Music Reviews

Great Mistake by Nadja Lind & Paul Loraine – Lucidflow

Berlin’s Lucidflow approaches its thirtieth milestone with an EP from label co-owner Nadja Lind and Paul Loraine. Loraine’s swift return to the label after his collaboration with Saytek on their 25th release, while Lind’s contribution to the label as a solo artist and as one half of Klartraum with Helmut Ebritsch has seen her be part of close to half the imprint’s already prolific output in their two and a half year journey. As to be expected, it’s a quartet of finely-crafted techno records that further adds to Lucidflow’s impressive catalogue.

Great Mistake begins proceedings with a pulsating extra kick hit and gloopy sub-bass, with the percs infiltrating the understated melody, pads flowing over the high EQs. Once the rasping snare enters at half distance, it’s transformed into a punchy, room-filling techno number. Spaceline also employs forceful percs, with extra hits giving it a complex underpinning, making good use of a chorus note through its beginnings, a raft of sounds emanating from the breakdown in a dream-like sequence that continues once the kick returns. Lettin’ Go’s popping, squelching drum pattern lets the echoing, delayed arp synth flood over it, sinister vox adding menace, and even pitched-down, it’s an off-centre layering of sounds that mean the groove is never quite centre stage, creating a spooky atmosphere. Ceigas is the most stripped-back of the four, its metallic synth dominating until halfway, where rhodesy notes and fx interplay until warped synths appear in a wonky groove. Mean and lean.

Change It EP by J Daniel – Question Of Time

Many revered labels have fallen by the wayside, their moment in the limelight taken, never to be heard of again. However, there are comebacks, and not all of them for tired, commercial reasons. Portuguese imprint Question Of Time burnt bright in the mid 90s and early 00s, with local legend and owner J Daniel responsible for much of its output, as it ploughed a techno furrow that made it a favourite of luminaries such as Mr C, Carl Cox, Sven Vath and DJ Pippi. Its return in 2012 is a surprise, but a welcome one, with Daniel’s first  EP inhabiting a rather unself-concious four tracks on vinyl that lean toward the decade of its birth.

Change It’s original mix is an exercise in synth-led, driving house that was very much of that era, but it’s no simple cut-and-paste rehash, much more a contemporary houser that grabs the best parts and brings them into the new decade, with Daniel getting back to his acid-influenced roots. Rasping bassline blends with lush pads and vocal snippets in an ethereal journey that marks it out from the crowd. Remixes come from Aqob, his Dust Remix playing heavily on delayed synths, reverb-drenched pads and resonating b-line that evokes early Sander Kleinenberg’s best work. The Zorbinsky Remix edges towards techno, leading to the drop with an almost endless loop of lofty synth and growling bass interplay that builds inertia, while the Park Street Communications Mix closes out a solid vinyl package in deep trippy, acid-tinged euhphoria with almost tribal percs that lead to a glorious 303-spangled breakdown. Classic stuff.