Did Fadi Mohem ignite a new club trend by offering something many may have subconsciously anticipated: Dub techno for peak times? Without interruption, the school of Basic Channel has been present in electronic music, either in worshipping sessions of the originals or in new productions carrying the dub elements. However, often they belong to the ‘chill’ segment of electronic music, and club-focused dub techno tracks have been rare in recent years. Klockworks affiliate Fadi Mohem was not satisfied with the situation and shook the dub techno floor with the debut release on his self-titled label. The BPM counter shows 145 for both tracks, “Reactant” creating a perfect match of ethereality and full-on madness and “Transition” offering hypnosis with thundering tools. The digital version is on Bandcamp, not sure if the twelve was/is available anywhere else than Hard Wax.
Japan-born artist Kenya Kanazawa, now from Brooklyn, impresses with the solo debut for Microtones with variations on dub techno theme. Compared to the beatless opener, “AB (2Lanes Longer Mind Print)” is a rather pounding affair and will match Mohem’s material above. Otodojo Dolphin Remix of “AB” adds abstract notes and D’n’B patterns over hefty dubs. Techno elements play the main role in “B”, while the sweetly grooving “C” accentuates dubby sounds again, affirming the strong sonic footprint of “Stretched Reality”.
The founders’ edition on the Australian label Vessel, when Miris and Norachi appear on a split release. “Mr. Duffy Lived A Short Distance From His Body” fills the Miris’ side with entire 17 minutes, of which the first half is spent with a placid flow of dub, while thinking that any moment, Tikiman would step in. Gradually the pace picks up with more colorful textures and even off-kilter synth buzz, before returning to the dub-marked foundations. On the B-side, Norachi takes over with a deep house leaning narrative and moves on a less bumpy road than the colleague.
Compared to the previous ones, the UK act is in a slumbering mood, the title track built on deep and sensual dubs and stealth MCing, perfect for examining the world from philosopher’s hammock. “Pulsar Forest” first admires nature’s abundance in a botanical garden, before turning into more abstract rhythms and muscular “Preacher” may belong to Felix K’s stable when stout techno and D’n’B motives share the compartment. Affiliated with Cultivated Electronics and Sync24, both the artist and the label are keen to explore the exciting ends of sound.