Deepchord – Prana/Tantra

Joy in repetition

When I browse threw the new arrivals at my favorite online vinyl dealer, some artists make it to my shopping cart with absolute certainty – the only reason I check out the audio files is curiosity. I am not trying to decide whether I want to buy or not, I listen in on what I will buy a few seconds later.

Deepchord is one of them. And this 12″ obviously couldn’t be missed. It just received another repress – time to spend a few words on it.

There is an element of paradox around these tracks. They are definitely ranking among Deepchord classics even though they don’t exactly represent what people probably would describe as typical for Rod Modell’s work as Deepchord. A noticeable amount of extra energy, clearly more forward motion and determination, and as a logical consequence much more danceability than we usually get from the artist.

I always carry an extra load of Dub Techno vinyl whenever I go DJing – hoping that I would get a venue and a sound system that would allow me to take a few of the deeper tracks for a spin, usually in vain of course. But this one always works, and I really don’t give a damn how old it is and how often it’s been played. On any given night, there will be a moment when it’s just right.

Being just that more driving for Deepchord standards, the titles of the tracks are interesting choices. Both come from the world of yoga which obviously would usually be associated with a less physical form of energy, more with atmospheres than with percussion. “Prana” is defined as the universal energy that flows in and around the body and “Tantra” refers to the practices and principles connecting us to this universal energy.

On the other side – yoga practice always aims for an even and uninterrupted flow, a succession of poses and movements that are not separated from each other but rather connect for seamless motion. And I would argue that this is a pretty accurate description of Rod Modell’s work as Deepchord. Paradox or not, the clearly more pronounced rhythmic work is emphasizing this flow, and it is more than appropriate that the effect of this is letting the dance floor express that energetic flow in equally seamless motion.

With its brightly tinkling bells, the wonderfully deep dub bass theme, with claps and hi-hats driving and even the stabs giving additional push, “Prana” dominates any floor with ease, elegance and confidence. Just what universal energy should be doing, I’d say.

“Tantra” is just a tad more relaxed in its approach. Still right on the dance floor, but probably closer to the beach as it relies a little more on tribal percussive elements. I can’t remember if there are any other Deepchord tracks that feature equally pronounced bongo loops, but it works just perfectly alongside the sweeps and pans – this can go on forever, as classy as it is. And in that regard, it definitely is typical Deepchord material.

My suspicion would be that these tracks originated in live sessions on tour – they make me want to revisit the live sessions CD that was published in 2010 under Deepchord presents Echospace. Still – as much as this may be the club side of the Deepchord world, it still is great music to put on when you just want to check out of your surroundings and let your mind wander, to connect to your prana, so to say. Which makes these tracks your tantra, the method, the principle.

I have no idea whether this is the second or third repress – but it sure won’t be the last.

Release for review:
DEEPCHORD – PRANA/TANTRA – SOMA – SOMA385

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