It's another Truesoul release people: look out! Adam Beyer's diffusion label for techno of the more funky and well... soulful variety, now takes a turn for the more progressive sound and it works pretty well if you ask us. 23 year old Londoner Paride Saraceni gives us "Burning", which features the sweet vocals of Monce and sounds like Guy J or Guy Mantzur on steroids basically. "Cold Summer" carries on with the power-prog aesthetics just nicely with the added fury of a Drumcode style kick drum carrying the track for a variety of purposes: peak time or afterwards. Finally the infectious and melodic stab attack of "After Dark" goes out all guns blazing on this sure shot for any time slot and any dancefloor, that's guaranteed!
After releases on Terminal M and Suara, Saraceni returns to Christian Smith's label for a killer EP. The title track is an epic, big room affair that resounds to a growing low-end, an 'open your mind' vocal sample on a loop and effective, acid-led break downs. "Unconditioned Mindset" is deeper and more house-influenced, with the Italian producer dropping surging chords over tough drums and a rolling rhythm. For "Problem Solvent", the final track, he moves to the middle ground: the rhythm is robust and steely, while Saraceni lets layer upon layer of hypnotic synths and hypnotic bleeps unfold in harmonic unison.
German label Trapez focuses on a tougher sound than usual here. The title track is supported by a dense, heavy rhythm and the enveloping, textured chords that swirl in from above lend it a quasi-industrial feeling. The mood remains the same on Nicole Moudaber's version: forsaking toolish house for something darker and harder, the gritty drums are propelled towards the dance floor via some shaking percussion. "Turbine Hall" sees the trio opt for a more intense approach: upping the tempo significantly, the pounding bass supports razor sharp percussion and a spacey but austere filtered chord sequence. Finally, and probably as an antidote to the preceding intensity, "Crimson River" provides a deeper approach, with a rolling rhythm and trancey pads. Recommended.
It's now traditional for long running Swedish techno imprint Tronic (established way back in 1998) to kick-start the year with a digital compilation of exclusive dancefloor workouts. This year, that compilation has been split into two parts. This second EP features six pulsating excursions, covering a variety of techno styles and moods. Contrast, for example, the spooky melodies, swirling atmosphere and prog trance influenced bottom end of Eric Sneo's "Beauty of the Sky", with the raw, distorted thump of Matt Sassari and Rainier Zonneveld's "Gas". There's plenty to enjoy elsewhere, too, including a brilliantly intense chunk of no-nonsense loop techno from Raffaele Rizzi.
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