Jeroen Search returns to Token with another serving of characteristically hypnotic purism. Aether draws on classic, tripping motifs designed for maximum drive.
Truncate arrives on Token. David Flores’ raw, jacking sound refines the best bits of modern production whilst staying true to the core proponents of the Techno genre. His upcoming appearance on the label shows him in great form, channelling classic sounds in an elegant, reduced fashion.
Token returns with the second instalment of Fuga. Spread across eight tracks once more, the release continues in the same vein as its predecessor presenting a collection of reduced techno recordings in equal parts atmospheric as they are functional. Fuga II provides a continuation of the motifs and constructions explored in the first entry, advancing them to some degree and introducing new characters to Token, whilst maintaining a sense of cohesion within the series itself, and the label as a whole.
Fuga presents a focused and refined showcase of the Token sound in 2020. The compilation highlights the label’s dedication to the classic tenets of the Techno genre, but at the same time draws attention to its role as a conduit for new talent to receive the exposure it deserves without artistic compromise. Including Nastia Reigel, Dold, Mark Broom, Border One, Stefan Vincent, Ribe, PTTRN, Linkan Ray.
The Dutch techno producer, Jeroen Search, debuts on Token with Inner Call, a four track EP showcasing the veteran’s dynamic, puristic approach to the genre. A powerful, streamlined vision of contemporary techno, Inner Call highlights the producer’s time honoured ability to walk the line between pulsing, hypnotic workouts & outright peak time tools – stripping back the work to include nothing but the most vital components to deadly effect.
Token readies the third installment of the Ø [Phase] Versions series, that pays homage to Ashley Burchett’s illustrious discography, reissuing new mixes of classic material. On this third edition, Burchett turns in new, peak time interpretations of tracks Espresso, Obscura & The Crossover – alongside a stunning remix from fellow UK Techno auteur Steve Bicknell, who reworks Token classic Xylo 3.
30drop debuts on Token with a six-track journey that evokes an excommunicative sense of splendor from the outer reaches of worlds beyond. Beginning with Surrender an immediacy pulsates from the outset and dances towards the playful exuberance of The Informant — calibrating the gears for what frequencies are to be heard in the interim. Space Beacons delights with elegant pads and wry rhythmic evocations, while Mathematical Language bursts with energies that have been long dormant since the days of Jeff Mills’ The Purpose Maker. In that same vein, Visitors From The Stars is an entropic message from above, seeking out a communicative line that’s emotive and conductive — leading towards the last track of this journey. Sagan’s Implication is an adroit homage to the legendary astrophysicist; leaning into melodics that are both marvelous and mysterious all at once — similar to finding the answers that lie above us. All in all, a journey that begins by looking past what’s diegetic and looking for answers past the narrative presented.
Neel returns to Token with Transition. Conceptually based around four elements in the group known as the transition metals and recorded live in one take, each track is a mind-bending trip through the periodic table that retains the human touch of a live performance.
Over the last 10 years Token Records has grown steadily, both in size and stylistic breadth. The aptly-titled Momentum comes as a celebration of the close-knit family of artists amassed throughout the label’s running. The record is a fitting collaborative project, with every track on the album produced by two longstanding and well-respected artists from the label’s roster and especially commissioned for the release. This type of collaboration is intended to showcase the specific sound of the label, developed through 10 years of careful curation, as well as bringing out the individual identities of the artists involved.
From his very first release, Johannes Volk’s strict yet creative adherence to the Detroit tradition has garnered him a position among the greats. Renowned these days as a producer with a seemingly-unending ability to produce classic-leaning futuristic techno, Volk has built a serious discography over the past 11 years. For his first Token offering, Volk goes above and beyond with the 4-track EP Designing Evolution.
Tadeo first released on Token in 2015 with the instant classic Terra Incognita, reminiscent of the kind of techno-futurism usually employed by some of the Detroit greats. If Terra Incognita was an interpretation of outer space, The Pit comes from deep in the ground. This is electronic programme music; bookended in distinctive Tadeo style with a modal string section that places the record firmly in the avant-garde, The Pit guides us through the moods and associations of a classic science fiction narrative. The record is consistent in its instrumental palette, with a subdued but powerful low-end to set the pace, disorienting semitone meanderings and organic percussion in the mid, and massive, crashing hats that lift statement sections beyond comprehension.
Compilation of remastered tracks from the defunct Scorp label, operated from 2000 to 2004 by Steve Rachmad. Includes one unreleased track from the same period. Steve Rachmad’s extensive collection of projects over the years has provided a wealth of inspiration in its many forms. Although much of Rachmad’s music has been influential on the development of Token from the beginning, there is one body of work in particular that encapsulates the essence of the label, in a classic and inimitable form. Scorp was a self-contained label project operating between 2000 and 2004. Although not the best known of Rachmad’s many aliases, its importance was not overlooked by discerning tastemakers at the forefront of the techno movement at the time. Token 66 contains nine tracks in total selected from these releases, plus one track previously unreleased from the same period. All of the music has been remastered and will be available digitally for the first time as well as on a 3LP vinyl compilation. These ten tracks clearly demonstrate Token’s alignment with this classic sound, exhibiting Rachmad’s mathematical precision in employing bare-bones percussion to captivate, doing away with the formality of a lengthy introduction and urging a hypnotic state with immediate effect.
Hyperbolic Paths is simultaneously deep and bleepy, accented by hi-hats in syncopation. The tom-heavy Suborbital Trajectories carries a serious groove, layered with lively melodic elements and an occasional unexpected statement cymbal crash. A haunting and hypnotic number, Inclination swells and increases in intensity, rolling on after its breakdown with a playful kick-clap interaction. Eccentricity is a spacious, dubby closing track with reverb-soaked ornamental splashes.
It’s some 15 years since Ashley Burchett first donned the Ø [Phase] moniker to lay down some surging London techno for Cosmic Records. A decade and a half on, he continues to impress with the moodiness and atmospheric intent of his hypnotic dancefloor concoctions. There’s much to enjoy on this second full-length – his debut album, Frames Of Reference, dropped in 2013 – from the intergalactic electronics and Drexciyan beats of “Remote”, and the looped marimba melodies and sludgy pulse of the title track, to the bleak, ghostly hypnotism of “Increment”, and hustling broken techno of “Nep-Tune”. This is proper techno for the dancefloor, with enough subtle variations and neat ideas to please all but the pickiest of listeners.
Token are back with their very own Indigo Kennedy, and he’s brought along a squadron of remixers to transform his recent “Requiem” tune. First up is Dial’s Efdemin, who quickly adds his signature brand of freeform deep house – sinister pads all around – followed by Kangding Ray and his slo-mo version, a truly chuggy affair in all sense of the word. The flip sees Downwards master and UK techno legend Regis inject his deep and menacing style onto the framework, and Full Panda’s Dasha Rush takes the straight-ahead techno approach but proceeds to surround the beats with gorgeous swirls of instrumentation.
Belgian techno powerhouse Token welcome back another label regular in Ø [Phase]. This Versions 12″ represents an interesting move for Surrey-based Ashley Burchett, a chance to delve into his back catalogue and offer up some versions of some of the heavy hitting cuts that helped establish him within the techno community. Versions opens with an ‘Enhanced’ and buffed up take on “Flyby / Falling” from his 2006 Espresso EP for Ingoma, complemented by an unreleased demo take on “Bulk” from the same year. Another Enhanced version, of “Obscura Mix 1” is perhaps the finest cut here though Token completists will find much to savour in the stripped mix of Mass, the title track from his 2007 label debut.
The 52nd release on Token Records is a steely and mechanical two tracker from Ø [Phase]. ‘Tunnel Vision/Internal Conflict’ 12” captures perfectly the grainy, oddball approach which has garnered Burchett’s productions so much attention in recent years. This is techno for the small hours – frantically paced, disorientating and charged with adrenaline.
And so the Token juggernaut continues, slaying all before it with some of the best club techno you are likely to find right now. Terra Incognita sees Spanish producer Tadeo debut on the label after a fine succession of 12″s in 2014 and at six tracks long Miguel Sar takes the chance to really explore his range. “Requiem” offers a foreboding beatless opener that is rife with tension, whilst “Deep Space” explores similar territory to the Something from the Sky series by Jeff Mills. From here Tadeo runs through various shades of dancefloor techno with the mind bending “Apollo 7” our pick!
If you are looking for a massive slab of techno, you won’t find anything released this week that’s as hefty as Aphelion. A triple vinyl box set from Belgian label Token, Aphelion is essentially a primer for the best in contemporary techno, featuring contributions from Surgeon, Rodhad, James Ruskin, Karenn and Planetary Assault System alongside some label regulars. You will have probably already heard “Fixed Action Pattern” from Surgeon, it’s possibly one of this year’s finest techno 12″s, but it’s got some stiff competition here with Ruskin in particularly funked up form on “No Trace”.