V.A. – Decade Dubs

8000plus: Etui Records Limited Repress – Decade Dubs

As Dub Techno is slowly building some momentum (again), the labels that have dedicated themselves to this genre are getting increased attention, and Insect O.’s Etui label in Dresden, Germany, seems to feel some of this. Well deserved too – the label has constantly elevated the quality of their releases over the course of the last five years.

It’s a logical consequence that one of the highlights of their catalogue gets a nice little re-release. Not the fancy smokey gray marbled vinyl of the original release, it’s a straightforward black one, and that’s just fine with us. I do wonder whether tracks get a higher probability of being played because DJs can display some slick colored vinyl, but that’s a different topic.

This one starts out with El Choop – a guy from Bristol that is currently making a name of himself and was an early Etui discovery as the original release was in 2016. This month he celebrates his first release on Echocord and proves that his abilities have clearly picked up in the meantime. His contribution here is called “Unknown Landscape” and somehow it’s not, as well crafted as it is. It feels like it could well have been released on Sender or Raum Musik ten years earlier (which is anything but criticism). A good opener, even if we know that he is capable of more.

Hydergine’s “Blue State Of Mind” on the other hand is convincing with a driving and straightforward deep techno core dressed with a psychedelic synth coat that finds just the right balance between sweep and stab, never letting this track drift off.

The boss himself needs to be at the party when his label is celebrating its tenth release. Insect O. is one of these guys that seem to focus all their attention on the quality of their chord work – no matter whether the result is a piece of almost ambient minimalism or something that has its emphasis equally distributed between dub and techno. “Ancient Architects” is one of the latter – with nice work on the stabs and a rhythmic structure that feels a little bit too… let’s say traditional.

Closing the Decade Dubs anniversary party is a guest from Berlin, Monomood. His “The Smoker” is located at the deep end of the pool, chilled out, having a cigar next to the guy with the jazz trumpet – yes, trumpet, and it works nicely – watching the scene as the late night groovers are still hovering over the dance floor, the almost empty glasses of their final cocktails still in their hands, in just the right groove to dig the half speed breaks featured here. For a moment you could have thought it’s that guy you used to know, what’s his name, Dub Taylor? No, couldn’t be.

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Related: El Choop – Insane Sends EP

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