Techno pairing, Alias, drop by on Drumcode as they release their debut EP as a duo, Visions. The Waveform Transmitter’s Ste Knight takes a listen.
When we think of Drumcode, we think of a brand synonymous with high quality techno. Techno that, in general, sits on the heavier side of the fence. The new EP by Alias, which landed today (June 26th) is certainly one of those records that sticks to the classic tropes of Drumcode, while simultaneously setting itself apart from releases by Alias’ peers.
Alias may be a brand new pairing, but the two are well known and well respected artists within the techno community. Both Harvey and Ryan McKay have released incredibly popular solo productions which have cemented their positions as some of the most popular artists populating…nay, dominating…the scene as we currently know it.
The 3 tracks that appear on the record are all pretty dark, as one would expect from a Drumcode release. Don’t forget, this is a label that puts out music designed for BIG rooms and BIG soundsystems, with the emphasis on powerful percussion and deep, sepulchral basslines. Visions has both in spades…and more.
The EP kicks off with Pentatonic, a track that features snare rushes so intense that the listener can’t help but feel their entire central nervous system bristling in anticipation. The kicks in the track are as you might expect them to be; deep, wide, and thunderously rolling. An occasional vocal snippet pops through the mix every so often, before the rasping synth lines go completely mental 4 minutes into the track, dropping us back into the brooding bassline and beat combo.
Our second track, The Truth, builds on the vocal snippet from Pentatonic, allowing the vocals to take centre stage when present. These are complemented by a distorted piano sample that places the track somewhere between the Windy City and the Motor City, and gives it a vaguely retro feel. That is not to say that the track doesn’t sound fresh, it certainly does, but it utilises the instrument to great effect.
Dream Taker, which is the third and final track on the EP, is quite the malevolent spirit (which one might expect from the title). The vocal sample is a nightmarish, demonic presence throughout the production, while sinister reverse claps (at least we think they are reverse claps) whoosh in and out of the mix over a demented synth line that evokes images of gothic horror.
This is a strong release from Alias, and here at The Waveform Transmitter, we are excited to see what the pair come up with next. Who knows, we may be seeing them return to our pages sooner than you might think…in the meantime, check out Visions, below.