Aleksandr Martinkevič is a man of many virtues. As Grad_U he has been supplying Dub Techno fans all over the world with a pretty impressive catalogue of releases and has gradually grown to be one of the most prominent figures in this part of the music world. And as Greyscale label co-founder (his partner being the photographer Rima Prusakova who is in charge of the slick design) he has created a platform that primarily published his own work and that of a few close friends, but over time and with the smart addition of a side track called Greyscale Moods the label has increasingly opened its arms to a wider range of artists.
It must have been such a good decision that Greyscale is now starting an additional side track called the Exposure Series. How this new series is taking a different approach than the Moods series or Greyscale itself is not necessarily clear, especially since two of the four artists on this first installment have already been guests there.
Exposure could refer to letting new talent shine, but these folks have been on the scene for a few years already. Marco Cassanelli and Sibling are from Italy, Genning from Yekaterinburg, Russia, and Federsen is based in San Francisco – making for a pretty international exposure, so maybe that’s key here.
What this 12″ definitely is: solid. All four tracks are fully up to Greyscale standards, taking slightly different approaches to the subject of Dub Techno. Highly playable stuff for different parts of a magnificent night of dubby delight.
The Italian side starts out with Signore Cassanelli and a pretty piece that would probably register as classic material, spreading tasty variations of a pretty epic stab over some late 2000s German Dub Techno traditions and even a hint of Deep House (no, that is not an offense at all). You want to slide on over from a more minimal rooted warm up to serious Dub Techno sections, “Camden Town” is the track that takes you in the right direction.
Plenty of echo and space and stabs and chords are what the Sibling guys are serving next on “Valhalla”, so rich and multi-layered that we almost don’t have a chance to appreciate the deep and effective bass line that lets this sit on solid ground. Federsen is on the other end of the spectrum, only occupying the part of the space that is needed to keep it voluminous and smoothly driving. Nice selection for the later parts of the night.
That’s when Genning will probably already have packed his bags and folded his headphones – his contribution is clearly cut out for the more intense hours. Big floor feel, going straight to business, pushing on a clear cut framework that leans way more to the Techno than the Dub side, featuring chords that come across like guitar riffs.
Yep. Solid start to the new series, and we do appreciate the premiere in transparent vinyl. Let’s see what’s next.
Release for review:
V.A. – RADIANT ENERGY – GREYSCALE – GREYEXPO001