- Reduced, purist techno.
- It was only a matter of time. After more than a decade in the scene, Kr!z released a record. (He's been planning one since at least 2015.) As the founder of Token, arguably the leading techno label of recent times, Kr!z has been involved with a number of scene-defining tunes. In 2012, there was the lean Ben Klock remix of Ø [Phase]'s "Binary Opposition," which was played by just about every techno DJ out there. Then there was Antigone's Cantor Dust, a breakout record that brought melody to Token's psychedelic techno template. Four years later, we get Mantra, an EP that channels Kr!z's taste for reduced, purist techno.
As you might expect from someone whose favourite producers include Jeff Mills, Robert Hood and Regis, the sound is lean and subtle. But that's not to say Mantra lacks energy. You can imagine these tunes working on techno's biggest dance floors (Awakenings, Afterlife) while remaining classy enough for its headsiest DJs. A lot comes down to their structures. Like the music of Kr!z's heroes, they build up and down gradually, the introduction of a hi-hat or bleep enough to keep the energy ticking. Some tracks ("Mantra," "Salvation") use mini-breakdowns to boost the energy, but they never last more than a few seconds—and they never come with drum rolls or white noise. Even so, their slick production quality makes them particularly versatile. Following excellent EPs by François X and Skudge, it's been a great month for fans of techno's psychedelic side. Whether you're a DJ who hypnotises or bludgeons dance floors, Mantra is essential.
B2 The Start Of Nothing