Gated’s second compilation takes inspiration from the path less travelled, the earthen underbelly that binds disparate threads to its wonky centre. So while the music here is from artists all over the world, each track is grounded in a quirky, off-kilter sound, from the opener by UK hardware house don Perseus Traxx to the closer by Space Agent, the alias of a yet-to-be unveiled techno artist. In between we get Gated stalwarts Guavid, Lucita Octans, Acidulant, and Lloyd Stellar with their takes on the wonk, plus glassy-eyed electro from Austin, USA-based Terrestrial Access Network, unusually banging fare from man of the moment MOY, and broken techno from the criminally under-appreciated Stacie-Anne Churchman. There’s also the reissued and remastered sub-bass squelcher Beta Carotene by Modified Starch, which was originally released in 1998 on UK breaks label Slalom.
The Jaffa Kid goes deep with his second EP for Gated, appropriately titled “Second Frequencies”. Kicking off with the beatless but driving “Phased For Days”, the EP has a kind of relentless hypnotism to it, with “Trinian”‘s almost 7 minutes of spaced out electro. Flip to the B and the acid comes to the fore, with “War On Words” and its addictive 303 line pulsing over the Kid’s signature pads. “Tangential” throws in some breaks under gritty acid, and Not The Way rounds out the EP with a truly poignant melodic beatdown.
Lucita Octans is a pseudonym for Melissa Speirs, half of the electro duo Biochip (CPU, WeMe). “Roseoryx” is the debut album from Lucita Octans and is influenced by the full spectrum of electronica, with a unique palette of genre-busting sounds bursting forth from a singular mind. It’s raw but melodic, intense but deep, and tough yet fun. As Melissa describes it “Lucita Octans is floating adrift somewhere. She is looking for the perfect world. Melodies kind of come to her by a somekind of phenomenon. She begs you not to take her too seriously. She was never here and neither are we.”
Marcela Dias Sindaco’s music captures the essence of Gated as a label, sitting half way between so many genres: bass-heavy electro, funky breaks, squelchy synth-boogie… but driven by Marcela’s breathy Portuguese vocals, expressing the depths of her carioca soul. Marcela grew up in Rio de Janeiro, and as a classically trained pianist and cellist, music was in her blood, but it was her dad’s obsession with Krautrock that influenced her early music taste. Later, travelling around Europe as a model, she discovered the clubs of Berlin, Paris and Milan and incorporated what she heard into her own music, using a studio filled with analogue equipment. The result joins the dots between heads-down club stompers, electrofunk, Prince, and Brazilian samba.
Greek genius DimDJ is no stranger to a live jam, pushing his machines to produce gritty dancefloor stompers since the heady days of 2004. He makes his Gated debut with an EP of uncompromising 303 workouts, once again driving those silver boxes to produce addictive, floor-focused DJ tools. But it’s not all heads-down squelch, with a final track squeezed onto the B-side that brings a surprisingly punk twist to an EP that’s also appropriately named… Acid Tracks.
Northern powerhouse Perseus Traxx is on spaced out form with this four-tracker celebrating ancient Greek mysticism. Basslines as deep as sunken treasure, acid that’s worthy of the psychedelic origins of its name, and synths that spin off into infinity make up an uncompromising, mesmerising EP.
Originally recorded to cassette, these five acidic tracks from Spanish-born producer and record store owner Dip Shim are a paean to his neighbourhood in Malmö, Sweden. The breadth of styles across the EP is impressive, taking in uplifting techno, mid-tempo electro, banging acid, and ambient, all created with classic analogue machines, suffused throughout with that warm tape sound and sweet sweet 303.
It’s Belgium vs. Malta for the second split EP on Gated, with Datawave’s tough take on electro kicking off on the A side and Sound Synthesis’s cosmic machine music on the B. Hypnotic pure electro crafted through wiggly electronics and sharp percussion.