For Refracted, music revolves around connections and the way in which it speaks to you in the unique voice that only you can hear. Within the electronic music sphere, techno in particular is Refracted’s medium to find his voice, and thus to connect. It has been made clear over the past few years that a growing number of people want more from techno than just a formulaic soundtrack to dance to, instead they want to connect with this particular vision and peculiar sound. This might be because Refracted’s music feels as fundamentally human as it sounds otherworldly. It’s a version of techno that resonates more as an idea and conduit, rather than an easily-labeled sound. It is a kind of dance music where layered rhythms act almost on a neural, sub epidermal level, whilst moving and evolving soundscapes acquire a tactile, understated physicality. Examples of this can be found on Refracted’s very own Mind Express label and on his releases with celebrated labels such as Canadian ambient/deep-techno imprint Silent Season, and Oscar Mulero’s imprint, Pole Group. Refracted favours unflinching quality over quantity.
The dynamic created by this yearning to displace us from space and self, while rooted in an elemental, naturalistic approach are the foundations of Refracted’s DJing. His sets are spiritual and almost meditative, as they possess a kinetic energy that will move any dance floor. He wants to take us somewhere, the ‘where’ being of our own choosing, the trail never being the most travelled.
When chatting to Refracted, he mentioned that he’s currently finding himself in a bit of a transition period. Over the past few years, Refracted has been focussed on building his techno profile, so much so that he has neglected a lot of time to focus on the more experimental passions that he possesses. Thus, due to everything that has happened over the past year, Refracted has found himself digging deeper into the production side of drone and ambient music which he hopes to share more of through performances and releases. A new EP is coming in the next few months. Be ready.
1. Eliane Radigue – Adnos I-III
Born in Paris, Eliane Radigue studied electroacoustic music techniques at the Studio d’essai in the RTF and later worked at New York University School of the Arts in 1970, whilst her music was attracting considerable attention for its sensitive, dappled purity. Becoming a Tibetan Buddhist in 1975, Radigue stopped composing for a while until she kick started her career again in 1979 with more work using her signature Arp synthesizer. Her Adnos I-III trilogy was composed between 1973 and 1980, and is amongst her finest compositions. A departure from the variable and infinite duration pieces of her early period, the Adnos trilogy plunges listeners into the fathomless depths that would have come to define Radigue’s late style. The immersive psychoacoustic effects extend the limitless qualities of her earlier installation work by allowing each listener to create their own subjective experience.
Tracklist: A1. Adnos I A2. Adnos II B1. Adnos III [Released: 12.06.02 on Important Records]
2. Prince Of Denmark – To The Fifty Engineers
Traumprinz is an ambient techno producer hailing from Hannover, whose work has inspired a ravenous cult following. Up until 2017, nearly all of his music appeared on the elusive German techno label called Giegling, whereupon his euphoric tracks often utilized heart tugging emotions whilst incorporating echo-covered soul or gospel samples. Although his real name hasn’t been disclosed, he has produced work under the moniker Prince Of Denmark which exhibits more of a dub-techno influence. Perhaps one of his most popular pieces of work came in the form of To The Fifty Engineers. Released on Giegling, the EP is a dusty techno record containing tracks that slowly rise above the layers of swampy dubby sounds and then brighten up to reveal a rather beautiful finale. Full of gentle seductive sounds, this is not one to be missed.
Tracklist: A1. To The Fifty Engineers A2. Countless Words Illuminated B1. Prypjat [Released: 10.09.14 on Giegling]
3. Shackleton & Zimple – Primal Forms
In a world seemingly hellbent on tearing itself apart, it makes perfect sense for two musicians from such disparate backgrounds and disciplines to come together to create a fresh musical vernacular. Sam Shackleton, returning on Cosmo Rhythmatic after his previous outing on the label as Tunes of Negation, and Polish multi-instrumentalist Walcaw Zimple have joined forces. Their offering is a new album for the label, or three long tracks full of spiritual introspection and ascensional energy. By joining Zimple’s demanding multi-layered experience in Avant-garde jazz with Shackleton’s mathematical, esoteric lyricism, the pair have used all the tools at their disposal as they aim for a new form of ritual trance music.
Tracklist: A1. Primal Forms A2. Primal Drones B1. Ruined Future [Released: 01.08.20 on Cosmo Rhythmatic]
4. Rhythm & Sound – Carrier
Rhythm & Sound was the project that Mark Ernestus and Moritz von Oswald turned to after their seminal series of recordings as Basic Channel came to an end. From 1997 until 2002, the label released seven 12” EP’s which pretty much defined the direction that so much electronic music would turn to in its wake and it still continues to exert a colossal influence. A decade later, these tracks sound like nothing that’s ever preceded them. They essentially took the essence of dub and broke it down until all that was left was a vapour trail of melody and a colossal bass echo. Carrier was the fifth release on Basic Channel and offers a twenty minute trip into the depths of fractured dub.
Tracklist: A1. Carrier A2. Density B1. Outward [Released: 06.06.19 on Basic Channel]
5. Peverilist – Roll With The Punches
Peverelist, aka Perv aka Tom Ford, is the Bristol-based visionary behind Livity Sound and Punch Drunk records who has spent almost two decades at the cutting edge of UK underground dance music. As the lynchpin in modern Bristollian electronic music, Peverelist’s music is techno at heart but dubstep in name, as his music bridges the gap between the hypnotic minimal patterns of techno and the heavyweight polyrhythmic machinations of dubstep. With a vision for helping local artists, Peverelist’s label Punch Drunk continues to make huge waves and has also provided a platform for personal releases such as Roll With The Punches. It is this particular EP that must be highlighted, not just for Drake’s sample of Roll With The Punches, but for the records simplistic use of elongated synths and cushioned pads. The two track sensation is a must listen.
Tracklist: A1. Roll With The Punches A2. Die Brucke [Released: 30.11.18 on Drunk Punch]