- Onur Özer always seems to come out on top. Within a few years of moving to Berlin from Istanbul in the mid-'00s, Özer found himself in the upper echelons of big-room minimal, regularly sharing the decks with (and occasionally showing up) scene-leading DJs like Ricardo Villalobos and Raresh. Now that he's taken a few steps away from the limelight, Özer's quietly become a key name in a burgeoning, mostly Berlin-based scene that values deep digging, broken beats and heady DJ sets.
Three years from his last solo record, Özer here delivers what's so far the standout release from a growing wave of producers associated with the scene he's helping to shape. Arriving on Treatment collaborator Binh's Time Passages label (which, only four records in, is arguably among the best in the game), the four-track Frequent Forrest Turn EP is equal parts deranged, breezy and functional. It's also an electro record, if only vaguely.
Which tune you like best might depend on your mood. The title track (which also opened a mix from Binh back in 2014) is atmospheric and faintly melancholic, with hazy stabs and a chugging beat. "Nomadie," the second A-side cut, is more energetic thanks to a wobbling bassline and a collage of synth bleeps and snippets. "Oddrun" and "Fairlight" are more straightforward and slyly melodic, with an ambiguous feeling somewhere between playful bliss and steely futurism. Both tracks are guaranteed bombs, blending a controlled sense of chaos with tight, highly textured production and powerful functionality (traits that, as RA's Mark Smith recently found out, set Özer apart as a DJ, too).
Frequent Forrest Turn is a defining release in an exciting time for stripped-down dance music, which is primarily being driven forward by the DJ sets of Özer and his friends. Where so many of the style's key names mine the sounds of the past, Özer puts a fresh twist on those discoveries.
A1 Frequent Forrest Turn