Volume XI // 18.08.20
At Dance Wax we always unearth the best old records and new releases. We constantly speak to artists in order to get an exclusive lowdown on what they are listening to as well as their recent movements. Nothing formal, just an insight into what your favourite producers are jamming to. Rules are simple, we ask our guest for their current five favourite records.
Volume XI: Guest Wax hosts...
Hybrasil...the Berlin-based producer recently explained in an interview that his name has been derived from a ghost island that appeared on maps from 1325 to the 1800s. According to Irish mythology, it was clouded in mist, except for one day every seven years when it was visible but not reachable. Having never settled on an alias, Hybrasil learnt of the mythology and started using the name for writing in 2013, and subsequently record releases in 2016.
Having grown up in Dublin, Hybrasil first discovered electronic dance music through pirate radio, enabling the producer to keep on top of tracks and new releases. After leaving college, Hybrasil had not only become an accomplished and technically skilled DJ, but he was also putting his passion for music to good use by founding relationships with other like-minded people. Having already founded the highly regarded DIT DJ society, Hybrasil followed up with his own late-night three deck mix radio show inspired by Jeff Mills (The Wizard) shows on WJLB Detroit. This ran for over twelve years and proved to be a huge influence for Hybrasil’s musical production output and creativity. As spin-offs from his radio shows, club nights swiftly followed as Hybrasil booked the very best stars that he was supporting on air such as Jeff Mills, Radio Slave and Alan Fitzpatrick. This effectively cemented Hybrasil’s name within the techno movement.
In terms of production, the Hybrasil live project debuted in 2016 on the Dublin leg of Sven Vath’s World Tour. What followed was a series of digital and vinyl releases on his very own eponymous label and a number of recognised performances at established clubs and festivals around the globe. Perhaps his most ambitious project to date took five years to develop, writing a live show entitled Spaces and performing before Jeff Mills and The National Concert Orchestra at Dublin’s Bord Gais Theatre. More recently, the past two years have been non-stop for the Irish producer. In 2018 Hybrasil was welcomed into the Rekids family by Radio Slave and debuted his Afra EP on the label which was well received and led to further work with Rekids. A year on, Hybrasil released his debut LP Embers and was subsequently invited to play at the Panorama Bar. However, most recently Hybrasil has released a fabulous four-track EP called We Don’t Flip. It is a quintessential techno record, containing shadowy aesthetics, rattling kicks and off-beat hats to create something rather good.
Top Five Wax Takeover w/ Hybrasil
1. Robert Hood - Paradygm Shift
‘Uncompromising minimalism from the original Techno minimalist. This LP is essential listening for any Robert Hood Fan’.
Paradygm Shift is only the second full-length record from Robert Hood in as many years, following his hugely popular record known as Victorious. Compared to the flashier and houseier sounds of his moniker, Floorplan, Robert Hood tends to offer tracks that are more monochrome and skeletal. Thus, Paradygm Shift is a return for Hood to his true-form minimal techno that the producer is often credited with stemming from his landmark 1994 album, Minimal Nation. Tracks from this LP are masterworks of efficiency and bear the gold standard of stripped-down dance music. Likewise with Paradygm Shift, Hood’s subtle tweaks and variations make sequenced synthesizers come alive with an ever-present kick drum pounding in between graceful melodies throughout. Paradygm Shift is full of drums, chords and hi-hats, as the ambient Preface sets the scene along with prancing piano steps from Idea’s and bright chords within I am. The album continues to surprise in classic Robert Hood style. Not one to miss.
B1. I Am
B2. Solid Thought
[Released: 22.05.17 on Dekmantel]
2. The Beneficiaries - The Crystal City Is Alive
‘Jeff Mills output on his Axis over the past few months has been nothing short of extraordinary. The Beneficiaries is a collaboration with Eddie Fowlkes and Jessica Care Moore. An incredible example of concept driven Detroit futurism.’
In 2018, the idea was introduced by Jeff Mills to address the lack of artistic collaborations within and from the city of Detroit/ USA. The city had always been an engine of new innovative ideas related to music, art, dance , poetry and all other arts. It was thought of as a way to demonstrate the commonality people possess from various art forms and that by mixing ideas, visions and perspectives together, one might produce unexpected and often provocative results. Having found Eddie Fowlkes and Detroit-born poet Jessica Care Moore, the three worked relentlessly to release a rather breathtaking album full of beautiful beats and vocals. A must listen.
A1. Metallic Stars
B1. Star Children of Orion
B2. When The Sun Loves You Back
[Released: 24.07.20 on Axis Records]
3. Radio Slave - Radio Silence Part One
‘Radio Silence is one of my favourite albums of the year. An incredible body of work from Radio Slave, possibly his most leftfield to date. Mind bending techno from start to finish. The first in a series of three albums due for release on Rekids.’
Stretching nearly two decades, Matt Edward’s discography is hugely impressive and boasts releases on the likes of Running Back, R&S, Ostgut Ton and Nonplus, not to mention his very own illustrious imprint that goes by the name of Rekids. The label has become cemented deep within the techno scene and has been instrumental in supporting the music and careers of incendiary artists over the years including Nina Kraviz, Mr.G and Laurent Garnier. Although releasing several albums under alternative guises, the renowned UK artist has now delivered his latest body of work under Radio Slave, in the form of Radio Silence Part One. An album which will be dropping in not one, but three parts. The first chapter showcases leftfield tracks which even hit close to the 150 BPM mark on closing track SYD. The whole album feels raw and is full of haunting and hypnotic sounds, deriving from Ableton as the main sequencer. Seven tracks of pummeling kicks and realness. Do not sleep.
[Released: 05.06.20 on Rekids]
4. Plural - Shifting Forward
‘No nonsense Detroit Techno by plural, aka James Johnson, for Juan Atkin’s Metroplex imprint. Originally released in March 2015. Timeless Detroit Minimalism.’
Plural is an electronic music producer, composer and DJ hailing from Columbus who’s calm demeanor belies the massive amounts of energy he creates in his highly technical sets, and the ethereal beauty of his live performances. Shifting Forward is a stripped down driving slice of Detroit techno representative of the Classic Metroplex sound. Johnson’s release is in step with the label’s understanding that the Metroplex sound has become a global phenomenon, inspiring artists from every corner of the globe, but true to its Detroit roots. Full of heavy techno pulsations, Shifting Forward is a deep space exploration helped by a remix of the title track by Aubrey. The release doesn’t draw back with straight edge techno exertions coming in the form of Stop Motion and Blood Ties. This is a release that reinforces the legacy of Metroplex but also showcases the imprint’s commitment to techno’s contemporary forces.
A1. Shifting Forward
A2. Shifting Forward (Aubrey Remix)
B1. Stop Motion
B2. Blood Ties
[Released: 16.03.15 on Metroplex]
5. Decka - Elimination Techniques
‘Hypnotic uncompromising techno from Bristol native and Unterwegs co-founder Decka.’
Having made an impressionable noise in 2015 on Darwin’s Berlin label SPE:C with the Begyndelsan EP, Decka continues to make a sound that journeys through bare-bones techno and bass, crafting hypnotic polyrhythmic patterns that look both to the big room industrial sound of the German capital an the sub-low pressure rooted in his home city, Bristol. Decka runs his very own imprint, Unterwegs, which translates to ‘on the move’, along with fellow producer The Lady Machine. The label seeks to expand upon the idea that music is forever changing and evolving into new territories, much like Decka’s latest release Elimination Techniques. Containing four solid techno tracks, Russian producer Philipp Gorbachev is in command for the remix and delivers a hard alternative. Keep an eye on this one.
A1. Balancing Acts
A2. Self Evasiveness
B1. Elimination Techniques
B2. Elimination Techniques (Gorbachev VDNH Mix)
[Released: 29.07.20 on Unterwegs]
We Don't Flip
We Don't Flip EP is a four track audio visual collaboration by Hybrasil and Tom Hodgkinson of Bristol based design studio SHOP. Possessing a shadowy aesthetic, the namesake track contains rattling kicks and off-beat hats with snappy snares. Purchase the fantastic EP at Phonica Record Store.
The third and final SHOP production was for the song Ikigai. This song touches on the wonkier elements of techno and contains metallic atmospherics and dubby chords. Having set a new creative path, Hybrasil is now receiving huge support from the best techno producers around.
Second on the EP is Hour Glass which contains a syncopated rhythm and quivering pads. Another lively video from SHOP, you can also purchase the whole EP from the infamous Berlin-based Hard Wax store
Out on Spotify, Hybrasil has delivered a live mix of his debut album 'Embers' out on Rekids. Recorded at HBL Berlin, the mix contains eight superb techno tracks from the man himself. Check it out.