In Review: Inner_Circle pres. Escape Artist (Salt Mines/Couch Acid Recordings)

Words – Sam Turner

Hot off their last foray into daytime raving with Hungarian producer Gnork, Inner_Circle returned once again to the lush oasis at Coffee Iconic on August 17. This discreet location situated within the confines of Brisbane’s CBD gifted an exclusive evening with Melbourne producer/DJ Escape Artist (Salt Mines/Couch Acid Recordings). The locals in the shape of Matt Treffene (BTHC) and Chris George kicked off the evening, with Pokies (Fulcrum) closing out the celebration of sound.

The makeshift cafe-turned-open-air-club has now become a crowd favourite, with this next instalment allowing dancers to immerse themselves in this secluded space. Matt Treffene, a mainstay of the Brisbane scene for some time, had the opportunity to share some satisfying energy to open up the day. His salacious escapades as part of the Bad Taste House Collective (BTHC) have given Brisbane ample opportunities to unwind and get down. This set allowed Matt to explore the other side of his high octane mix of trance, house and everything in between, with an ambient exploration. He delved into a transformative state, creating unending waves of vibrations in the afternoon sun.

As the day transitioned into night, music exchanged hands to Chris George. A reoccurring selector within the Brisbane area, Chris has been distributing choice layers of sound to dancefloors across the South-East for years. With an ongoing residency at the laneway escape Super WhatNot and recent slots at Arcadia and Sub Rosa, his ability to create sultry atmospheres is clear. Travelling through the hazy depths of deep house and techno, his ethereal selections garnered vocal response from the crowd.

As the space reached capacity, Escape Artist began to create pandemonium through an abrupt choice of opening tracks. The crowd experienced a paradigm of chaotic immersion as they were bombarded with high energy soundscapes. Disobeying 4/4 designs, Escape Artist ran rampant fusing elements of jungle, acid house and techno. The audacity was contagious as grinding basslines and high hats ricocheted off of the walls. Rich shades of mauve and azure painted the surroundings, creating a luminous cage around the dancefloor. The sold-out event was treated to an array of original creations by the Melbourne producer, combined with a wide-ranging mix of left field heaters. Snippets of his forthcoming Supernature EP on Salt Mines were on display, seizing the dancefloor in a vice grip.

Following the rapturous aftermath left by Escape Artist, Pokies took the reigns to add his closing elements to the occasion. Having recently arrived back in Australia following his stint in Europe, Pokies has established himself as auditory enigma. His affiliations with NTS Radio in London and Cashmere Radio in Berlin alone are proof of his dexterity on the decks. He has been able to utilise his flair and finesse through his newly established Fulcrum events, residing in the Fever Club at Alfred and Constance. His selections that evening enveloped those who stayed for the closing proceedings as he delved deeper into his collection. Juxtaposing deep techno with breakbeat shakers, the high energy situation allowed Pokies to get creative with his track choices right up until close.

With another BYO open air rave concluded, dancers are already looking ahead to the next opportunity to occupy the space. With something so special and exclusive on offer, we can only wait to see what Inner_Circle has in store next.

In Review: CSR & DBS pres. Legowelt (L.I.E.S./ADE) & Jennifer Loveless (MEL)

A veritable feast of the senses was put together by the two Brisbane crews.

Words — Sam Turner

Centre Source Records (CSR) and Death Before Silence (DBS) offered Brisbane a sensuous feast in the form of their second BYO warehouse instalment in late June. An impressive lineup was curated by the two Brisbane crews, with Dutch synth-master Legowelt (Clones/L.I.E.S./Dekmantel) and Melbourne heavy-hitter Jennifer Loveless (Cool Room/Weatherall), and supports from locals Hannah D (The Space Between Us), Simon Bird (Wildlife Recordings) and NDR-924. Situated conspicuously within the suburbia of the south-east, the cavernous warehouse provided a fitting space for the evening’s aural and visual exploration.

From 9pm-12am, Hannah and NDR-924 warmed the warehouse as it began to fill. With a collection of hardware in tow, NDR-924’s debut live set was a slick display of experimental acid techno. Hannah followed with an eclectic mix of oldschool house, breaks and rave infused tracks. The pair got the crowd moving against the enigmatic backdrop of abstract projections displayed along the interior and boxes of stacked goods that lined the walls.

Fresh off her first boiler room appearance, Jennifer Loveless then took the stage for two hours of power. She wasted no time in displaying her visceral presence, littering the room with earth shattering tremors. Rolling drums and crash cymbals played out as she played to her crowd, inducing a roller coaster of raucous sensations. This venue demanded something different, as she filled the industrial space with her intrinsic selections. She demonstrated her prowess behind the decks, with her stints at Pitch, Strawberry Fields and Rose Quartz all being testaments to her refined ear for musicality.

Dancers were caught off guard as Jennifer concluded her volatile set, paving the way for Legowelt, armed with his plethora of hardware. With well over two decades of released material, he continued the high energy affair through his captivating use of synths and drum patterns. Taking inspiration from Detroit/Chicago house, deafening techno and old school acid, he wielded intense rhythms for his one-hour live set. Sound manipulation was at its peak as crowd chanting kicks echoed through the warehouse’s upper levels. Sounds fell relentlessly as rumbling chords protruded out of the sound system. Dancers were often lured into a false sense of security, with sudden gargantuan 4/4 kick drums piercing the dancefloor. The pinnacle of sound design was on display as tracks continued to unfold, expand, and develop to create an intense soundscape.

Following the tremors left by Legowelt with his infamous live set, the night was far from finishing as Byron Bay force Simon Bird took over. Playing until the early hours of the morning, he showcased his extensive selections appropriate for this immense closing set. His tracks varied throughout, teasing what can be expected at his upcoming set at Splendour’s Tipi Forest Stage later in July. With the dancefloor only slightly dissipating, Simon was joined by DBS head Jack Brodie, and the pair maintained the high energy until the sun came up. With Brisbane entering its winter period, CSR and DBS wrapped up one of their last events for the time being. As always, quality assurance was at the height of their priorities, with this double-header demonstrating just this. Knowing they love to keep punters on their toes, we can only wait for what is prepared for their next instalment later this year.

Interview: Amsterdam’s Stefan Vincent to release solo EP on Nightime Drama

Sydney and Adelaide-based imprint Nightime Drama are welcoming back Stefan Vincent for their next release. ‘The Auxilliary Phase’ is a four-track EP by the Amsterdam resident, which features a remix by Metropolis (aka Nick Lapien).

The Auxilliary Phase is Stefan’s first solo EP since 2017, and certainly hones in on the darker, more melancholy realms of techno.

A1 Exigent Mistress is an ethereal, and hypnotic slow burner. Echoed string work and reverbs pulsate against a warm and enveloping kickdrum. It’s a heady mix that sets the tone for the rest of the EP.

Fellow Amsterdam local and label mainstay Nick Lapien remixes Exigent Mistress under his Metropolis alias. The remix gives the track an electro inspired overhaul, with an acid line that writhes throughout.

On the flipside, Dissociation picks up the energy. With frustrated acid inflections and a driving pace pushing 130bpm, it seems to be a release of built up fury, while soaring pads give balance to this high power cut.

Closer Grey Haze starts out quite sparse, and builds with an off-kilter beat and bleepy accents. Eerie synths tie the track together to what is an off-the-wall, yet pretty close.

We caught up for a quick chat with Stefan ahead of the EP release, and his upcoming Australian tour in June.

After taking a bit of a break from music last year, ‘The Auxilliary Phase’ is your first solo EP in a little while. What was your thought process and motivation behind these tracks? 

When I’m producing there isn’t a certain thought process or motivation, it just has to happen naturally. For a long time I’ve tried to decide which types of music I was gonna make that day but it only held me back from being creative. When I’m producing I try no to think too much and try to just do as much as possible. Thinking (too much) can kill a creative flow by addressing problems in the music that aren’t really there to begin with. 

Can you explain the meaning behind the EP title?

The title ‘The Auxiliary Phase’ has to do with subconscious thinking and thought processes that we’re often not aware of, as simple as that really 🙂

The EP and track names allude to the ability for your music to provide you with emotional support, is this true?

I take a lot of my personal experiences with me in the music I make and it’s therapeutical in that sense. I wouldn’t say I get emotional support from listening to my own music but it certainly helps me putting emotions into words while creating it.

Can you explain your production process for the EP? 

I work at home, so all I do is just get behind the computer and get going. Unfortunately I’m not one of those people who can just pump out a track in a day. Sometimes when I’m really feeling it things can happen in a short amount of time, I think these tracks have been made in about two months. I work only with digital tools, the only hardware I use is the TR-8. Tried different types of drumcomputers and synthesizers but it doesn’t work for me.

How did this EP compare with previous work in terms of production techniques?

In terms of production techniques it’s completely similar to the production techniques I used in the previous EP. Of course sometimes I use some new tools but it doesn’t change anything about the way that it is created.

What can we expect from your upcoming Australian tour in June? 

I’ve made a bunch of different playlists with different moods and I will probably decide on the spot what I’m going to play, whether it be fast and minimalistic or a bit more melodic, or some drum ‘n bass & jungle, it all depends on how I feel like and what the vibe in the crowd is like. Ideally I like to go all the way from house to techno to jungle, going withing the spectrum of 100 to 200 bpm and back again in a coherent way, but it all depends on the moment really.

Can you name a record that you’ll be packing in your bag?

‘Voids Two’ by Martyn, a very groovy and melodic track with a kickdrum so subtle you can hardly hear it, proving you don’t need a pounding kickdrum to keep a steady groove going.

Catch Stefan Vincent at three Nightime Drama parties on the following dates:

June 1st – Nightime Drama @ Ancient World, Adelaide. Click here for more info.

June 7th – Nightime Drama @ Club 77, Sydney. Click here for more info.

June 9th – Nightime Drama & Silo @ Good Things, Melbourne. Click here for more info.

Nightime Drama celebrate their tenth release

Since its inception in 2012, Australian label Nightime Drama has been platforming high quality techno from artists locally and around the globe. Label co-owners Trinity and Trebek certainly do justice to their ethos as they celebrate their tenth release, the Night Drive compilation EP.

With several killer releases in their catalogue such as the Adrifting Voyage collaboration EP from Steve Tang and Trinity (featuring a standout remix from Basic Soul Unit), the Exoshift EP from techno veteran Metamethod and the much talked about Design Principles EP by Infinite Loops, the Night Drive EP is a testament to both the label’s past and what’s yet to come, with four track EP from returning artists and new signings.

His first time on the label, Dutchman Stefan Vincent offers his avantgarde techno leanings to the EP with Ego’s Demise. Soaring synths and effervescent pads sit alongside eachother to create a tranquil, yet driving excursion in deep techno that ascends subtlety throughout.

Italian duo Hiver (Let, and Curle Recordings) offer their contribution with the hypnotic Legacy. Diving deeper yet again, a warm bassline pulsates against static-like hi hats. Delicate acid thread starts to weave its way in, drawing the track to a wistful close.

On the flipside, the other-worldly Faces of Others from Dutch duo Artefakt is a beautiful example of ambient techno. Undulating rhythms ebb and flow with celestial pad work; peppered with subtle calls of the creatures from elsewhere in the universe.

Label mainstays Eric Cloutier and Trinity collaborate on the final track, Hidden Places. It’s the perfect warm down track — a bouncy, dubby groove that is juxtaposed with off-kilter synths to keep the listener on their toes.

The Night Drive EP is a cohesive compilation which expertly shows the light and shade in techno. Equally fitting for nocturnal sojourns down the highway as it is for a club setting, Nightime Drama should be proud to celebrate with this milestone release.

A1. Stefan Vincent – Ego’s Demise
A2. Hiver – Legacy
B1. Artefakt – Faces of Others
B2. Eric Cloutier & Trinity – Hidden Places

Available at Something Else RecordsDecks.deJuno and Hard Wax.