“Since the world drifts into delirium, we must adopt a delirious point of view”. This quote from French philosopher Jean Baudrillard serves as a perfect jump off point into the musical world of Eprom, whose music is as colourful and delirious as the imagined psychedelic science fiction worlds created by the artist Moebius.
‘Metahuman’ is Eprom’s debut album, borne of futuristic ideals grounding its musical offerings in a space that is far removed from our current reality yet inevitably linked to it.
William Burroughs said “if you cut open the present, the future bleeds out” and so the music on this album is inspired by a possible future, but is made and consumed today, most appropriately in the dark corners of a club where a finely tuned sound system will allow mind and body to fully appreciate Eprom’s sonic subtleties and physical pressures.
12 tracks long, ‘Metahuman’ is a bold statement of intent that is aimed squarely at the dancefloor first, though it still functions in other spaces as Eprom balances more restrained moments alongside boisterous musical bravado. The album opens with ‘Honey Badger’, one of Eprom’s most popular dance numbers that has been a centrepiece of his live sets and received support from many fellow floor-wrecking luminaries.
Tracks like ‘Prototype’ and ‘Can Control’ meanwhile offer a more subdued but no less potent take on eyes-down goove meditation, using powerful mood-setting atmospheres and chopped up vocal samples from hip hop and Jamaican music. ‘Floating Palace’ re-appropriates hip hop’s swing for space hopping aliens in the year 3030 while ‘Transparency’ is one of the album’s mellower moments.
‘Variations’ hints at pop friendliness in the saturated synth melodies and bouncy swing of its backing rhythms, a feeling subtly carried into ‘Love Number’, fused with another rhythm that clearly tips its hat to hip hop. The energy ramps up again on ‘Sun Death’, ‘The Golden Planet’ and ‘Needle Thrasher’, heading towards the album’s conclusion on a bed of delirious floor-friendly melodies and rhythm.
‘Raytracing’ quietly closes the book by flipping many of the elements Eprom uses throughout into a more delicate lullabye. As with previous releases ‘Metahuman’ has roots in hip hop which Eprom twists to refine a modern take on the genre’s timeless aesthetics that bleeds effortlessly into electronic and dance music.
Using a sort of condensed bass minimalism as the foundation, Eprom manipulates established concepts and expectations of tension and release in ways that are refreshing and bring life to the music, with a beauty in his beats that shines as bright as some of Moebius’ most striking works.
1. Honey Badger
1. Can Control
2. Floating Palace
2. Love Number
3. Sun Death
1. The Golden Planet
2. Needle Thrasher
West coast producer and sound system murderer Eprom is back on Rwina for a second album, Halflife which continues the producer’s mad scientist approach to what makes a dancefloor move: synthetizing the warmth of vintage computer sounds, the energy of African rhythmic traditions (including modern evolutions such as Kwaito and Shangaan Electro), the swagger of southern rap and the intricacy of pioneering electronic music from the likes of Richard Devine or Curtis Roads.
The result is a heady melting pot, a unique sound that has some of the best DJs in the world – Gaslamp Killer, Kutmah, D-Styles – and the crowds always wanting more. Wasting no time, Eprom opens the album with a volley of tracks built to blow up sound systems and take heads off in the dance. Center of the Sun, Beasts of Babylon and Hurricane all display the sheer brilliance of Eprom’s mad scientist streak: a minimalist blend of low slung rhythmic alchemy, ten ton heavy bass and dark melodies more powerful than the soulless, over-the-top showboating that characterises much of today’s dance music.
On the bouncy Vogel he revisits some of the melodic elements from the first album while Super FX and Lost Levels come across like 2013 dancefloor versions of a Final Fantasy soundtrack, introducing a focus on brighter melodies and variations. Screwface opens the second half of the album with more in-your-face brilliance as drums pound the bass bins into submission before Machine Skin rolls in with its hypnotic arpeggio to lead dancers around like a demented Pied Piper. Pentatonic Dust then provides a brief and blurry interlude before another trio of short tracks – Moisture, Turtle Ride and Subroc – deliver a perfect blend of what’s come before: mesmerising melodies, energetic rhythms and chest-pounding sub frequencies.
The album closes with Cloud Leanmixx bringing the journey to an end by stripping back some of the energy and enveloping the listener in a warm blanket of synths and rolling drums.
1. Center Of The Sun
2. Beasts Of Babylon
5. Super Fx
6. Lost Levels
8. Machine Skin
9. Pentatonic Dust
11. Turtle Ride
13. Cloud Leanmixx
Jheronimus continues Jameszoo’s experimental work, fitting somewhere between broken hip hop, electronics and folk – a trip for the headphone listen that still has some, albeit strange, dancefloor potential.
By further giving the young producer a platform from which to deliver his musical curveballs to the world Rwina is doing everyone a great service. Simply lay back and take a trip.
1. Blue Flutebird
1. The Clumtwins
2. Kreem Kund
From the ice cold landscapes of his secret lair in Finland, Desto returns to Rwina Records for another EP of forward thinking dancefloor music.
A man who values quality over quantity, the Finnish producer’s work on No Sleep picks up where he left off previously on Rwina: think deep sub pressure in the finest south London tradition this time blended with sounds and rhythms that take their cue from across the spectrum of bass-influenced music such as grime’s colourful melodies or the rhythmic playfulness and sonic claustrophobia of the likes of Lex Luger.
1. No Sleep
2. Shadow Sole
1. Monsters About
2. Can't Take It
Jameszoo’s debut for Rwina shows he has plenty of ideas and isn’t afraid of experimenting with them. Whether you bump it at home or in the club, Faaveelaa is sure to surprise you and make you move in ways you never thought possible. Enter Jameszoo’s Faaveelaa and lose yourself in a Technicolor world of musical fantasies.
1. I You Cherrypearl
2. Mrm Aid S
1. Doc Pipper
2. Psitta Riddim
After five years of releasing EPs and singles across a raft of labels including Argon, Ramp and his own Signal Life, Finnish producer Desto returns to Rwina to deliver his first full length album, ‘Emptier Streets’.
As with his previous releases on the Dutch label, Desto strips the music back to its bare-bone essentials, fulfilling the album’s title with a sound that’s spacious and eerie, bleak and punishing yet still offers warmth in its apparent coldness. Stylistically the album is most obviously aligned with the aesthetics of Dirty South hip hop and the dubstep diaspora, deploying booming drums, rolling hats and cold synthetic melodies and voices inside cavernous sonic landscapes.
Rather than simply rehashing styles Desto draws from his own surroundings to make Emptier Streets play out like the soundtrack to a dark city tale across its twelve tracks. A city full of tall skyscrapers surrounded by dark alleyways, night time characters shrouded in shadows, empty warehouses where the raves aren’t quite what you imagine them to be. You can feel this cinematic quality on ‘Discolated City’, where a simple interplay between pitched kick drums and modulated melodies is all it takes to create a hypnotic vibe.
The title track features a rare use of vocals, stuttered and effected into something alien, set against icy melodies on a solid bed of bass kicks and syncopated snares. ‘Glottal Stops’ plays with a slightly disturbing melody made of guttural sounds over a relentless kick assault while ‘4 A.M’. starts old school before switching into one of the album’s most anthemic productions. ‘Drainpipe’ shows off Desto’s ability to pull emotions from the listener even without any drums, winding things down before ‘Healing’ closes the album with one last energetic run through the city, coming across like the bastard child of Burial and Mala.
‘Emptier Streets’ takes the sound Desto has been building for the past few years to its logical conclusion. An intense listen that can work equally well at home as in the club, it’s an album that makes no concessions and wears its colours proudly: a spectrum of dark emblazoned on a night time jacket.
4. Emptier Streets
5. Glottal Stop
6. 4 AM
7. Ink Pit
8. Final Chamber
9. Dust Pyramids
Welcome to Single Point Edge. The third album from Rwina Records, Single Point Edge is unlike previous releases on the Dutch label: bleak, stripped down techno for paranoid humans and robots.
Across its ten tracks Single Point Edge carefully balances the physicality of techno with a fine attention to sonic detail and melodic progression. There are clear reference points alongside which SPE pulls in more subtle influences and references to other genres.
The result is an album that needs to be heard loud: booming kicks, piercing hats and oppressive melodies washing over you in the middle of a darkened dancefloor, surrounded by strangers each lost in their own universe.
Tracks like Carex, Snap Gun, Aporia and Lost Summer are clearly made to be heard in the hallowed halls of techno, from Berlin to Detroit. Yet it’s also an album that will work in a private setting, on headphones or at home, with enough detail, enough variation to provide an immersive experience that is every part as engaging as it is in a live context.
Opening track The Overview Effect is the perfect soundtrack to a night time ride home, the city’s darkened corners streaming past your eyesight as the snare’s echo reverberates in your ears. Surface Tension comes across like the bastard child of techno and cloud rap, an almost beatless mood enhancer.
1. The Overview Effect
2. Object Detection
5. Lost Summer
6. Surface Tension
7. Snap Gun
Having firmly made his mark on 2011 with the ‘Spit Thunder’ 7” and ‘Makin’ Magic’ EP, tracks that are still causing trouble in dances around the world, Dutch producer Krampfhaft returns to Rwina records for a new release that blends cinematic sound design with jaw-dropping, hands in the air dancefloor ecstasy.
‘First Threshold’ is Krampfhaft’s statement of intent for 2012, uncompromising party music designed to make people move yet still hinting at something deeper, from a producer who’s still exploring the possibilities afforded by the sounds he creates. The EP opens with ‘Marram’, deftly balancing epic and melancholic moods, starting with sweeping strings, finger snaps and a dreamy melody before exploding into a grandiose drop with cascading drums and ominous synths.
From this point on there’s no turning back. The core of the EP is found in ‘Cork’, ‘Twin Prime’ and ‘In A Dream’, three high energy productions built firmly and unashamedly with the dancefloor in mind. ‘Cork’ gets straight to the point with a rhythm built out of industrial parts and subtle interplays between percussive drums and euphoric melodies. This is a sonic whirlwind that sweeps across the dance with deadly precision.
The same lethal accuracy informs ‘Twin Prime’ - drums roll in a crescendo before unleashing sub heavy bass and more euphoric lead madness that mutates as the track progresses. If ever there was music to lose your mind to in the club this might just be it. ‘In A Dream’ opens with loud panting breaths and looped eponymous vocal samples informing the listener that he’s “trapped in a dream” before a rush signals the arrival of heavy, claustrophobic drums and more catchy ecstatic lead melodies.
As the melody morphs and plays a game of call and answer over the rhythm you might have just enough time to find a way out. ‘Bones’ closes the EP, a gentler production that echoes the melancholy of ‘Marram’, with a clean and bright yet emotionally pulling atmosphere as rolling drums, booming kicks and ethereal voices gently stir the listener towards the end. ‘First Threshold’ continues Krampfhaft’s exploration of what makes dancefloors move today.
The high energy and varied moods found across its five tracks, inherited from his diverse background as a fan of electronic and dance music, are balanced with an attention to sonic detail and adventurous musical structure that’s often taken for granted.
1. In Session
1. Twin Prime
2. In A Dream
Rwina Records kick off 2013 with the 'Synergy' EP, a collaborative release from Taz & Akka. Glasgow’s Taz makes his fourth appearance on the label, while Akka (aka label head and mastermind Akkachar) finally steps over to the artist side.
The pair have been collaborating for three years, with this first release compiling four tracks from the extensive amount of material the two have accumulated in that time.
'Illusory' combines a trap-inspired beat with euphoric synths, a flair for hooks and hands in the air escapism.
'Mobius' takes its inspiration from video games, grime, cartoons and hip hop, throwing everything into a blender and pouring the results all over the dancefloor.
'Paul Is Dead' switches up the tempo for a deeper take on the footwork sound, with a vocal snippet name checking one of the most famous Pauls in history, and 'Trapped In ’82' closes proceedings by taking things back to the duo’s youth, unashamedly celebrating the musical excesses of the 1980s.
Early support comes from selector as varied as DJ Shadow, Mary Anne Hobbs, and Starkey.
1. Paul Is Dead
2. Trapped In '82