Tin Man (a.k.a. Johannes Auvinen) has been releasing music for over a decade, but he seems to have found a real home at Acid Test, an offshoot of LA-based label Absurd. His 2012 full-length Neo Neo Acid brought broad attention to his use of the genre's signature machine—the Roland TB-303—from which he coaxes a distinctive musicality while crafting a unique brand of synth pop-inspired techno. Auvinen's latest album Ode (currently streaming in full via XLR8R) trades in a more distilled strain of post-rave melancholia, and ahead of its arrival on September 22, the Vienna-based artist walked us through five tracks that, much like his own productions, offer a unique take on acid—from Richie Hawtin's minimalist approach under his Plastikman alter ego to the acid-pop crossover of Ten City.
Liddell Townsell "As Acid Turns"
In LA, there have always been scene crossovers. For example, the Chicano rockabilly scene crossed over into the lowrider street scene. Just as they would jam rockabilly tunes in their low riders, I would jam acid tracks in my 1964 Thunderbird. The rolling vibe of this track is cool for cruising LA in a classic car and I have fond memories of doing just that!
Armando "Confusion's Revenge"
This is my favorite acid track. I get tingles. As far as classic acid tracks go, this has all the bells and whistles. It is perceptually confusing and because of the complexity of the bassline, it sounds like there are three different 303s running in parallel. I like that he builds up the suspense and then really lets loose. He takes the acid to the most acidic here.
I feel like this track features all that is novel about Plastikman's take on acid. He slowed the whole thing down and set the focus on pretty and minimalist legato lines. The result is a mood which is much more laid back and contemplative, perhaps even more blue. Many artists revisiting acid in the '90s, especially in Europe, explored the melancholic side of the genre.
Pierre's Pfantasy Club "Fantasy Girl"
This track freaks me out because it is really a deep house track with an acid surprise. The track is built up just as you would expect a Chicago deep house track to be. It has a classic Chicago bassline, raw drum-machine beats, and a deep, yearning vocal. When the acid breaks into the track, it takes it to another level, which makes it a bit scary, but also pretty sexy.
Ten City "That's The Way Love Is (Acieed Mix/Extended Version)"
I have made a reputation with long, melodic acid lines. This track, which was a pop crossover, keeps at its foundation a four-bar acid line. The subtle details in the line complement the conflicting themes in the song. The steadiness of the bass speaks to the theme of being strong. The wavering speaks to the sadness of lost love. I find it cool how something that was considered a totally wild sound a few years earlier quickly became an expressive element in music outside of acid house.