- Alongside Stanislav Tolkachev, Antigone holds pride of place in the upper echelons of the modern techno pantheon. Both artists embody the genre's sensibilities while also sounding distinct from the hordes of phoned-in techno tracks that swamp the market, and they've both spawned a number of imitators. But where Tolkachev carves close to the bone with his deranged, psychedelic style, Antigone balances emotive atmospheres with an imposing sense of space and scale (just check out the second breakdown in "And When The Sky Opened" or "Words Of Silences"). This verges on a big-room sound, though it's bereft of the ostentatious overtones generally associated with the term. Regardless of how he's described, Antigone is deep in the habit of producing sure-shot weapons with undeniable momentum and weight.
On Saudade, the French producer's second EP for Token, "Hiraeth" rolls out his signature style. Percolating sixteenth notes rake like claws through sandy soil, as storm heads of harmony loom out of the background, ready to envelop the mix. The low-end seems to emphasise every quaver, which helps give "Hiraeth" its galloping gait. The beat's re-entry after the break is classic Antigone: he pushes the atmospheric elements through reams of feedback and skillfully controls the dynamics for maximum contrast and impact.
By comparison, "Night Adrift" packs a more gravelly texture and flashing effects. It has a considerable shock-and-awe factor, but Antigone's surprises here come from sleight of hand and top-notch sound design rather than sensory overload. Elements race by, making you wonder what the hell you just heard. Saudade is certainly among Antigone's finest work, but then again, his entire back catalog is essential listening for any techno fan.
A Night Adrift