Volume VII // 07.08.20
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 VII: Guest Wax hosts...
The word Raär is in fact Flemish and the direct translation literally means ‘weird’. Yet this is far from the style of music that the young French artist produces, even though Raär in fact struggles himself to define the very sounds that he creates. Lying somewhere between the techno, ambient and house realm, what is certain is that Raär always offers up a medley of choked out drums, heart soaked vocals, grumbling bass lines and crisp hats, as his music always proves to be some of the most intimate and thought provoking in the modern day techno scene. Thus, it is no surprise that at such a young age Raär boasts an extensive CV that enables him to stake a claim amongst some of the most established artists within the scene. Although coining himself as shy and discrete, the French prodigy always gives the impression that he knows exactly what he wants, as well as carrying an impressive professional demeanour. This perhaps stemmed from his original profession as a sound engineer and programming assistant for Rinse (France), which also enabled him to create important relationships and bonds with the likes of MP-57, Trudge and Maukook.
Rewinding back in time, Raär’s first album Cause It’s Dirty was delivered on GASP Records in January 2017. The mind bending release came in the form of seven unique tracks, inviting us on a dreamy melodic journey, whose sound one by one hit in the very forefront of the gut. The album floats between tracks such as the soft progressive rhythm of Wrong, and Paul Alexander which plunges you into a deep nostalgia. Immersed in delicate kicks, Raär explained how the album tells the story of a summertime beach drenched in obsolete cocktails and dreamy Lo-fi house. Similar to most of his early work, Raär blends musical trips with primitive beats to create seductive and acidic soundtracks that are so highly regarded. Perhaps Raär’s most popular release to date is his famous song Sometimes I Hear Sirens, released on the compilation Botanic House Vol.1 of the House Plant Record label. Having racked up a cool 1.5 million views on Youtube, the track strikes a perfect balance between acidic lines and soft vocals that combine to create a progressive musical climb. Inspiration for this song came when Raär was listening to the Villalobos Celestial Voice Resurrection Mix which in turn led to him having crazy hallucinations and thoughts to recreate the beginning of this track. However it happened, let’s just be glad it did.
More recently, Raär has founded his very own record label called Vaerel, upon which he released a series of five records. Continuing to push his signature sound, these records lean towards the harder side of techno whilst remaining uniquely atmospheric in true Raär style. Ranging from delicate lush pads to noisier and gloomier synth sounds, the second EP in the series Le Pendu has been widely praised, especially for it’s second track Le Sacrifice Moral. For the fifth and final EP, Raär has recently released The Key Compilation, which involves the likes of Quelza, Zadig and Rhubarb. Constantly learning and growing, Raär has already shown the world what he is capable of, and he has no plans to stop.
Top Five Wax Takeover w/ Raär
1. Varg - I'll Hold You Till You Die
Varg is known as the head honcho for Northern Electronics label which he runs together with Anthony Linell aka Abdulla Rashim. Based in Stockholm, Northern Electrics taps into the colder and more menacing elements of contemporary European techno. They normally work in tandem with Copenhagen-based label, Posh Isolation and co-creating Body Sculptures, who are a Scandanavian noise supergroup. Since launching in 2013 with Varg’s acid infused album Misantropen, Northern Electrics has since become a guiding force, often drawing the listener in under the guise of techno, and then challenging them with a heady and melancholy mix of industrial noise, ambient and sound design. One of his most recent releases, I’ll Hold You Till I Die, dropped in early 2019 and received huge support. The can be described as Varg harnessing his esteemed Scando techno energies in four hardcore pounding missiles. On the A-side, listeners bear witness to a pair of robust 140bpm bangers that get into gear with the intense electro of For Milan/AMG and dispensing a proper hiding with the stampeding groove of Skrrt. The flip side sees a drop in tempo with class party piece Donatella Forever, followed by the industrial weapon of Last Dance.
A1. For Milan/ AMG
B1. Donetella Forever
B2. Last Dance
[Released: 12.06.17 on Jealous God]
2. Internazionale - The Pale And The Colourful
The Pale and The Colourful is the first album of Internazionale presented on vinyl by Posh Isolation after a near flood of limited tape releases both through his own remarkable Janushoved label. It must be mentioned that Copenhagen’s Janushoved is one of the most secretive labels to exist in the deep experimental underground, where tapes can be ordered only by directing the label’s founder. For Internazionale’s release, The Pale and The Colourful provides a logical summary of his work up to this point and is the prime example of the sensual synthetic meditations he has come to be known for. The clear pop sensibility to his compositions are clouded with noises and ambiguous field recordings and it is somehow hard to really figure out if the music intends to lift us up or hold us down. What is certain is that no Internazionale release up to this point reaches the level of this album.
A1. Bells Of Addiction
A2. Ruby Heart
B2. They Taught Us To Count
[Released: 24.03.17 on Posh Isolation]
3. Bored Young Adults - Shy Dancers On Bungalowdorf
If one looks at Blawan’s recent EP’s, you’ll find that his music adheres to specifically techno, as his TERNESC records convey the thunderous tendencies of Fram and Peaches. Having spent several years mastering the modular synths and touring with Pariah as Karenn, Blawan has attempted to offer something different with his debut as Bored Young Adults. Heralded as a surprise package, his first album Shy Dancers On Bungalowdorf Beach is perhaps the first of his records to withdraw into itself. Beginning with a funeral horn, the pace of the record resembles a procession rather than the thumping kick drums of a typical Blawan record. Featuring some restrained and slow burning techno experiments, the seething title track treads the same path as Kaseem Mosse or Vactrol Park. The Fentanyl techno of But We Need This Bench contains hints of a Regis record played on -8, whilst listeners are hit with a familiar hypnotic techno grinder under the name of Check Up From The Neck Up.
A1. Shy Dancers
A2. Check Up From The Neck Up
B1. But We Need This Bench
[Released: 27.07.16 on The Trilogy Tapes]
4. Delivery - Drama
This is an EP of supremely epic, blown-out acid techno from LA artist Delivery on Delroy Edwards’ LA Club Resource Imprint. Alternatively described as ‘Cyber-punk industrial warehouse zingers’ from Greg Shin, the record is full of double kicks and raw beats that ooze class. With LACR’s aesthetic steadily emerging like some imagined alternative soundtrack to the techno adventures of John Connor, Delivery’s debut album Drama gives up trip-sequence warehouse on acid on the A-side. Containing arcing sc-fi synths over shifty, pacy, burned out 909 programming, BAHGTFO showcases a beautiful trip, with the flipside showing off a brutal bucker which wouldn’t look out of place primed on an industrial rig.
[Released: 08.07.14 on LACR]
5. Unknown Artist - Keep Your Mouth Shut
Despite scouring the internet for the good part of two days, we’ve been unable to identify the producer (or producers) behind Keep Your Mouth Shut 1, an anonymous but quietly impressive four-track EP. While the untitled psychedelic techno shuffler that opens the record sounds like a peak-time jam in the making , the cut that follows (Track 2), is an exotic broken techno affair that makes superb use of raw, acid-fired sub-bass and haunting vocal samples. There is more fun to be had on the flip, where a driving breakbeat cut comes wrapped in shimmering, summary chords.
A1. Track 1
A2. Track 2
B1. Track 3
B2. Track 4
[Released: 31.07.18 on Unknown Label]
Brand New EP
Produced just last summer, Raär's most recent EP carries a lot of his inspirations. Orbiting between hard and delicate sounds, the ARTS release contains five beautiful cuts which can be heard by clicking on the image...
Melt The Pot
Melt The Pot is a fundraiser compilation released in June. The album contains various tracks from highly regarded artists such as Raär, Schacke, Steffi and many more. 100% of the funds are donated to The Bail Project and Black Lives Matter. Click on the image to find out more...
RAW x Femur
During lockdown, RAW brought together visual artists, DJ's and live performers to deliver a two day 'festival' called Escape From Reality, to help fight boredom. Watch an hour set of Raär making his way through some unique 2000 techno records.
Providing a five track EP, Quelza invited Raär who decided to unify two songs from the album to create a merger with Hertego. The remix can be described as an intense apocalyptic journey that immerses the listener in heavy rhythms and a merciless yet epic atmosphere. Listen on the link above...