Peter Van Hoesen - Uncovered 2008-2018 Vol. 1-3

  • 52 tracks of unreleased heat from one of techno's most reliably excellent artists.
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  • "Hitting the same nail with the same hammer for a very, very long time is usually what works with me," Peter Van Hoesen said recently. If there's one constant in his career, it's perfectionism. From New Beat-inspired techno to the rave-ready thrashers he's doled out this year, you expect a certain level of detail and quality from Peter Van Hoesen production. Even tracks that seem straightforward are intricate to an almost microscopic level. Van Hoesen is one of techno's most reliable artists, with a distinctive style that has endured even as trends and tastes pass him by. Dip anywhere into his catalogue—from the first Time To Express record up to his new stuff on Center 91—and you'll find music that's steely but approachable, often with a psychedelic streak. His early work cast him as a deep techno hypnotist along the lines of producers like Donato Dozzy and Cio D'or, but his work also bears a harder edge inspired by the history of Belgian techno. He's been on a decade-plus journey of refinement, and Uncovered 2008-2018, a three-part, four-and-a-half-hour compilation, offers a deeper look into that quest. It's long. It's unwieldy. And it might make you wonder why a 52-track collection of leftovers needs to exist. You'd also have a hard time pointing out any bum tracks on it. Uncovered 2008-2018 compiles studio jams, unreleased tracks, passages for live sets and edits of well-known tunes like "Face Of Smoke" and "Casual Care." You can get a sense of what's what from the track titles, which include typically cryptic names like "Portable Solution" or more utilitarian session logs like "TMM-01-Dub-Nr5." The compilations are arranged stylistically, split into three categories. Part one is ambient, number two leans downtempo and volume three is capital-T techno. It's an embarrassment of riches that should please any fan of the particular kind of contemporary "headfuck" techno Van Hoesen helped pioneer. For Hoesen heads, the compilation's ambient section will be the most intriguing. It's a side of him we haven't heard enough. His mastery of melody within techno's tight framework means he's a natural at conveying emotion without crossing the line into saccharine or simplistic clichés. In short, he's not just a techno producer making beatless tracks. The in-betweenness of tracks like "Vooropgesteld-04" and "Unlock The Heart Of The Moon" reminds me of some of his best mixes—for instance, one of his many sets at Labyrinth, or the final mnml ssgs mix. On the stunning second part of Uncovered 2008-2018, Van Hoesen trudges into the slower, heavier techno he first explored on 2010's still-astounding first album, Entropic City. With so much space amid the beats, his sounds come alive. Bass synths squelch and squiggle like organic mass. Glockenspiel-like instruments clink and thud like heavy jewelry. The compilation's set of "Chromatic" tracks, which heavily feature these sounds, are among the most appealing in Van Hoesen's vast catalog. The straight-up techno section of part three may seem less exciting by comparison. But its 12 tracks are still top notch. There's "Breals," which has the exaggerated basslines of his recent ravey material, or "Endorphin Machine Dynamics," a throbbing cut whose shimmering textures look back to Van Hoesen's early singles, when every new record was met with excitement. There are also odd diversions like "Oscar Trance Box," whose throttling bassline could make most DJs who claim to play trance in 2019 blush. Overall, the collection is meant more for completists than casual fans. But despite Uncovered 2008-2018's length, Van Hoesen's style of techno is hard to get sick of. Few of Van Hoesen's peers can match his grasp of sound design, physicality and rhythm, which makes his music fascinating, whether you're a DJ or an obsessive home listener. Uncovered 2008-2018 suggests he's one of the genre's most quietly brilliant producers.
  • Tracklist
      Uncovered 2008-2018 Vol. 1 01. Chromatic 06 Phase 1 02. Vooropgesteld-04 03. Chromatic 04 False 04. Monopoly Live Take 05. Bchlbng-6 06. Chromatic 02 07. Tmm-01-dub-nr3 08. Ang Session 1014 09. Attribute39 10. Portable Solution 11. Begin Van Iets Paars 12. Weer Een Vals Begin 13. Melbourne 14. Dorvaledit 15. Tmm-01-dub-nr5 16. Arposcar 17. Gaussian Taiko 18. Unlock The Heart Of The Moon 19. Candidate Uncovered 2008-2018 Vol. 2 01. Encapsulation 02. Outdoor Sympathy 03. Editsolopunchin19 04. Slowdisto 05. Rosegarden Funeral Of Sores feat. Jacques Trenson 06. Behind The Scorn 07. Wintergrass - Looped 08. Chromatic Intro 09. Equal Souls Divided 10. Casual Care Dub V 11. Trope 12. Exor1 13. Gadarene Rush 14. Abandon Dubmix 3 - Loop 15. Merely A Mirage 16. Rising Tide 17. Singular Fate 3 - Loop 18. Sky Ruptures 19. Fighting With Angels Uncovered 2008-2018 Vol. 3 01. Endorphin Machine Dynamics 02. Breals 03. Face Of Smoke 2015 Edit 04. Paragon 05. Phasing 06. Horizontal Shuffle 07. Certosa 08. Octosession 0001 09. Oscar Trance Box 10. Padski 11. Place Of Emergence 12. This Hidden Place 13. Vasarelli Subset D1000 14. Vooropgesteld-0