- Seven records in—nearly two dozen, if you count digital-only releases—Munich's Ilian Tape finally coaxes a proper two-track single out of Dario Zenker, who co-runs the label with his brother Marco. As the title "10 AM" suggests, this is a track made for a very specific context in mind: it's undoubtedly techno, and aimed at the early morning hours. But you won't need to look at a clock to know that the peak hour is long past, once this comes on. The energy is hardly flagging; it's more that it has dug in for the long haul, girding itself with a stolid bassline, steadfast hi-hat patter and rattling sheets of white noise that mimic the ceiling coming down in great, flaky chunks. What it might lack in Ben Klock or Marcel Dettmann's relentlessness, it makes up for in a gorgeous blossoming of chords in the latter third—soft, luminous shapes that take the track to an unexpected place, more pastoral than industrial.
"Farrel" is a similarly dusky affair, but it's somehow far livelier, despite the fact that its beat structure isn't that different from "10 AM." Here, though, the swing is more pronounced, thanks to the rhythmic interplay between shakers and a nimble little handclap pattern: there's something almost sexy about it, with velvety chords veiling a slinky, irrepressible groove. Crucially, there's no four-to-the-floor downbeat; the tune reserves its kicks for the one and the three, giving it a fleetness of foot that's unusual for such resolutely techno atmospheres.
A 10 AM