Review: Patrick Conway – Black Orpheus Vol.6

Patrick Conway comes right back at us with a nifty selection of breaks-infused tracks on his latest EP. The Waveform Transmitter‘s Dave Coates takes a listen to a nod to the 90s, on ‘Black Orpheus Vol.6’.

Patrick Conway returns with a quality new EP on his own label, Black Orpheus, following on from some brilliant releases on Rekids and Forbidden Planet.

First up on EP is Stab City’ which has a dark, dystopian atmospheric feel with its haunting pads, twisted lead and dark sub bass rumbling underneath to keep the track driving along. The percussion and groove are built around the 909 drum sounds that are commonplace in a lot of tracks in this vein, but build as a breakbeat rather than a four/four beat. That then affords Stab City’ a uniqueness that is not present in many tracks produced by Conway‘s peers. This is a perfect track to start a deeper, more contemporary-styled set with.

Next up is the Fit Seigel ‘stab back’ mix of ‘Stab City’. This mix is very dark and trippy, with an early-80s electro undercurrent that’s reminiscent of Juan Atkin‘s Cybotron tracks. This is in particular regards to the feel of the beats, with its driving 808 kick drum rumbling along for the duration of the track. The vocal is built on pitched-down and weird, glitchy effects that give the track a haunted quality. The track builds up with a siren effect and flurry of harsh-sounding modulated stabs that would fit perfectly into a modern horror movie soundscape.

Following on is the atmospheric ‘Blurred Cognition’ which has a lighter feel and tone than Stab City’. The track reminds me a lot of early progressive house that you would hear in around ’92, on labels such as Hard Hands and Guerrilla Records with its deep, ambient feel.

The track’s groove is founded on a main breakbeat, with sharp sizzling hi-hats and a vocal that’s eerie and emotional in equal measure. Its reverse reverb tails and delayed effects add to the tone and feel of the vocal. I can picture this being played in Renaissance during the 90s through to the Orbit Club events back in the day. This is a good thing to see and it is also refreshing to hear that breaks are making more of a come back.

Last up is Rule 110′. This is the only four four track on the EP and it doesn’t disappoint with its deep, ethereal pads, evocative vocals, and thunderous kick drum. The main focus and element to Rule 110 is the bass, as it builds, twisting along, then opens up towards the breakdown in the most epic sense. The track has a very ‘modular synth’ sound, with some of the weird bass sounds, with the main lead also playing very much in homage to Detroit techno from the early 1990s.

Overall this is a brilliant, refreshing EP with its euphoric-yet-dark atmosphere and tones, and also its sonic nod to the early-90s dance music movement.


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