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electronic

Immediate Proximity – 2334

Imagine the coronavirus is here to stay and we don’t find a cure. In fact, it is mutating rapidly. We need to stay inside and keep a meter-and-a-half distance. After a few years, there are violent protests against the government enforcing the rules and we drift into a totalitarian state with killer drones roaming the streets.

I’m just imagining here, right.

Well, if we need a soundtrack for that future, 2334 will do just fine. It’s cold, metallic, dark and rough. With song titles like ‘Skynet Skanner’ and ‘Broken Ether’, it also hints to less attractive futures. When lived, because imagining those futures is part of the way we deal with uncertainty.

2334 is the debut by Immediate Proximity, the first musical collaboration between Diana Napirelly and Niels Luinenburg. We know Luinenburg as Delta Funktionen. He currently lives in Berlin and is resident at Tresor where he curates the ‘Let’s Watch UFOs’ nights. Napirelly is a dj based in Saint Petersburg. Both worked for over a year on 2334 in Luinenburg’s Berlin studio.

There are a lot of references to earlier work by Delta Funktionen, but Immediate Proximity lacks Luinenburg’s more playful, glitchy side. There is no escaping the directness of 2334. It’s a full-force kick in the stomach. Maybe that’s why the duo uses visual esthetics associated with 80s sci-fi to go with the album. It takes the edges of just a little bit.

The same playfulness is present in the way both producers describe their music: sci-fi tribalism. Hints to the core of techno culture (the tribe) and the lost future (sci-fi).

Musically, there is no escaping the machinery: this is as minimalistic as it gets. The beats punch like metal through glass, leaving no alternative than to go forward. The few tracks without beats are even more terrifying: steel-cold ambient for industrial wastelands. Opener ‘The Apocalyptic Cult’, driven by a dry sluggish beat, leads the way.

2334 forces you to submit to the cold and repetitive techno machine. In a way, it could be seen as a metaphor for the corona virus.

There is no escape, only submission.

Let’s hope 2334 will never become the soundtrack of our society. Meanwhile it is very pleasant to imagine it does.

Submit and enjoy.

2334 by Immediate Proximity is released by a Radio Matrix.

Categories
electronic

Jordan GCZ – Space Songs EP

One of my favourite techno acts of the past two decades is Juju & Jordash. The two producers from Amsterdam possess the ability to make new music sound like old, and old music like new in a way that the result always has that authentic vibe. Their live-sets are amongst the best I’ve had experienced in my thirty-year life as electronic music adept/raver. Making them the poster boys od Dekmantel.

Both are also producing solo material. While Gal Aner (Juju) is working together with others a lot, Jordan Czamanski is quite busy as Jordan GCZ releasing a new 12″ at least every year. His style is in line with that of Juju & Jordash: open, lush, raw.

Jordan has the ability to strip music to its essence: a beat, a loop, a synth melody. That is the start of all his tracks. By adding new layers he is adding more soul and emotions. Perfection isn’t a goal here: his music always had this imperfect, raw vibe.

Space Song EP, released on the Future Times label based in Washington DC, is no exception. The five songs on this release embody the essence of techno: feel one with the machine. The ten minutes of ‘Half-Time’ lead the way: this is techno that is not trapped in a space-time vacuum but just is. The lushness of the beats, dominant open bassline, meandering synths: this is what techno embodies. Electronic music doesn’t get any better.

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Space Song EP by Jordan GCZ will be released by Futures Times on April 3rd.

Categories
electronic

Graham Dunning – Reach Into Time

To be honest, Reach Into Time isn’t the best representation of Graham Dunning’s musical catalogue, but it reflects his way of working and his values towards craftsmanship well.

Dunning has released a lot of electronic music on different labels and teaches experimental sound art at the Mary Ward Centre in London. He experiments with sounds, hardware, software, instruments and locations. For instance: the basis for the piece ‘Windchange’ is recorded inside the top of a 100-year-old windmill in Harplinge, Sweden, during a rainstorm and a change in the wind direction. Dunning enhanced the recording and released it earlier this year on Something About Still Trying. The title track is based on a mobile phone recording taken on a coach. Glocken – released last year, but recorded in 2018 – he worked with a turntable and modified records.

Reach Into Time is a collection of live coding performances Dunning did. Instead of using pre-set software, Dunning is coding the music bit by bit on the spot. A wonderful, creative way to stay close to the essence of rave: machine and men merging in one. Failure can be part of the process: one mistyped letter or symbol and the sequence is broken.

Without this background knowledge, Reach Into Time still sounds like a refreshing collection of old school techno, breakbeat and electro, close to the fragile sound of the best years of rave culture. The limitations of the machine are the key here, giving a much more authentic sound than Fruityloops will ever be able to deliver.

The cassette tape comes in a beautifully designed cover. There are still a few left here.

Make sure to check Dunning’s Boiler Room performance in 2016 out. It is magical and a must-watch for everybody into experimental electronic dance music. It’s over here.

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Reach Into Time by Graham Dunning is released by SØVN Records.

Categories
electronic

Vladislav Delay – Raajat

Sasu Ripatti is like King Midas: everything he touches turns into gold. A couple of years ago he left Berlin for a small island in the Baltic Sea. “There is a lot of nature here and not many people. I need that after six years of living in a city that never sleeps”, Ripatti told me by mail. He was disappointed in electric dance music becoming a product that everybody could make.

As Vladislav Delay he was so active that Ripatti got tired of house, 4/4 beats and ambient. The fresh air on Hailuoto, and his travels to the wilderness above the arctic circle and tree lines, has been good for him: after five years there will be a new album as Vladislav Delay: Rakka. The first track he shares, ‘Raajat’, is the perfect combination between sultry ambient and hectic industrial-like breakbeat stuff.

Rakka by Vladislav Delay will be released on Cosmo Rhythmatic/WARP.