Various - Happy New Year! We Wish You Happiness!

  • Inventive club sounds from Nina Kraviz's typically excellent label.
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  • I'd love to see data on how much club play the music on Trip gets. As time passes, Nina Kraviz's label has only become more daring, releasing techno and IDM that's "fast... yet trippy, at times [a] little bit silly… groovy," to borrow words with which she introduced this latest release. Kraviz's sets have followed this trajectory, for my money making her the most interesting big-room DJ out there. But how much is the label shaping techno sets elsewhere? Is music this bizarre moving many dance floors? There's no easy way of knowing, but Happy New Year! We Wish You Happiness!, the label's newest compilation, reinforces my desire to find out. The adventurers this time are a mix of label regulars and newcomers, with the latter giving a particularly strong account of themselves. It'd be pretty mind-bending to hear the arrangement transitions in Carlota's "Your Destination" on a big soundsystem. The track slinks through three different sections, bringing to mind the unhinged end of Ricardo Villalobos. Her second contribution, "Noise Psychosis," sounds the way a big modular system looks: tangled, colourful and bewildering. These tracks seem to be the first released music from the Berlin-based artist, who's also one half of the live modular duo Kitmun. She feels like an excellent fit for Trip. Ditto Buttechno, whose weirdo techno credentials have become evident these past couple years. "Dubstepping Progression Fast" is especially zany. It could be a recording of a slapped face, looped on a 3/4 time signature, set to 180 BPM and then eventually slowed down to a third of its speed. "Rostokino Acid" is also super fast, but locks its synth squiggles to a gabber kick drum and a four-on-the-floor pattern. Vladimir Dubyshkin and PTU, two Trip mainstays from Russia, don't match their best work for the label, but both cuts are worth consideration. Dubyshkin's "Soviet Film" lacks a little of the dynamism of Cheerful Pessimist, his EP on Trip released last month, but it could work as a sinister, loop-based bridge track. "Mstera" is among the subtler efforts from PTU, who favour trippy atmospherics over all-out madness. Similarly, The Mover isn't at the hell-raising end of his range here, although "Track 1"'s gnarled beats and coarse synths would be too much for most techno DJs. In the Facebook post mentioned above, Kraviz talked briefly about the genesis of "U Ludei Est Pravo!," her collaboration with Snazzy of the modular company Snazzy FX. "When I stopped by his studio in New York we played on his gear for a few hours," she said. "I cut the recording, edited it and added vocal samples." This bold approach and the originality of the resulting track—deranged, insistent, difficult to place—nicely capture Trip's essence, something that is hopefully being felt on plenty of dance floors.
  • Tracklist
      01. Buttechno - Rostokino Acid 02. Nina Kraviz vs Snazzy - U Ludei Est Pravo! 03. PTU - Mstera 04. Carlota - Your Destination 05. Carlota - Noise Psychosis 06. Vladimir Dubyshkin - Soviet Film 07. Buttechno - Dubstepping Progression Fast 08. The Mover - Track One