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State of Play: Peter Van Hoesen, Marcel Dettmann & Seth Troxler all feature in this month's stomping Techno edition

State of Play: Peter Van Hoesen, Marcel Dettmann & Seth Troxler all feature in this month’s stomping Techno edition
David Clayton

This is David’s debut piece for Urban Essence, no better way to pop his cherry than to get stuck in to a round-up of March’s Techno releases.

Peter Van Hoesen – Seventy Secrets

One of Belgium’s finest techno exports, Peter Van Hoesen has been prolific in his production and DJing throughout the last 12 years. After repeatedly watching his Boiler Room performance back in January 2014, it quickly became apparent that this was a Belgian with a lot to say; as anyone who’s watched a mix on Boiler Room will tell you, the crowd generally resemble the cast from Romero’s Dawn of the Dead. But not on this night, the room was electric and jumping with Van Hoesen blending in his own live performance on his 909 with sparse, industrial techno tracks, a sound right at home in Brussel’s super club Fuse.

The first EP I listened to from Peter Van Hoesen was his live recording at Tresor Life Performance, an EP that needs to be listened to from start to finish to understand exactly what the Belgian is trying to say.

This EP sees Van Hoesen return to his own label, Time to Express, a label that has seen releases from Samuli Kemppi and Donato Dozzy, with a large number of Van Hoesen’s own productions. After seeing Van Hoesen release on another Belgian label Curle Recordings, you get the feeling that the Belgian techno scene is definitely alive and well.

With the ambient intro of the title track “Seventy Secrets” and straight into the bouncy percussion of “The Protagonist” you quickly realise that this is an EP that has to be listened to as a whole, in order to give each track its full context. The EP takes a dark moody turn through “Shadow Ground” and continues on through this vibe to “Drift” a track considered by many to be the stand out track on the EP with its deep bass filled drum pattern interwoven with the occasional glitchy synth line. For me personally the stand out track is “Swerve Damaio”, carrying on a similar pattern to “Drift” the Belgian seems to be a master of using bass to create a soundscape, with the eerie samples to boot.

Seventy Secrets is out now on Time to Express’s bandcamp.

MDR Compliation

It’s hard to describe the continued impact that Marcel Dettmann has on the techno world, the pure embodiment of Germany’s take on techno. Known for his lengthy b2b sets with Ben Klock, watching the two of them is mesmerising at times – quite literally two best friends playing records they love for each other. It’s no surprise that Dettmann was chosen to mix the 77th incarnation of the fabric mix series, a mix that left me waiting eagerly for each individual track to be released.

Dettmann has also been carving a name for himself through his eponymous label Marcel Dettman Records. This label has seen some great releases since 2006, a personal favourite being MDR 10 – Kobosil’s track “Asle” on this EP.

The label is up to their sixteenth release and to celebrate Dettmann is releasing an eight track compilation, reading like the perfect lineup for klubnacht at Berghain, the EP is featuring Ostgut Ton mainstays Answer Code Request and Anthony Parasole, Milton Bradley aka Alien Rain, Norman Nodge, Lockermatik, FBK, Kobosil and Marcel Dettmann himself.

The EP really delivers on the MDR hype – no frills, straight to the point techno and it’s very hard to choose a favourite among the tracks. Milton Bradley or otherwise known Alien Rain, a master of driving acid techno, brings some of this sound through to his productions under his own name; his track “Assembled” a stand-out here. With Dettmann’s own track on the EP synonymous with his unique style and flair. Anthony Parasole brings a bit more light into the darkness, with his track delicately blending the intensity that is the Berlin techno sound with a more playful ‘happy’ synth line.

Marcel has been touring the EP throughout March and is finishing up at Berghain on 28th March.

Available on Vinyl and Digital formats via Hardwax.

Seth Troxler – Evangelion

Known for his varied DJ sets, Seth Troxler seems to be able to find that perfect set for any location and time. It makes it hard to tie Troxler down to any sort of style of music, from playing deep house and techno at his early morning Fabric residencies to playing b2b with Craig Richards at The Columbian, a 2 hour disco affair. Troxler seems to have taken this approach into his production, with an enormously diverse back catalog and off the back of his recent release with Phil Moffa “Blue Rawls”, showing a more avant garde style. “Evangelion” is an interesting take on what I like to call ‘Space Techno’ – what I imagine docking at an international space station sounds like… When the piano comes into the track and with industrial samples throughout, it all adds up to create a very eerie and surreal experience. This track isn’t a big hitter, but in the right environment this risqué track will definitely have a few people stroking their beards.

Evangelion is seeing a release on Guy Gerber’s label Rumours, with the initial release on vinyl March 30th and digital to follow on April 6th.

And lastly we have Johannes Heil & Markus Suckut – Exile 001

This is the first release on the newly created Exile label, a new home for these two techno heavyweights working together to create an uncompromising sound. If this is their debut release then we can’t wait to see what else this label has up their sleeves in the future, definitely one to watch in 2015.

EXILES’s ethos reads as follows: “We at EXILE know that it is nonsense to write anything about music, because music can only be translated by the listener’s ear.” On that note let’s the music do the talking.

EXILE 001 was released March 4th and is available at Phonica.