2pole & Christian Smith - "Licht" - (7:15) 127 BPM
Aritmetica - (5:42) 128 BPM
Hey DJ - (6:52) 121 BPM
Trust - (6:45) 128 BPM
Youngstar - (6:44) 123 BPM
Black Moon - (6:41) 126 BPM
Horizon - (6:36) 116 BPM
1ne (continuous mix) - (1:26:42) 128 BPM
Review: 2pole, who released their first EP on Tronic back in 2016, return to the label to deliver their debut album. While Christian Smith's imprint is known for its pursuit of dance floor abandon, 1ne is effective in articulating a nuanced approach to techno. This is in part thanks to a series of collaborations, including the spine-tingling trance of "Evolution", co-produced with the legendary Jam El Mar, the tribal house of "Run", where Ursula Rucker adds her unique poetic texts and the hypnotic minimalism that prevails on "Licht", with Smith himself bringing his vast experience to bare. In other instances, 1ne also showcases 2pole's own unique take on techno such as "Lethargie" where a rolling, squelchy groove veers into rave-fuelled psychedelia.
The Mirror Method (Giovanni Carozza remix) - (6:09) 130 BPM
Review: Next up on Tronic is Andre Crom, who is best known for releases on OFF Recordings. Glow captures him in fine clubby form, with a more uptempo release than usual. The title track is a chord-heavy banger that filters in and out of a series of break downs, moving cleverly between levels of intensity. "The Mirror Method" isn't quite as full on, with Crom focusing his efforts on a frazzled, filtered chord sequence and hypnotic, dubbed out beats. Tronic has also included two remixes: first up is Spartaque with a high-paced, metallic take on "Glow", while Giovanni Carozza turns "Mirror Method" into a heavier, clap-led affair. Neither can quite match Crom's original material.
Review: Andres Campo has previously put out music on Second State and Odd, and now brings his lean, direct techno sound to Tronic. Opening track "Monsters at the Toilet" strikes a fine balance between musical elements and a lean approach, with deep chords underpinned by rumbling tribal drums. Meanwhile on "Regrets", a more stripped back approach applies, with acid-soaked drums and high-pitched reggae vocal samples brought to the fore. The title track ups the pace, with the fast-rising Spanish producer dropping a visceral, steely rhythm. Closing out the release is "Basik", where Campo reverts to the type of rumbling tribal groove that prevails on "Monsters".
Review: Anna Reusch returns to Tronic after last year's Atmosphere EP with this storming three-tracker. "Knocking" is a rolling, tribal workout, bolstered by an acidic bass and featuring a niggling sequence of tones. Gradually building to a subtle but effective climax, it's the type of tune that epitomises the Tronic approach. On "Bleed", Reusch crafts a jacking track that underpins repetitive vocal samples and layer upon layer of steel rivet percussion, inspired by Dan Bell's minimalism. "Come With Me", sees her change tact again, with filtered chords and vocal snippets surging over a tight rhythm, accompanied by a series of rolling snares.
Review: Christian Smith's label presents Greek veteran Axel Karakasis for a four track release. His career is marked by a number of classic themes and a series of appearances on Primate, Intec, Naked Lunch and his own Remain Records. Here on the Cookoovaya EP he delivers four no-nonsense techno tracks made for peak time sets. From the blistering intensity of the title track, which will induce serious tunnel vision under the strobe light, the fierce adrenaline of "Fast Stranger" with its arpeggiated bassline being at the core of its powerful vibe not to mention the barreling main room work out "Evil Lust" using its hypnotic polyrhythm reminiscent of early 00s techno - again a scene which he lived through as a DJ.
Air Castle (Laurent Garnier 2019 remix) - (9:19) 126 BPM
Review: Originally released on Christian Smith's 2014 artist album Input-Output, "Air Castle" now gets released in remixed form. The Tronic boss has tapped Laurent Garnier to provide the reshape and his version gives the track a brand new identity. Airy and melodic, it sees the veteran French producer conjure up evocative synth pads over a warbling, bubbling groove. While it does feature a build up, this is executed in a subtle manner, with brooding bass tones and complex layers of percussion guiding the way. It's somewhat different in tone to the majority of Tronic releases, but still as powerful - in its own musical way.