Manchester deals another winning hand, as techno DJ, producer, and label owner, Ayrtan, is this week’s contributor to our Waveform Mix Series. The Waveform Transmitter’s Ste Knight presents.
Ayrtan, to those who only know him as a producer and/or DJ, as opposed to on a personal level, is somewhat of an enigma. Images of Ayrtan all feature some form of censorship in order that his recognisable facial features are not visible. Whether this is some form of subversive social commentary, or simply a method of keeping his persona a mystery, is anyone’s guess. But one thing is for sure, his music is undeniably brilliant.
His background comes from a jazz and classical space, which might explain how some of his productions seem to offer something different to ‘traditional’ techno fayre. It is clear, from his offerings, that Ayrtan draws influence from both styles, as he succeeds in putting emotion into a musical form that was never designed to contain any.
His track Fuck Brad, on the Traffic MCR imprint he co-runs, appears on their fifth EP, TRF005. The release was a concept work which was issued to celebrate the work of H.R.Giger, and the ensuing Alien franchise for which Giger acted as a strong influence. It also includes a production by Rant Casey, who featured as our 15th Waveform Mix.
The tracks on the record are all impressively representative of the aforementioned works and give a true insight into how sound can offer a totally different interpretation of a totally separate medium. Ayrtan‘s contribution to the EP is an initially haunting production, percussion teasing in and out of the mix, punctuating a lonely synth stab. Perfectly reminiscent of the isolation of our Alien(s) characters. This soon gives way to full on Xenomorph-chase techno, as powerful kick drums charge after the listener, skittering hats click-clacking away as the shadowy enemy moves ever closer.
Ayrtan‘s accomplishment in the studio is matched by his skills behind the decks. His Waveform Mix starts off in a similarly haunting manner to the previously mentioned Fuck Brad, and continues the theme with some wickedly eerie dub techno sensibilities. This gives way to shades of Detroit and Berlin, all the while maintaining the minimal ethos of Basic Channel techno.
Check it out, below, and if you are in the Manchester area then keep your eyes peeled for Ayrtan‘s name, as he makes regular appearances at the Northern Quarter’s Eastern Bloc Records. Don’t forget, you can check out the rest of our mix series over on our SoundCloud page. For now, get a bit of Ayrtan.