Various Artists, Dispatches From The Bubble


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It’s highly likely that Brendon Moeller has been watching too much Bill Maher, but his own Dispatches From The Bubble series probably couldn’t be further from the comedian’s television segments. Moeller’s new series on his Steadfast label gathers together tracks from four different techno pundits, each with their own particular take on dance-floor techno. Decoside, out of Italy, more at home with producing techno of a dubbier, more cerebral nature, contributes a volley of thundering drums and breath-sucking bass on “Deviation.” He mounts the tension with high-pitched organs and sonar-like bleeps before stripping everything back to their base elements again and issuing a barrage of decaying synth stabs. On “Marula,” under his Echologist guise, Moeller works a bouncing, acid-style track that has a lot of kinetic energy and just enough variation to keep it interesting. The kicks are huge and the subtle flourishes veer the track away from becoming cheesy or cliché in the way that acid tracks often can, but like “Deviation” feels like it just falls short of really hitting the mark.

Myk Derill’s “Renewed” offers one of the highlights of the package; heavy, dubbed-out techno with ambiguous, affected vocals designed to instill paranoia. With a foghorn sound dispatching frequent bursts of its menacing call to a foggy atmosphere, the track reaches a pinnacle with a breakdown as all these elements mutate and reverberate around each other before the beat picks up again and structure is restored. Out of Geneva, Opuswerk’s “Delayed Sunday Nights” rounds out the EP with a slightly slower-tempo cut, the more considered track packing a lot of detail into the space created by the rolling, steady pace. Using delays on the kick drum and a ping pong-like sound evocative of The Art of Noise’s “Eye Of A Needle” creates an odd rhythm, but one which somehow resolves itself with the other elements of the track. Although not possessed of a straightforward dance-floor aesthetic like the other tracks, it stands with “Renewed” as a highlight of the EP.

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