- Timedance gathers a mix of fresh and familiar faces for a vital compilation of UK techno.
- In the last three years, Timedance has become one of the UK's finest labels for fractured, bass-driven techno. Its distinctive sound has been shaped by its founder, Batu, whose records—including his latest, for XL—have shown an extraordinary knack for sound design. Key tracks from other Bristol-connected producers—Bruce's "Post Rave Wrestle," Lurka's "Beater," Ploy's "Iron Lungs"—have also helped define the label's mind-bending, stripped-back aesthetic. Timedance has released music from a few producers outside its Bristol base in the past, but its first full-length, Patina Echoes, casts the net wider than ever before. Pulling together music from producers across Europe and North America, the compilation shows how fertile the UK techno sound remains.
The Paris-based producer Simo Cell—who's already released 12-inches for Livity Sound—contributes "Consider The Internet." It's a chugging 101 BPM cut that retains the driving intensity of Timedance's speedier output thanks to shrieking synths, double-time drums and a ruthless bassline. "bRINGTHEbRAVE," by another French producer, rRoxymore, groups around metallic, syncopated drums and a chirpy melodic lead. "Horus," by the Berlin-based Neinzer, is surprisingly delicate, with glassy percussion among the kind of creeping, off-kilter flourishes that yielded such head-spinning results on past releases for Yumé and International Black. "Stasis 113," a long-unreleased and in-demand track from Leeds's Chekov, is one of the record's frostier cuts, its sidechained kicks and whirring, compressed synth lead making for a streamlined banger.
One notable exception from the compilation is Batu, who's chosen to focus the spotlight on likeminded producers. But two of Timedance's most established names do appear, delivering the record's most reserved moments. Bruce's "Let's Make The Most Of Our Time Here" sits at the more abstract end of his output. Its peculiar bursts of synth splutters and brief silences are well-established yet continually fascinating characteristics of his work. Ploy's "=O" is another beatless cut, bearing close links to his own Hemlock-released "Lost Hours." Closing the record on a raft of dubbed-out sound effects, its chords are emotive yet understated.
"I wanted to do a compilation as I felt a lot of the younger producers I was working with had some recurring themes and concepts running through their music," Batu has said of Patina Echoes. These themes and concepts amount to an emphasis on spacious sound design and skeletal beat patterns, a reduced take on the Timedance sound. "Naked," from Bristol producer Cleyra, is an unassuming opener, folding in broken beat drums and solemn pads. Rae's "Sleep Rotation" combines a simple kick with ghostly, malfunctioning synths. Nico compellingly echoes Mark Ernestus on "Soft Opening," a compilation highlight, via his use of vocal samples and polyrhythmic drums. Whether the tracks come from new or experienced producers, they all effectively experiment with club conventions while maintaining a careful handle on what makes dance floors tick.
01. Cleyra - Naked
02. rRoxymore- bRINGTHEbRAVE
03. Chekov - Stasis 113
04. Via Maris - Side Effects
05. Simo Cell - Consider The Internet
06. Rae - Sleep Rotation
07. Metrist - Auld Flaurist
08. Bruce - Let's Make The Most Of Our Time Here
09. Neinzer - Horus
10. Nico - Soft Opening
11. Ploy - =O