Label: Electric Deluxe
Release Date: 26/08/13
Fronted by techno veteran Jochem Paap (better known as Speedy J), Electric Deluxe has been in the business of representing a wide spectrum of techno; both through its events, and through its physical releases since 2008. The latest release to put this manifesto to the test, ‘Bells’ comes from Planete Rouge founder Terence Fixmer, and comprises his fifth EP for the label.
Fixmer’s ability to exercise restraint is certainly more than evident here. The lead track, ‘Bells’ has billowing, vapourous atmospheres that slowly develop over its seven minute duration. It isn’t until past the midpoint that his disquieting arpeggio is deemed fit for introduction, and it proves to be the most notable riff on the track, floating above chugging bass and airy slow decaying percussive samples.
The same can be said of the following track, ‘In Chains’, despite the fact that it takes a notably more direct approach, working patiently into a steady paced march. A lurching, grizzled bassline takes central focus beneath similarly gaseous percussive samples to the title track.
The EP’s closer, ‘Subspace Two’, offers reprieve from the brooding small-hour sounds of ‘Bells’ and ‘In Chains’, as heavily phased euphoric chords cloud the mix. Underpinned by relaxed house rhythms, ‘Subspace Two’ wouldn’t sound out of place on a summer’s evening at a club like Watergate.
Providing a pretty good summation of exactly what it is we like about unsettling early hours techno, the Bells EP shows why the name Terence Fixmer still commands a great deal of respect over a decade since his first release.