- Big-room techno that sticks too close to a formula.
- You'd be forgiven for feeling uneasy at the idea of a newly rebooted Plus 8 Records. When Richie Hawtin and John Acquaviva's label stopped releasing music in 2015, after the tepid Hawtin compilation From My Mind To Yours, the once-radical label had been putting out variations of the same big-room techno idea for about a decade. Between 2012 and 2015, its releases slowed to a trickle, before eventually stopping altogether. The task of starting over falls to Fabio Florido, an Italian artist who very much fits Plus 8's modern-day musical model. His techno tracks, released on labels like MOOD, SCI+TEC and Minus, are usually lean, functional and built on big breakdowns.
Florido also isn't shy of working with the occasional melody or emotive atmosphere (which can sound inspired by Hawtin's most famous alias, Plastikman), a willingness that helps give Multiverse some character. The solemn sustained pads of the three original tracks seem to steer him away from at least some of the more theatrical impulses of this type of techno, and elements of "Multiverse," in particular, have a touch of class. But even so, the insistence on creating moments hinders these tracks.
Why, for example, did the otherwise nicely restrained "Omniverse" need a drum roll, an effects crescendo and white noise blast when the beats dropped? Matador, a key artist on Minus, Hawtin's other label, lets off more fireworks on his trance-fuelled remix of "Multiverse." He brightens the synths, toughens the kick and goes for broke in the breakdown. Most dance music is, of course, built on formulas, but it's still disappointing to see one of techno's original pioneering labels following one so slavishly.
02. The Long Fall
04. Multiverse (Matador Remix)