I had the pleasure of playing StudioR in Berlin a couple of times, and both instances were really fun as you can turn up the volume loud plus the videos produced were amazing. So when they asked me to get down with a track on a compilation, I was interested, and then I found out it was a triple pack and saw all the artist on it: One word, proper! The triple pack spans across 12 different artists covering most of the contemporary underground genres called 003.
With success comes ambition, and on the heels of two successful 12-inch releases that followed the changing seasons of 2013, Studio r° returns for fall 2014 with our most expansive offering yet. Coming in the form of a 12 track triple EP, our third release revisits one illustrious name – Fred P – while deepening the roster with a list of the renown like Brendon Moeller, Exercise One and Mike Parker, hot upcoming names like Zadig, DJ Spider, and Hakim Murphy, and lesser knowns, some new but others with long histories. Those with their ears to the ground will certainly perk up for contributions from André Kronert and Boyd Schidt, each of which can trace their production histories back over a decade, the former as head of Night Drive Music and the latter as half of the Georgian duo Greenbeam & Leon. The remaining three – Harry Light, Jūras Lietus, and Weitone – are all newer, with the first making his debut here, the second having debuted on our own Wavereform imprint, and the third ostensibly new, although he may have some history we will not reveal here.
The first EP of the trio hits hard from the start, with Fred P supplying expertly crafted and very distinctive deep house vibes and Brendon Moeller following up with a dirty techno cut that shares very little with the New York neighborhood it takes its name from. Exercise One’s «In Avacuum» and Parker’s «Spiral Curves» both bring veteran techno weaponry on the flipside, with the former landing on the dubbier and dancefloor-leaning end of the spectrum while Parker’s hypnotic, abstract style goes for the purists and the late night dancers. The second plate begins on the lighter side before moving into darkness by opening with Kronert’s triping, acidic house and moving into Harry Light’s dubby-but-jacking effort. Zadig’s tunneling and heavy techno contrasts DJ Spider’s thickly layered deep house, but the dirty basement atmospheres of each find parallels in the work of these two recently recognized producers. Lietus leads off the final EP with expertly crafted dubbed-out acid, while Weitone’s «Running Scared» supplies a strutting groove to more thick dub textures. For the final pair, Boyd Schidt’s «Morning Utopia» takes after its title, albeit with plenty of dirt in the percussion programs, and new school Chicago filth master Hakim Murphy’s worming acid line and grimy filtered drums are a stark contrast to the ethereal pad melodies that eventually win out on his track. Taken together, the twelve cuts sample some of the finest names in contemporary club music alongside strong showings from newer talent for a wide-angle perspective on today’s house and techno that places Studio r° front and centre.
Without further ado let’s get to the music:
All The People – Fred P Reashape///Fred kicks off the compilation with a deep house banger that features an emotive chord progression, words of wisdom, and a deep bass line that really brings cavernous feeling to the surface of your soul. Solid ass tune, as per usual from Fred.
Meat Packing District – Brendan Moeller///Brendan kicks it off with rumbling low notes underneath a moving bass line. Definitely staying in the lower registers of the wave spectrum, coupled with much atmosphere to boot. Definitely for the fans of the slightly minimal and slightly soulful with sounds that brutalize the bass bins.
In Avacuum – Exercise One///The project moves a little bit brighter with some mid-tempo techno that rings with an arpeggio that leads into a plethora of synths that fill up the tune. A lot of texture eventually prevails, creating many layers of interest for the people who like the synths a bit edgy.
Spiral Curves – Mike Parker///More uptempo, as the name really does accurately describe the track, swirling synths with delay dominate the sounds. The kick and hi-hat play in the background, while the synths continues to swish around, definitely one for the techno heads.
State of Mind – Andre Kronert///Techno style arpeggiation dominates the tune with a bouncing bassline. The clap is hitting on the 2 and the 4 as the hi-hats join to create more energy. The acid line flutters ever so softly as the tune proceeds through time. This one is undoubtedly more on the minimal tip as the acid line continues throughout the entire tune.
Tube – Harry Light///First tune here to begin with no kick and just sounds, pretty full with two different synths sounds going to be later joined by percussion full of reverb. Pretty and bouncing is the feel of this waveform joined with some classic Roland drum sounds. As the drum sounds builds the head bouncing factor grows as the arrangements moves.
642 – Zadig///Coming hard is Zadig, with a crunchy sounding bass line and squeaking arpeggiation over the top that gains momentum as it moves forward in time. The percussion moves as the bass drum drops out in favor of the deeper one. An when the higher frequency kick appears again, it brings a whole new set of energy to the sound. Rolling, tunnel sounds, moving through time and space.
The Mindless Heart – DJ Spider///Chords and a bass line begin coupled with some classic Spider drum programming and spooky-reverb on percussion that introduces the tune. Moving along, per usual, Spider throws in some words of wisdom or insight, to help the lister not only with tones but with words too. A techno and house hybrid, which is consistent with Spider’s musical philosophy.
UFOL – Juras Lietus///In the beginning of the final vinyl piece, Juras slows down the tempo a bit. Two synths line run counter point to each other while the bassline moves. Chords then appear, giving it that deep house sound, but the synth sounds move the tune into a techno realm or a very metallic and machine orientated feeling. Another hybrid is born, which always a sign of moving forward.
Running Scared – Weitone///Continuing on the deep house vibe, a cushy chord progression appears with some interesting percussion that leads into a nice melody stab. They melody and chords continue to filter ever so slowly, meanwhile the more chords come in to fill up the music spectrum. Weitone is keeping it deep and musical.
Morning Utopia – Boyd Schidt///A hard kick and pulsating synths begin the tune, a deep bass line rattles some woofers as long notes come in, causing some emotions to surface, the percussion moves so elegantly as a melody line comes in with varying reverb effects. Boyd shows off his ability to play melodies coupled with a lush chord and moving percussion.
Mbangs – Hakim Murphy///Well we come to end of the project and I am holding up the rear. With some pulsating acid lines, chords, and my take on techno as percussion and chords filter in and out. The percussion is more steady than usual, but I wanted to take it on a more minimal approach. Enjoy the sounds.
All in all a very diverse project full of new and positive vibes.