Aiken - Balance

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  • Balance is Aiken's second vinyl EP, and it shows the Spanish techno artist plying raw and dynamic sounds similar to those on his Mer 12-inch on Semantica last summer. First up is "First Balance," which to my ears suffers from a hands-in-the-air synth line that's too late in arriving. The mood reminds me of Mer's better arranged, superbly anthemic "Trust Ourselves," but when "First Balance" draws to a close soon after that melody gets into the mix, I'm left wishing it would have played out for a few more minutes. Both "Second Balance" and "Third Balance" feel like more self-contained, functional dance floor tools: the former strings zigzagging arpeggios through a mysterious, almost Mills-ian sort of atmosphere, while the latter juxtaposes curiously playful percussion with a heaving two-note riff. Rounding out the EP is a deep remix of "Second Balance" from Regis, whose dastardly devices for the occasion include a more explicitly minor-key rework of the original's lead riff and an anxious array of industrial whirlings. It's probably the one I'll return to the most, because while Aiken's crafty originals are worth putting to work in the mix, even they feel a bit timid when compared to Regis's urgent but focused interpretation.
  • Tracklist
      A1 First Balance A2 Second Balance B1 Second Balance (Regis Remix) B2 Third Balance