- Heady techno from a veteran of the style.
- Over the past seven years or so, Alessio Meneghello has used the name Alan Backdrop to develop an impressive catalog of deep, evocative techno and ambient. As low-key as he might be—at times he's slipped right off the radar—there are still things that stand out. He's versatile, covering a wide range of tempos and rhythms, and his penchant for lush, dewy vibes means his work doesn't devolve into the cold-and-dark techno clichés of some of his more prominent contemporaries. On top of that, his DJ-friendly fare has an easy expansiveness that makes it a joy to mix with.
Hydra, Meneghello's solo debut on Svreca's always on-point Semantica label, is arguably his biggest release to date. He rises to the occasion, offering uptempo tunes for headier dance floors. "Caph" levitates with a glimmering mélange of synth notes, while the subtly electro-tinged "St130" swoops in, wraithlike, with a couple echoing acid riffs—one big, bassy and maw-like, the other lean, trebly and sinuous. "Vvat" seems to repurpose that bassline for a more straightforward cut that emphasizes the nervous tension of a three-note synth figure. But the best, and most distinctive, is "Esp." A syncopated halftime cut with stunning pads, it perfectly encapsulates the Alan Backdrop sound.