Various - Stealth 1/3, 2/3, 3/3

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  • For nearly a decade now, Peter Van Hoesen has held a place in techno's vanguard, and he's built a reputation as a canny curator of like-minded talent. Last year's Stealth, a mixed compilation released by his Time To Express label, was an ambitious project. Heavy on Van Hoesen's meticulous material, it also featured contributors with their own fervent focuses. Unfortunately, it seems the whole comp won't be available as an unmixed released, which makes this trio of sampler EPs particularly vital. Stealth 1/3 and 3/3 feature four wide-ranging Van Hoesen cuts with a common ingredient: his detailed sound design. First up is his remix of Bee Mask's "Headband," a brilliant example of techno interacting with experimental ambient and synth artists. Aside from a bass-heavy rhythm (and the fact that the original track remains unreleased), it's hard to discern where Bee Mask ends and Van Hoesen begins among the gleaming pads and playful modular chirps and beeps. "Breach" is intense, high-caliber DJ tackle, its widescreen synths helping to maintain a long moment of suspense. On Stealth 3/3, the drum-heavy "Shadows & Concern" brings some voodoo vibrations to the floor, though it doesn't grab as strongly as "Unicorn"'s ravey breakbeat. The second Stealth sampler, packing two lengthy tracks, starts with a wild cut from Voices From The Lake, "Zulu Vortex." Offbeat, eel-like acid notes and deep-jungle ambiance are key elements, but despite the duo's trademark bass drops, I find myself preferring the percussive heft of tracks like "Reptilicus" and "Sentiero." "Night," from increasingly well-regarded Japanese artist Wata Igarashi, is a sublime trip that ranks among his strongest productions to date, with an ascending acid riff that resonates boldly in a cloud of expressive synths. You could be dissatisfied by the exclusion of just about anything else from the Stealth mix. I would personally love to see some of the comp's early slower material, along with Imaginary Softwoods' epic ambient finale "Aura Show," released outside of a mix. (I'd at least swap out "Shadows & Concern" for the similar but better "Prime Symmetry.") Still, modern techno heads should find plenty to enjoy throughout this series.
  • Tracklist
      1/3: 01. Bee Mask - Headband (Peter Van Hoesen Remix) 02. Peter Van Hoesen - Breach 2/3: 01. Voices From The Lake - Zulu Vortex 02. Wata Igarashi - Night 3/3: 01. Peter Van Hoesen - Shadows And Concern 02. Peter Van Hoesen - Unicorn