Antigone, The Astral Traveller EP

[Concrete Music]

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A couple of years ago I spent some extended time in Paris. I loved the city for all the reasons one typically might, but was somewhat disheartened by the techno scene there. Paris is a major European metropolis with a strong history in dance music and some very great record stores (Smallville, Silly Melody, and Betino’s counted among my favorites), but it didn’t seem like a whole lot was going on — parties were mostly confined to a handful of clubs, and I knew of only a handful of interesting young producers. This, however, was all before the advent of Concrete: a party that has become a sort of symbol for the techno renaissance Paris seems to be exhibiting as of late. A boat on the Seine that hosts some seriously extended-hour parties with strong line-ups, Concrete looked to further extend their influence when they started up an in-house label earlier this year.

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Beginning ambitiously with a three-part series of 12″s entitled Textures, Concrete quickly established itself as a label embracing the different sounds one might hear at their parties, from Jared Wilson’s acid house to Cabanne’s Perlon-esque microhouse. Most impressive, however, is their first full artist EP The Astral Traveller, which comes to us from the young Parisian Antigone. “Menace Of The Species” takes up the A-side, barreling forward with a muscular kick-drum and neo-hardcore percussion, but whose pads and melodies unfurl at such an unhurried pace as to seem almost oblivious to the track’s insistent rhythms. “Promised Planet” has more of a deep-house swing to it, while “A Spotless Mind” takes the A-side’s tougher timbres on a more spaced-out ride. It’s a strong record, one that confidently announces the intentions of both a label and an artist who are in the early stages of promising careers.

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