. Up next, "Moonlight Sonata" is OCH's deepest work to date, incorporating dubstep inspired drums and ambience with lush old-school synth chords which build and modulate before the track climaxes into a thundering four to the floor workout.
Stuga Musik, the new offshoot of London based label Autoreply, introduces the unknown artist Och with two tracks of atmospheric minimal techno that takes on more of a personal form than we are used to from the genre.
This release offers a response to the plethora of unimaginative, soulless and empty sounding minimal music that blew up out of all proportion in the mid 2000s. At a time when dance music is full of depth and feeling again, Och injects those sentiments into his minimal musings on this release. "Stops Out" provides the suspense, attitude, tension and overall musicality that minimal is often guilty of neglecting. The title track is engulfed in a wary tension created by deep bass and intense synth stabs. The atmosphere from the track rises up, seeping through the simple breaks and throbbing, deep techno. Cut up vocal edits that have an old school warehouse feel give the track even more personality but it is the affecting Hammond organ sample that really makes the centrepiece.
On the flip, "Stops In" falls into even deeper into atmospheric, almost sinister tensions. A skeletal afro-tech swing is set by shimmering hi-hats and low, murmuring sub bass that collides with chiming synths. As more of an orthodox techno beat picks up, the chilling pads stretch out over the track, giving it a totally enchanting and undiscovered feel. "Stops Out " is a highly engaging, post-modern take on minimal music, or in other words, post-minimal minimal. By bringing more feeling to the disciplines of minimal Och is proving that there is still ingenuity in the genre. Top stuff.
Autoreply boss Dicken Lean aka OCH returns to Sect, a UK label waddling in the dubbier end of techno. OCH first appeared on Sect in 2011 when the label released It's All For You, compilation, an extensive selection of deeper techno cuts from artists like Jeroen Search, Jolka, AnD and Fanon Flowers. OCH's track "Tears" made the cut, which reappears on his latest Surveillance Network missive, only having undergone a murky Skirt remix. "Linear Progression" sees OCH's love of tribal percussion thrown in among resonators and reverb, while "Up For Lost" features unusually suitable bongo drumming pitched against filtered saw waves that sweep across the tracks face. "Shattered Dreams" closes the EP with something Disney sounding, but given the cloudy Actress treatment.
Baby Ford's long running Trelik label enjoyed a more prolific year in 2011 than at any time in the past decade, and Whalesong is a fitting end to a glorious 12 months. If you've been following Och's releases, then you'll know what to expect here. The title track sees the mysterious producer drop dubbier, full blooded beats and billowing chords over a surging groove, while the use of shuffling drums and a stuttering vocal lend the track a memorable signature. "Blind Is The Wind" is an unusual ambient affair thanks to the inclusion of a confused vocal, but Och returns to his natural habitat on "Last Chance Saloon", which features more of the same pumping beats and dreamy chord sequences.
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