Holden – Triangle Folds review

Border Community head honcho, James Holden has always maintained a kind of DJ free spirit which has enabled him to work outside the usual constraints of techno as we know it. This, alongside his dedication to new production talent has made him the perfect choice to compile the next instalment of !K7’s long serving DJ Kicks series. Out later this month, the compilation is, as usual, accompanied by a single from the UK producer. “Triangle Folds” is Holden’s first release in four years yet still feels like a logical progression from his last effort, 2006’s debut The Idiots Are Winning.

Using his extensive modular synth collection to mould tripping mid-tempo sequences which sway, bobble and bounce with Holden’s typical lushness and acute sense of melody, “Triangle Folds” has a delicate but unmistakably danceable feel to it. The track is a glittering combination of analogue synths arpeggios and buzzing drum pads that tick away in their own inimitable and curious rhythm patterns. These rhythms are loose and have a live feel, typical of Holden’s trademark sound, as are the quirky time signatures. His ultra detailed approach to techno once again manifests itself here, so much so that it’s 115 bpm pace would even refrain many from even calling it techno. B-side, the “Inside Out” version is even more unconventional, slowing things down yet more and turning proceedings into a folk tinged, psychedelic tambourine Schaffel rework. Focusing on the sounds and atmospheres that surround the slowly pulsating beats, we are left with an intoxicating mix of arpeggiated bass and trickling synth lines. Both tracks show James Holden at his individual, unconventional and wonderful best. It is his ability to avoid dance music’s most tired clichés, as once again proved here, that makes James Holden the singular producer that he is.

Review: Tom Jones