- Olf Van Elden has all the qualities of a breakthrough artist. He's paid his dues, digging and working at record shops in his hometown of Amsterdam. He was a resident DJ at the legendary club Trouw. And he's taken his time with releases, putting out a handful of tracks between Interstellar Funk's 2013 debut and a self-titled EP in 2015. 2016 was Van Elden's first banner year, with his varied Electric Park Square EP on Rush Hour and then Caves Of Steel, a dark, electro-influenced stunner for Berceuse Heroique.
Apparently, Van Elden was inspired to write "Caves Of Steel" after hearing a DJ Stingray set, which makes sense: it's a study in sci-fi-tinged electro, complete with writhing, Drexciyan synth leads that sputter like a motor in choppy waters. It's heavy but not macho, rubbed raw like Van Elden's past work. (He's always had a penchant for grubby drum sounds, and they sound good here.) Where "Caves Of Steel" sits somewhere in the realm of hero worship, Convextion's remix takes it directly into electro's higher echelons. He weaves its wireframe structure into a gliding journey up there with the best of his work as E.R.P.
"No Direction To Spacetown," Van Elden's other dance floor track, is more humble, the introvert to the title tracks extrovert. It's still got the electro skeleton, but this one is all murmurs and soft bleeps, something low-key for the beginning of a set. Caves Of Steel ends with "The Strips," a beatless, three-minute track that feels like a trifle but is actually home to some of the record's most fulsome synth sounds and effects. Caves Of Steel bears the mark of a producer worth keeping an eye on.
A1 Caves Of Steel
A2 No Direction To Spacetown feat. Jeroen
B1 Caves Of Steel (Convextion Remix)
B2 The Strips