Keywords: EBM, Techno, Electro
Reviewer: Alex Spalding
This was another great Noise-Joy release from forever ago, by Texas-based Electro/Techno producer and professional cool-guy Equitant! It’s a pleasure to be re-issuing it here for everyone to enjoy once again, though it was likely still available through the artists’ own label, Black Montanas.
It was originally recorded at Agurak from October 2002 to January 2003 and was then remastered at Agurak in January of 2007. It also features extra vocals on tracks by Erica F. and the mysterious R71.
The first track is ‘Kompressor (Original Mix)’, which is hella funky, with minimal, thick drumtracks and electro-stabs. Vocals + vocoders come in, part man and part machine; part Detroit, part Frankfurt, part Düsseldorf. My favourite part is when the atmospheric synth chords arrive, taking us into a weird cyberscape with occasional vocoded synthetic voice. Afterward, there’s a minimalistic breakdown section and then the verse returns, going into an instrumental ending.
Then, ‘Sinthetik’ comes in, with dense, pulsating synth basslines. Heavy synth snares come on, then the rhythm takes shape. Female whispers float into the mix, followed by Equitant’s pseudo-Germanic vibe vox. Some of the synths drop away, giving the mix more space, and then subtle synthetic ambiance is cut in in quick stabs, which is very nice!
‘Transmission’ is probably my favourite track on this, very long in length but moving into some really awesome sound spaces. It begins with a slow groove, with thin synth sequences and choir shots. There’s a bass warble and what sound like brief clips of a stretched out voice sample thrown in underneath it all. We’re left for a moment with just the sequence, as it burns itself into your brain in the way that so much of the better, drug-fare among oldschool Euro techno used to. Then it blows into the vocal section with the arpeggiated Electro synth. “Transmission / Communication / Information” The stream of arpeggiation becomes polyphonic, in almost a symbolic way, as if to illustrate with sound the necessity of duality/multiplicity in communication. The robots are speaking to us. Feel the flow.
After that is ‘Zukunft’, with synth string leads slightly detuned and phasing. Syn-toms blow into the mix, then there’s a 4/4 floor kick and some nice harmonic synths with tones that are almost flute-like. Bass on the off-beat, and in the next section it begins to add a digital DX7 type bass layer to the groove. This whole thing feels deceptively simple, with hidden layers and depth, and has a very 80s Trance vibe. It hits us after a while with a pause, then goes right into the most melodic section, filled with warm synth layers in perfect syncopation.
Next is the final track, ‘Rhythmik Movement’, beginning with an 808 bass pulse and dense synth sequence. More electric percussion is added, as well as bizarre FM bell sines. Sampled female vocals repeat. Then, we come eventually to a section that feels even more like Electro/Techno terrain, with off-kilter Funk grooves comprised of purely synthetic noises. After the vocal section, things return to a minimal and very dark section with deep 808 bass and low drones, until a weird space envelops us with added melodies that feel like a caravan of electronics moving across the Sahara.
Most of the tracks are pretty lengthy, but that just gives DJs plenty of room to work them in and out of a mix. Gotta go for that long mix. I feel very strongly that this is a necessary listen, so please check it out over here at this link I’ve so kindly bestowed 😛