Joaquin Ruiz prepares to release his Galactic EP on Ploink this November. The Waveform Transmitter’s Simon Huxtable takes a listen to some sublime techno, rich in the idiosyncrasies of the sound.
When you talk about Techno tourism hot-spots, Norway isn’t necessarily at the top of your list, but when you consider the impact that the Scandinavians had on Nu Disco 10 years ago and their penchant for dark, edgy TV it comes as little surprise the underground scene is as alive and kicking in the snowy wastelands of Northern Europe, as they are on any given weekend in Berlin.
Ploink began its journey way back in the mid 90s as a club night hosting everyone from Alan Fitzpatrick to Trentemoller and more. They branched out with a record label in 2014 which now boasts a discography (on vinyl no less) spanning dark-disco king Prins Thomas, +plattform, Skatebård, Mental Overdrive and label co-founder Thomas Urv.
For the label’s twentieth release, Joaquin Ruiz, a twenty-six-year-old from Buenos Aires who has previously released on labels like Ascetic Limited and Children of Tomorrow, joins the party with 4 exceptional cuts of what I would call ‘Proper Techno’. Purists will love this for sure, and for me, as a Prog head, the undulating rhythms and clever arrangement of sparse ideas really struck a chord.
The EP opens with the title track Galactic which, like the others, sits upon a bedrock of powerful kick drums and tight rolling percussion. Haunting melodies sit resplendent and progress under complex poly-rhythms whilst reverb soaked transitions seamlessly tie the track together to set a dark and bewildering tone for the release. Transmissions continues the trend magnificently using hypnotic arpeggios which float amongst heavenly pads and cleverly offset the uncompromising synthetic drums.
‘Equilatero’ uses a range of interlocking synthesised movements, underpinned by Joaquin’s very mature arrangement of percussion emphasising the dark aesthetic of the release. Tribal from the off, this one really piqued my interest and the motifs used within really catapult you into another realm. Closing with Spiralism, a melodic low end sets the foundation for some inspired use of reverb automation during layered hi-hat patterns that create real depth in the mix. Classy stuff with evergreen flavours, a must for any serious Techno fan or DJ alike.
Joaquin Ruiz – Galactic is available from November 3rd. In the meantime, take a listen to some samples from the EP, below.