- Ever since Nina Kraviz told me that an imagined existential crisis suffered by the acclaimed actor Robert De Niro would be the subject of her label's next release, I've been excited to hear it. Who wouldn't be? Techno doesn't often concern itself with two-time Academy Award winners. Not surprisingly, De Niro Is Concerned—much like трип's first release, The Deviant Octopus—has less to do with the title itself than with the headspace that might birth such a concept. Suffice it to say this thing is stuffed to the brim with spaced-out techno.
Despite the mind-scrambled aesthetic, the tracks unfurl with precision. Nowhere is that more apparent than on Parrish Smith's "L'Importance de Doute," the set's centerpiece. Beginning with an ominous synth blast that could have been ripped from a recent sci-fi blockbuster, the Dutch producer's cut picks up steam fast, sending 707 drum hits and filtered bass down the wormhole in 1/16-note packets. It's got a vintage feel, but it's terrifyingly immediate. The others are equally high-pressure, if a little more subtle in their push. Deniro (no relation) makes two appearances: the polyrhythmic "Dumans" features cymbals honed to a razor's edge, while "Organezized" is speckled with pastel-hued pads.
Kraviz herself pops up just once, collaborating with Icelandic producer Exos on a track driven by dissonant melodic wobbles and the hypnotic ticking of a few select drum hits. Still, it's hard not to hear her influence across these selections. Bjarki's "Revolution," quick in tempo and nervy in melody, sounds like it was composed specifically to fill blank space in Kraviz's DJ sets; chances are the untitled Barcode Population cut, a galloping obscurity plucked from her record bag, has been doing the same for some time now. De Niro Is Concerned may mine a hyper-specific sound, but it's easy to imagine at least a few of Kraviz's choice cuts becoming yours.
A1 Bjarki - Revolution
A2 Deniro - Dumans
B1 Barcode Population - Untitled
B2 Kraviz & Exos - No Criminals
C1 Parrish Smith - L'Importance De Doute
C2 Steve Stoll - DUMBO
D1 Nikita Zabelin - Rush
D2 Deniro - Organezized