Various Artists – Textures 3PM, 4AM & 7AM
Paris clubbing institution Concrete has overseen a renaissance of the city’s electronic music scene in the last few years with their now legendary after parties. As their description on RA so succinctly states “Concrete is a boat. It hosts parties that go all day long.” Getting to play Concrete has become as much a highlight on any DJs calendar as Berghain or ARMA17 and we can only hope its success to be long standing, much like Batofar, the other notorious boat party that’s run for the better part of 15 years on the bank of the Seine in the 13th arrondisement. Now, with the night’s label entering its second year, we see one of its biggest releases yet. The second edition in its compilation series, Textures, pulls together 12 tracks across three 12”s that explores the multiple facets of the party’s programming.
The volume entitled 4AM gets straight to the point. Two of the best techno producers of the moment pair up here. Antigone and Abdullah Rashim’s dark, brooding epic “Mackandar” is the highlight with its transcendental strings and ferocious, tribalist tom drums reminiscent of Stanislav Tolkachev’s now classic “Heartbeat”. Speaking of which, Tolkachev is also present here, unpredictable as ever on the impressive “Midnight Acid Fox Bay”. The track’s analogue psychedelic chimes screech about over a broken beat. It’s not very functional but who cares. Corcos aka Bosconi boss Fabio Della Torre is on straighter form with “Change Tomorrow” all pounding beats and euphoric chords; a track ethereal as much it is blatantly aggressive. Society of Silence’s “Corners” could have equally been at home on Perc Trax with its steely syncopated hats, machine gun snare attacks and warped vocal loops. There’s prime material here for the peak time slot, for sure.
But as far as Concrete are concerned, peak time is 3PM if their notorious day parties are anything to go by. It’s definitely a house music affair here, covering different shades of the genre. With its dirty baseline, stomping swing fuelled beat and persisting vocal loop, Trus’me and Curses “Eye on the Prize” is infectious enough. S3A’s “Orme Track” is your standard, low slung disco re-edit. Its soulful, summertime, hands in the air affair pairs well with the next track from Amsterdam enfant terrible San Proper. He’s as cheeky and quirky as always on “Sweet Swing 3rd Thing” and its cut-up jazz loops but although San Proper is known for stuff on Perlon, its Hold Youth’s “What the Hell is That’ which really nails that Get Perlonised after hours vibe; deep, funky and unashamedly fuelled by sleep deprivation amongst other things from the pairing of local legends Seuil and Leloup.
The tracks featured on the final volume titled 7AM certainly leave very little guesswork. A collection of slow burning, early morning floor fillers which do exactly what they suggest. There’s some amazing homages to the old days featured here and essential listening. Lazare Hoche’s “Spank” unknowingly could have been something by D’Julz’s, only 10 years ago. Vanguard Sound’s Chris Mitchell appears with “Parallel Symbiotic”, a deep and soulful Chicago house cut with a vibe that channels Steven Tang’s Obsolete Music Technology music of yesteryear to great effect. But it’s Lowris who heralds a throwback to one of the most underrated movements in Techno, with “C_Crete” referencing the Micro house experiments of classic Force Inc. or Background Recordings. If that wasn’t enough you’ve got a true Godfather of said sub-genre in Matthew Herbert appearing with a new track, who knows where he sourced his sounds this time around on “Earthenware” where a faint hoover melody and white noise build ups accompany a beat that trips over itself with such grace, complete with sad piano.
Concrete Music have done an impressive job in terms of compiling a selection indicative of how a long haul Sunday on their Port de la Rapee venue might sound. Hopefully this new series of Textures will be followed by further releases from resident DJs Ben Vendon and Voiron who’ve shown promising results as producers.
Textures 3PM Tracklisting:
A1. Trus’me & Curses – Eye On The Prize
A2. San Proper – Sweet Swing 3rd Thing
B1. Hold Youth – What The Hell Is That
B2. S3A – Orme Track
Textures 4AM Tracklisting:
A1. Stanislav Tolkachev – Acid Midnight Fox Bay
A2. Corcos – Change Tomorrow
B1. Society Of Silence – Corners
B2. Antigone & Abdulla Rashim – Mackandal
Textures 7AM Tracklisting:
A1. Chris Mitchell – Parallel Symbiotic
A2. Lowris – C_crete
B1. Matthew Herbert – Earthenware
B2. Lazare Hoche – Spank