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Perfectly Deep Weekly: Your primary source for the finest deep electronic music on the Internet

Perfectly Deep Weekly #46:
Isu, Donato Dozzy, Tin Man

 

Dear <<First Name>>
 

I've been looking much forward to serving you today's theme, which circles in on the music bastard of 'deep acid': The intersection between deep electronic music (mostly techno and ambient) and the sound referred to as "acid": Music that incorporates synth lines from Roland's 1981 icon, the TB-303. Read more about that instrument and what it has meant historically for electronic music below.

 

I have been a sucker for acid techno my whole life, and while most of it is rather fast-paced, noisy, and hard, the deeper side of the acid genre deserves much credit, too. I hope to give you a small taster of what that sounds like in this newsletter edition.

 

Also, as a side note to that personal reference, I take the liberty of shamelessly plugging that as part of the duo Slam Turmoil with my old friend and collaborator Sune Petersen, aka. MOTORSAW, I also co-produce some acid techno myself. You can check that out here if you like. It's not deep, mind you. It's the opposite; rather noisy and banging.

 

In any case, I hope you enjoy this newsletter as much as I did putting it together.

 

Keep it deep,

 

Christian Villum


PS: In the curation of this newsletter, there was one album that I really wanted to include, which is OM Unit's outstanding 'Acid Dub Studies'. It features a brilliant take on the 'deep acid' genre, but since I included it's sibling-album, "Acid Dub Versions," just a couple of weeks ago, I figured it would be too repetitive to feature OM Unit again alrady. Still, now that it's mentioned here in the intro, you can see it as a bonus-recomendation.

 


Acid techno and the Roland TB-303

Released as a bass synth in 1981, Japanese synth manufacturer Roland's TB-303 failed miserably with the global music community. Its sound was deemed artificial, and the target audience gave it a thumbs down. Sales were poor, and the story could have ended there. The machine would have sunk quietly into the dusty annals of obscure synthesizers.

However, towards the end of the 1980s, another unexpected customer segment punched in and changed the story of the TB-303 radically. It made it into one of the most significant synths of all history. While Roland had long disconnected its production, electronic music producers worldwide found the unique roar of the machine to be just what they were looking for in the exploration of new frontiers in electronic music.

Thus, the TB-303 became a cornerstone in the mainstream breakthrough of electronic music. Specifically, it became a mainstay in the general soundtrack for the 1989 "Second Summer of Love" (the birth of the rave generation) and the subsequent acid house revolution worldwide in the beginning of the 1990s. It was featured on thousands of records.

In all of this music revolution, the term acid techno became a thing. Now, 30 years later, it remains an institution in pretty much all electronic music genres and still sounds fresh and in tune with the cutting edge of electronic music production. The machine itself is hard to come by; the scarcity and popularity have made it an exclusive, sought-after unit that sells at 3,000 EUR and upwards. Luckily, you can also emulate its sounds using both software and newer hardware imitations like Behringers TB-3 or Roland's TB-03 Boutique unit.

Image: Wikimedia/Steve Sims, CC0
 

Isu - Live @ Artefakt _ Lärm 2016.11.25 (2016)

Technokunst

Tags: #deepacid #minimaltechno


This mix shows many interesting sides of deep acid techno for two and a half hours. The first half-hour switches between some laid-back eclectic techno and electro drizzled with good acid bites. This serves as the perfect warm-up for the next half hour, where things go more minimal, harder, and darker. The track starting 41 minutes is sublime, nothing less.

 

We move into minimal acid techno proper in the second hour, and Isu builds the momentum very elegantly. Subtle trance elements work well (not typically my cup of tea) without taking too much attention. From around 2h15m, the last bit turns the dial up a notch further with some absolute bangers in there. The final track, which I have not identified yet, is a real acid techno killer.

 

Isu is the moniker of Hungarian producer and DJ István Kántor. He came into the electronic music scene in the early 1990s as an event organizer and became part of the industrial techno circuit in Budapest. This led to a role on local radio station Tilos Rádió, where his show Eat The Beat started - and still runs to this day, every Saturday evening and into the night. In addition, he also joined the Minimalheadz and Lick the Click collectives, two groups of organizers responsible for bringing some of the world's most renowned electronic music legends to the city. These include deep and dub techno faves like Deadbeat, Tikiman, Moritz von Oswald, etc.

 

Technokunst is his podcast that, over the years, has featured some of the biggest names in minimal techno. Make sure you dive into the back catalog if you're into that (like me).

 

Mixcloud

 


Donato Dozzy - Filo Loves the Acid (2018)
Tresor Records

Tags: #deepacid #minimaltechno

The album starts with a highly compressed, convoluted techno track featuring a melodic acid synth line, 'Filo,' quite reminiscent of the sound of Woo York, who we recommended in the newsletter two weeks ago. It opens the album with a #perfectlydeep acid sound that sets the stage for the rest of the album, which is quite punchy and uptempo.

 

Already from the second track, 'Vetta,' we see the edginess of the album. The kickdrum packs a punch, and we are treated with a more "classic," aggressive acid line that is slowly tweaked through various filters during the track.

 

My favorites include 'Nine O'Three,' which shows how hard deep acid can be. The kickdrum is given so much overdrive that it starts to distort, which is a familiar feature in, for instance, gabber techno. However, in deep electronic music, it is a rare thing to see. 'Vetta Reprise' shows another type of saber-rattling edge: Tempo. Punching in at around 150 bpm, this banger would fit it well into the current fast-techno craze.

 

Lastly, 'REP' closes the album with a bang. A highly repetitive, almost obstinate acid line loops insistently for six minutes, supplemented by a pounding kick drum. It creates a deep, hypnotic feel that makes my feet yearn for the dancefloor.

 

Donato Dozzy is an Italian, Rome-based producer known for his work in the spectrum between ambient and minimal techno. His sound on this album is somewhat atypical for his style because of how hard it is, and it is also rare for him to venture into acid territory. His signature sound is slowly evolving, minimal, ambient sets with deep techno elements that hypnotically wash over you.

 

Being one of my favorite producers, Donato - which is his civil first name also, surname Scaramuzzi - is a highly productive gentleman, responsible for putting nine albums into the world and over 50 EPs since he entered the scene back in the early 2000s. He has also given birth to several other musical projects, some just as potent as his solo work. One of these is the fantastic Voices From The Lake project, with producer Neel aka. Giuseppe Tillieci. We'll come back to that in another newsletter because it is excellent stuff that deserves its own spotlight.

 

The album comes out on legendary Tresor Records, which has been introduced much more thoroughly in previous editions of this newsletter. This release shows, once again, why it is one of the most influential electronic music labels of all time.


Spotify  Apple Music  Tidal  Bandcamp  Deezer  Youtube Music  Soundcloud


Tin Man - Dripping Acid (2017)
Global A

Tags: #deeptechno #darkambient

Tin Man, the moniker of American producer Johannes Auvinen, is a mainstay in acid techno. His eight albums and 30+ EPs, released since 2004, carry titles like 'Acid Acid,' 'Neo Neo Acid,' 'Keys of Life Acid,' 'Love Sex Acid,' and this one, 'Dripping Acid.' So I guess you can say you get what it says on the tin. That is a general trend: Acid producers tend to name their work with 'acid' in the title. See the other recommendations in this newsletter as examples. Imagine if rock musicians did the same?

 

All jokes about the titling aside, Auvinen, born in California, but now lives in Vienna, Austria, is a highly skilled producer. This is a magnificent album that embodies the 'deep acid' label. Auvinen is excellent at using the TB-303 to craft sophisticated melodies and melancholic moods in this music. Whereas most other acid producers tend to crank the filters way up and make as much noise as possible, Auvinen composes beautiful and emotional tracks where the instrument shines differently than what is otherwise the norm.

 

The opener, 'Pooling Acid,' features a minimal techno foundation and a delicate acid line that slowly builds on top of beautiful synth pads. This is a general formula across the album, but we are also treated with lots of variation in drum programming, intensity and momentum. Tracks like 'Glassy Acid,' 'Diving Acid,' and 'Viscocity Acid' are soft, graceful tracks that inspire introspection and reflection.

 

Other tracks, like 'Drenched Acid,' 'Soaking Acid,' 'Oily Acid,' and 'Percolating Acid,' projects a more upbeat vibe that speak more to the feet.

 

The label, Global A, was utterly unbeknown to me and still essentially is, even after my research. It is super obscure. The best place for getting the low-down on any music entity is usually discogs.org, a wiki-based, crowd-sourced database of all music. Still, their entry for the label does not contain any background information. The only thing mentioned is a list of 16 releases over 14 years, mainly by Tin Man.

So I would assume it is his own label, but I cannot say for sure. The website, 
www.globala.org, is also largely blank except for a big, red square. Nothing else. I guess he/they are letting the music speak for itself, and, as always, I can only respect that.


Spotify  Apple Music  Bandcamp  Deezer  Youtube Music
 

PERFECTLY DEEP WEEKLY? REMIND ME AGAIN WHAT THIS IS?

 Perfectly Deep Weekly is a free newsletter that makes it easy to enjoy quality deep electronic music every week. It is curated by me, Christian Villum, an electronic music buff based in Copenhagen, Denmark. The idea is simple: I listen to the many releases that come out, pick the ones I like the best - and share them with you here.

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