On the A-side, title track “Hidden Agenda” drops the often emotive sound palette and semi-ambient, spacey dynamics from previous releases and rallies in a more raw and stripped back techno vibe amidst subtle escalating drones. An assortment of rolling snares and big room room kicks drive the track whilst a clean acid line tethers the track together for comfortable club use. The track could almost be said to lend a similar likeness to Midland’s “Trace” yet with added acid goodness and a more busy set of percussion, which is why we see Hidden Agenda proving more popular with DJs than say certain other tracks in the Lost Trax back catalogue. Whilst Hidden Agenda may have these qualities it would however be quite hard pressed to call it the better track of the release. On the B-side, “Creatures” is the more likely esoteric contender to take that title. Returning to the melodic signature sound from past records, Lost Trax merge high grade electronic rhythms and deep space psychedelics whilst wandering through a beautiful arrangement of ear warming and mournful synthesis. However, whether it can stand the test of time as well as the “The Saturiun System” is something we’ll have to get back to you on in six years time.
The mysterious producer / collective / whatever Lost Trax offer(s) up a couple of melodic techno tracks that pay respectful homage to Detroit with only the mildest aroma of pastiche. Confusingly, “B01” is actually A01, but it has that “anonymous first track on a B side” sound down pat; haunted pads, quasi-electro 808, squelch. Timeless, literally: this could have come out and sounded reasonably glorious at any time in the past twenty years; a gold star that could also be awarded to the inner-space explorations of “Dominion”, upping the electro quotient somewhat and rounding out the bass.
The Connection Machine supply a complementary flavour, though perhaps with added dynamics. “Klute” recalls yearning Smackos nostalgia, but with a vaguely menacing plod, and “After” is altogether lighter, as what might be heavily treated vocals float over the trickiest rhythm so far with regular drop-outs to semi-ambience. Boiling it down, you may already realise that this is something you’ll be searching for years from now: so buy it.
Lost Trax, not to be mistaken with the multitude of similar appellations out there, is a veteran of Daz Quayle’s SCSI-AV label. Their Tabernacle account is opened with “The Eye.” The track immediately transports back to 1992 and the classic techno of Applied Rhythmic Technology. Deep space chords are punctuated by beats, snares echoing some early Metroplex material. This aural odyssey continues with “Pulp.” The former sanctity is besmirched with heavy warbling panels of sound laced with machine beats. Calm is restored in the form of “The Forrest,” a track giving a final, and firm, nod to the former fledglings of techno.
Flip over for The Connection Machine, the twosome of Jeroen Brandjes and Natasja Hagemeier. The duo haven’t released under their TCM moniker since 2004, used for the Painless album on $tinkworx’s Down Low Music. Whereas Lost Trax blurs the lines of past and present, TCM’s “Evil Earth” is instantly more modern. The chords have a analogue richness with crisp beats slicing through. The peculiar, almost fairground, organ keys that form the piece’s spine allows TCM to explore a number of plots in this curious piece. “Speel” is beat driven techno abstraction. The track has a nice dream-like quality, hazy notes shimmering through 4/4. The slightly Ace of Base titled “Keen (On Life)” brings this splitter to a close. The track sees arches of techno buttressed by a web of 303 tweaks… a great piece to end on.
To date, the Tabernacle catalogue has been quite floor centric. The records by Daniel Andreasson and Mark Du Mosch do have some armchair appeal, but they still lean more to the club. Lost Connection is a much more headphones at home affair. The tracks are DJ friendly, but the deep lingering chords of both Lost Trax and The Connection Machine are suited to more intimate occasions. With temperatures dropping, get a seat and a glass of something. Strap on the Seinheissers, leave the economic horrors at the door and enjoy the warm techno goodness of Lost Connection.
Released: November 2011
Label: Tabernacle Records
Catalogue number: TABR007
The Scsi-Av label has been dormant for what seems like an eternity, their self-imposed silence at long last broken by this gorgeous 2-track follow-up to the excellent ‘Lost Trax’ Ep released back in 2007. Penned by an unknown technician described only as “a highly respected master…” ‘Lost Trax 2′ slots into that lush terrain where classic Detroit Techno and electro come together, the kind of material produced by Carl Craig in the early 1990′s and more recently beloved of Convextion’s ERP side project. The first of the two tracks here “The Sequel” really does play out like a long lost Detroit classic, all emotive strings and crisp percussion that wouldn’t have sounded out of place on any of the legendary Buzz/Transmat compilations. Second track “Birth” is even better – a more rugged sounding number that eschews electro structures for more clipped 4/4 styles, still retaining an uber-lush sound palette just with a weightier deployment. Its impossibly lovely material – very highly recommended to followers of classic Carl Craig, the Connection Machine or Convextion.
Side A: The Sequel
Side B: Birth
Catalogue number: ID026
Hiding behind the curtain like an electro Wizard of Oz, the artist responsible for this 12″ is “a highly respected master of electro music” – with ‘The Saturiun Sun’ an archive plundering exercise that resurrects some early 90′s class. Beamed direct from a time where obscure plates dropped onto pirate radio with little fanfare, the opening end of the 1990′s saw a collision of styles that took fistfuls of acid, rave and electro then rallied them into cohabitation that somehow seemed inherently natural. Drenched in 808, ‘The Saturiun Sun’ kicks off with an oven-ready batch of sunset strings that have strayed in from UR, before the epic spirit is made all the more piquant through snare-etched rhythms and an acid riff that throbs long and hard… Turn it over and you’ll discover the ribald roughness of ‘Self Destruct System’ wherein gurgling electronics make merry with Planet E’s ‘The Connection Machine’ to forge a new and lithe beast. Unearthed classic.
Side A: The Saturian Sun
Side B: Self Destruct Sequence
Catalogue number: ID022