- Most scenes—whether based around electro in The Hague, house music in Chicago or dubstep in Croydon—have been driven by producers. For the past few years, though, a group of mostly Berlin-based DJs have been carving out a niche for themselves simply by digging for forgotten records. Spacey house, techno and electro has been their main sound, and, until recently, there haven't been many high-quality new releases to match their aesthetic. One of the first was Binh and Onur Özer's album as Treatment from last year. Others have appeared on labels like HardWorkSoftDrink, Time Passages, Traffic and Slow Life, but new music for the most part hasn't reached the lofty heights of this new wave of DJing. Now, that seems to be changing.
Alex Picone, an Italian formerly aligned with Cadenza, is one of the DJs at the core of this emerging scene, and his three-track Frequency Switch EP is another sign of change. Just like the DJ sets by Picone and his cohorts, this 12-inch is ethereal, pumping and weird, matching snazzy drums with bleeps and strange noises you can't quite put your finger on. "M9" sounds both fresh and retro, capped off with strings and a humming bassline. The more abstract B-side cuts, "M8" and "M6C," hit harder down low, but they don't match the dreamy, driving-with-the-top-down vibe of the A-side. With a promising 12-inch from Onur Özer on the way, expect more impressive retro-not-retro records to come.