Ten years ago, Acid Test began with a simple concept – each track the label released would make use of the Roland TB-303. Like a producer purposefully paring down their studio setup, or the continuous imperative within underground electronic music to reduce, this concept engendered creativity with the introduction of what seemed to be an aesthetic limit. However, the decade that followed, which now culminates in the triple-LP compilation Ten Years Of Acid Test, proves acid is limitless. That the Berlin-via-LA label would expand upon the classical conception of acid house and techno is no surprise considering the cast of characters that have come in fold over the past decade. Ten Years Of Acid Test gathers key material from the label’s extended family of acid acolytes. There’s that Vienna-via-LA maestro of sad, elegant acid Tin Man (Johannes Auvinen), whose “Afters Acid” is both a highlight within his prolific catalogue and a distillation of his symphonic approach to the 303. Detroit giants Erika and Marcellus Pittman, both of whom have released remixes on Acid Test, present their respective and singular Bass Line visions. Erika, the Interdimensional Transmissions lynchpin, crafts a dark, delicate take on broken techno on “Violet Fungus” while Pittman continues his cubist house explorations on “Unknown Species,” both tracks straying from typical acid lines in favor of the intricate textures achievable on the 303. This variation in approach applies to tempo as well. Irish-based master Lerosa, as well as Delsin affiliate VC-118A, delve into downtempo atmospherics. Meanwhile, Japanese deep techno virtuoso Wata Igarashi, SUED co-founder SW. (a regular on Acid Test’s leftfield sub-label Avenue 66) and Patricia (one-half of Acid Test act Ociya) use acid as a creative jumping-off point for complex melodic concepts. Wata layers an orchestra of synth-bliss drone overtop a squelchy bassline on “Ephemeral.” SW.’s “ChaIAnJAzzz” cycles through an array of dusted chords eventually landing in skewed, fuzzy rave nostalgia, anthemic chords held aloft by a wicked UK-flavour bass line. Patricia’s “Higher Still” explores dreamy, IDM-flavoured acid, cinematic synthlines counterbalanced by propulsive, squelching acid. Acid Test devotees will be thrilled at the return of various luminaries from the catalogue, including Achterbahn D’Amour, Skudge, AAAA, John Tejada and Donato Dozzy, whose memorable remix of Tin Man’s “Nonneo” from Acid Test 01 served as a kind of proof of concept for the label. There’s new blood too. San Francisco up-and-comer Sepehr makes his label debut with the excellent “Persian Acid Prince,” as does Andreas Tilliander’s beloved hardware techno project, TM404. Ten Years Of Acid Test is a valuable portrait of a group of artists linked by a dedication to innovation within acid, in line with the genre’s storied roots. Over ten years, Acid Test has gracefully made a case for the 303’s past, present and future, the story of acid continuing to unfurl in unpredictable, addictive patterns.
Wata Igarashi’s debut release on Omnidisc is exactly what is needed at this moment. Escape from reality with mind altering LFO’d modulated everything. The EP is made up of 3 tough techno cuts balanced out by ‘Homecoming’, the closing track looking to a more positive future.
In light of the current Covid-19 Pandemic Studio Enisslab headed up by Italian DJ / Producer and Live Act Neel has announced the release of a very special 56 track charity compilation project, fundraising for The Red Cross, who are working extremely hard alongside health services internationally that are feeling the effects of the corona-virus outbreak the most right now. The compilation is available for a limited time via Bandcamp and 100% of the proceeds will be donated to The Red Cross to help the world’s most affected countries in the Covid-19 pandemic.
This special release features over 6 hours of previously unreleased and unheard material, where an all star cast of artists were encouraged to share music that reflects this time we are living in.
Neel, who is one half of live duo Voices From The Lake, and LF58 speaks out on behalf of the initiative, organised in collaboration with improvised live project Circle Of Live, and visual art collective Sbagliato. He explains:
“In this situation we all need to look after each other and this project is a start. I wanted to reach as many people as possible to spread this message, so I started to share the idea personally with lots of artists and the response was amazing. I wanted them to take their time with whichever tools they had available at home to produce some music that reflects this time we are living in, a contribution for this special project and to portray a special message.”
The project’s cover art image brought to you by visual art collective Sbagliato shows pictures of windows of houses and studios taken by the artists themselves: 56 musicians, 56 windows, 56 tracks shape a new place of sharing.
Wata Igarashi and Voiski join forces to present their new collaborative project, WAV. Ignoring the physical distance between Tokyo and Paris, a personal and musical closeness encouraged them to start exploring what they could create together. Voiski the Parisian centipede who brings synth heavy perfection to techno and Wata Igarashi known for his stylishly reduced, immersive melodies and futuristic grooves, collaborate for the first time on Delsin Records. The result is a late night affair with atmospheric pads that get you in a trance. Peak-time electronics and floating grooves traveling through the cosmos on knife sharp rhythms. Across four tracks you can hear clear elements of both Igarashi’s and Voiski’s solo productions, without sounding like anything either has done before.
Wata Igarashi with his second release on The Bunker New York. Igarashi is a lifelong musician and a professional sound designer by trade. Through decades of experience composing music he has developed a sophisticated and nuanced approach to production that allows him to evoke powerful moods and emotions. In recent years he has been applying his production skills to great effect, developing a distinctive brand of psychedelic techno.
Midgar delivers a new release by Wata Igarashi. Ciphers EP is a rich assemblage of deep sonic excursions showing throughout a strong coexistence of organic and virtual elements. The record opens with ´Ciphers´, where a fast paced sandy groove is driving high on drones via sparking ambiances. Second track, ´Hailstones´ is basically a beat knocking its way outside, under a heavy hi-hat hail, slashed by snares and haunted by holographic spirits. On the B-side ´Lucifero´ carries a mellow but powerful mood, sounds like a morning star that gradually transforms into a supernova, is definitely the more dancefloor oriented cut of the release. Closing the vinyl, the slow-footed ´Cocytus´ is the complete opposite of its previous track, because of a cold, grave rhythm, treated like a windswept tree.
The Stealth triple vinyl series presents six tracks taken from Peter Van Hoesen’s ‘Stealth’ mix compilation. The same philosophy is carried across: it marries Peter’s music with the sounds he is influenced by. The result is a powerful selection of vibrant techno, with a warm, almost spiritual, feel to it. Both Donato Dozzy and Neel have appeared individually on Time to Express before, here they appear for the first time together as Voices From the Lake. The Italian duo offer more evidence of their distinctive brand of hypnotic techno with ‘Zulu Vortex’, a spiralling percussive workout. This is paired with a track from Wata Igarashi, a rising Japanese DJ and producer. ‘Night’ is a glowing, radiant piece of techno that has become a regular feature in Peter Van Hoesen’s recent DJ sets.
A diverse and elaborate EP from the seasoned producer Wata Igarashi to launch new imprint Midgar Records. Composed of four tracks exploring the depths of deep techno and house, Junctions is a restless concoction of halfway beats, which lays on background of pulsating noises and sound experimentations. Fluctuating between machine stuttering techno and dusty acid-laced house.