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  • Filed under: Review
  • 07/05/2013

Various Artists 100DSR/VAR1

To mark its 100th release, reliable Amsterdam techno imprint Delsin is releasing a five-part series of multi-artist EPs, curated with the aim of showcasing the core strengths of the label and its ever-evolving roster of producers. This first installment impressively kicks things off with a three-track 12" that sees Manchester techno veteran Claro Intelecto sharing space with Siberian producer Unbroken Dub and mysterious man-of-the-moment Gerry Read. The result is a trio of tracks that are in equal parts raw, soulful, and creative; each one joins the dots between lo-fi house and rough-edged techno and plays its part in creating a collection of very likeable club music.

Delsin regular Claro Intelecto's offering, "Fighting the Blind Mind," opens with a surprisingly bouncy synth line that instantly hooks the listener with its oddly catchy swung rhythm. It's quickly joined by a rugged drum machine, which immediately switches up the track's rhythm by abruptly reining in the floaty, off-kilter swing of the tune's opening bars and shifting it towards the dancefloor with a propulsive 4x4 stomp. It's a production that shows off the producer's vast skill set, as it incorporates both his talent for creating floor-filling, dub-tinged techno and his flair for more esoteric creative touches.

Over on the reverse, Gerry Read's "Granny Bag" finds the enigmatic UK producer in unusually hard-hitting form. The filtered synth lines and hazy, metallic drum machines that characterized Read's debut LP Jummy are still present, but here they're undercut by sub-heavy kicks and distant synths, giving the track the air of a classic Ostgut Ton release. As with Read's recent Fourth Wave single "Crave" b/w "Enjoy A Day Out," it's a noticeable step towards the dancefloor as compared to much of the producer's past work, but it's a shift in direction that really suits him.

Finally, Unbroken Dub rounds off the release with "Spacing," which is probably the EP's most straightforward take on the techno blueprint. The track fixes distant atmospherics and occasional bursts of pulsing synthesizer around a backbone of rigid mechanical hi-hats and a pounding, muted kick drum. The result is the least memorable of the three offerings here, but it's still a more-than-decent tune. Still, as a whole the EP is an impressive start to Delsin's anniversary series—if the quality remains this high, the label could have something pretty special on its hands by the end of the run.

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