Blawan releases his ‘Nutrition’ EP in early October, and The Waveform Transmitter’s Simon Huxtable explores the hidden depths of UK Techno from the visionary viewpoint of the Berlin-based producer.
Now, I’ve been a dance music fan for a long time. Some 25 years in fact, and over that time I’ve been afforded the incredible opportunity of developing a very personal taste in sounds. Growing up in the South West has given this taste a distinct skew and it would be far to say my preferences can be seen as distinctly odd.
Blawan is a DJ I’ve had more than a passing interest in for a long while; his is an equally odd and quirky amalgam of influences, although more geared toward the edgy, industrial and techno side of the dance floor. His new release, a double EP – I’m sure we used to call them mini albums – is assuredly dark, seedy and very in keeping with the kind of form that’s seen the young Yorkshireman grace the likes of R&S, Hessle Audio and with fellow R&S label mate, Pariah, smash the arse off Awakenings and more as Karenn, their hardware-only side project.
What’s very evident in everything Blawan does is his roots in the mid 00s Dubstep scene. He was always very underground and his sound then was much purer and more committed to the original Croydon sound than say your Caspas or Skrillexes.
He reminded me a lot of a weird German producer called 2562 who made the kind of obscure Techno-influenced breaks that Resident Advisor would cream themselves over. And that’s kinda what you get here on the Nutrition EP for Ternesc, Blawan’s 2-year-old outlet for his solo works.
Across 6 tracks (see, ‘mini-album’), he covers malevolent melodies, scraped suburban beats, incessant four-to-the-floor drum work and towering mountains of bass. Names such as Mayhem, Atlas and Calcium Red send my mind into overload while trying to find some meaning (tl:dr – there isn’t any, just enjoy the music!). Grainy and nocturnal, Trampfelpad – German for trail – features the kind of subtly lost in the majority of the music I hear these days, and feels as if the parts themselves ferment in a sea of modular synthesis.
Fawner too wallows in a primordial soup of dystopian melancholy. Angry and spiky, it powers along striking out at anything too close. Track 4 (side C) gives us a 4/4 beat and a wild acidic bass. With a definite upswing in tempo, 993 is cavernous stadium Techno with a twist. Finishing off the ‘second disc’ is Atlas and Calcium Red. Two muscular, floor-shaking slices of contemporary dance floor carnage with bowel-wrenching basslines and enough nuance to keep this old raver well and truly hooked until the last bar.
I’m not the world’s foremost Techno fan by any means, but this EP had me entertained all the way through and will make a fitting addition to my ever-growing spectrum of taste.
Blawan, Nutrition EP is available on double 12″ vinyl or digital download, from October 2nd.