Over the past twenty years, Insolate has been establishing herself as a global DJ and producer, becoming a key component of the Croatian techno scene whilst also heading her very own Out Of Place label and their electrifying TRAUM events. Hailing from Osijek, located on the wide Croatian East, Insolate first found her passion for music in the late 90s and has since developed her skills to become one of the very best Croatian techno artists to date. As a DJ, the techno titan is well known for her no-compromise, pure-bred techno sets. It is very clear to anyone who’s had the pleasure of seeing her perform that Insolate is an artist with a lot of experience but also plenty of inspiration and ambition, with a deep knowledge for techno. 

As mentioned before, Insolate has been spearheading the techno scene within Croatia, so much so that she was in Ibiza to receive the award for ‘Dance Nation of the Year’ at the DJ Awards on behalf of her nation. Over the years, she has hosted an event series called TRAUM with her long-term partner in crime Volster, cementing their place in the clubbing calendar with high-quality artists such as Paula Temple, Antigone, Cassegrain, Etapp Kyle and Milton Bradley, to name a few. The resulting success has caught the attention of Red Bull Music Academy and Dimension, both of which they have hosted official events for. In further attempts to put Osijek on the map, the duo set up a successful record label called Out Of Place, named in honour of the beautiful struggle of carving your way into the scene from a place that’s well off the grid from the traditional capitals of techno. The platform is used to release tracks without judgement from third parties. There have already been fantastic releases from the likes of JoeFarr, Janice and Francois X, but most recently the label has dropped a four-track killer full of cold and hypnotic techno from Assumption. 

As a producer, Insolate has had a string of popular releases and has records on respected labels such as Deeply Rooted, Singular and Modularz which has been supported by techno’s finest includings DVS1, Dax J and Laurent Garnier. Having released her Desire EP on JoeFarr’s new User Experience imprint, Insolate has also released an EP for Suara and Proletarijat, as well as contributing to the likes of Ben Sim’s compilation Tribology. In 2019, she dropped her debut album Order is Chaos and more recently has released a stunning four-track EP Renew on her own imprint. Insolate has done a huge amount for the techno scene already and it is clear she has no plans on stopping.

1. Amotik – Daya EP [BPitch]

Released on BPitch, Berlin-based producer Amotik is back with his self-released EP called Daya. Having spent the past couple of years working on several EP’s and an album, his minimalistic and hypnotic take on techno caught the ear of BPitch boss Ellen Allien some time ago, resulting in his recent appearance on the highly-regarded label. Containing four powerful cuts, the record radiates undulating low frequencies and nuanced composition designed to target mind, body and spirit. Opening track Baya submerges the listener in a low density surrounded by energy, tension and effective organ key samples whilst the following track Daya utilises muffled spoken words and haunting production to create a kick heavy environment. On the flip, Aage provides a busy soundtrack full of trance-inducing riff cascades while the beats and bass pepper the body with a hail of jabs. Lastly, Peeche blends potent percussive elements with a serene top end, locking the listener into a groove full of spiritual transcendence. Amotik never disappoints.

A1. Baya
A2. Daya
B1. Aage
B2. Peeche

[Released: 30.10.20 on BPitch Berlin]

2. Various Artists – Stretching Ohms [Delinquent Delivery]

The latest record from Delinquent Delivery sees label-head Stephen Mahoney round up five of Dublin’s most prolific producers. Stuey Lyons, Jon Hussey, Jack Jennings, Stephen Mahoney and Rustal have all contributed to Stretching Ohms for their fifth release as the record showcases the finest direct techno. With over forty years of experience between them, Stuey Lyons and Jon Hussey have teamed up for the opener Stretching Ohms which provides a dancefloor banger full of dark, pensive and groove orientated samples. Never deviating far from its source, it makes for a useful techno tool in any DJ’s arsenal. A2 is another dance floor directed number and features a dissonant lead married with a swinging percussive section which creates an infectious groove. On the flip are two commanding techno bangers which are direct and perfect for late night sets. Stretching Ohms delivers high-octane dancefloor driven bangers of the highest quality. Each track differs in style, but combined they all have similar DNA…they’re all made in Dublin.

A1. Stuey Lyons & Jon Hussey – Stretching Ohms
A2. Jack Jennings – Distant Effect
B1. Stephen Mahoney – Nefarious Tactics
B2. Rustal – Hydropump

[Released: 26.10.20 on Delinquent Delivery]

3. Various Artists – Fuga II [Token Records]

Following on from Fuga I, Token returns with its second installment featuring new and exciting talents alongside more established players within the genre. Spread across eight tracks, the release continues in the same vein as its predecessor presenting a collection of reduced techno recordings in equal parts atmospheric as they are functional. The compilation develops gently, opening with the likes of JRD;s undulating workout Purple Blades, followed closely by Dutch Stalwart Deniro’s crisp riser Silhouette. ORBE features a stylish acid driven Motor opens up the peak time territory. Pfirter toys with big room kick drums on Cyclic Model, whilst Dustin Zahn turns in a compilation highlight with The Organ Trail, an incessant, heads-down workout. The Lady Machine keeps the energy rolling with Resilience and Arthur Robert’s closer Illegal Gatherings provides an off-kilter conclusion to the compilation release. The compilation is a continuation of the motives and constructions explored in the first entry, advancing them to some degree and introducing new characters to Token. Enjoy this.

A1. JRD – Purple Blades
A2. Deniro – Silhouette
B1. JSSL – Blush
B2. ORBE – Motor

[Released: 27.11.20 on Token]

4. Setaoc Mass – Neo-Noir [SK_eleven]

Setaoc Mass is part of a select cut of young artists who are absorbing techno’s legacy and carrying it into tomorrow. Whilst overseeing his own imprint SK_eleven, his records push a galvanising brand of techno, stepped in a sense of urgency, ever propulsive with acute detailing and nods to a futuristic space age. In addition to this, a debut release on Len Faki’s Figure caught the eye of some of the scenes most respected producers. As a selector, the Mancunian’s extended DJ sets pull from an expansive spectrum of material both new and old. After a one year hiatus, Setaoc Mass has returned to his very own SK11 imprint with a fresh double EP pack Neo-Noir. Drawing on influences from the past and present, the productions explore the full spectrum between functional and experimental, moving between the perpetual drive, bleep ridden opener Inferno all the way to rolling cuts of Technique and Neo-Noir. The second disc reverts back to re-fix its floor focus with atmospheric shuffles and intense minimalism which sets a crisp techno framework. Setaoc Mass is back.

A1. Inferno
A2. Technique
B1. Neo-Noir
B2. Moon Lit Eyes

[Released: 22.09.20 on SK_eleven]

5. Various Artists – Marc04 [Demarcation]

For their fourth release, Demarcation have recently delivered a four-track EP full of heavy bass laden techno cuts that are sure to take the roof off any dance floor. Featuring on the record is Philippe Petit, Lee Holman, Albert Van Abbe and the one and only Sev Dah. Bosnian born and bred, Sev Dah is a versatile yet headstrong DJ that can gently ease a thumb in at midnight or fervently thrust it down the hatch at peak time. Already signed to respected labels such as Random Island, Mote-Evolver and Komisch, Sev is also managing brand new projects on his very own imprint Proletarijat and his releases are must haves for any techno fan. Track 1 on Marc04 is simply a snippet of the established artist.

A1. Sev Dah – Track 1
A2. Philippe Petit – Track 2
B1. Lee Holman – Track 3
B2. Albert Van Abbe – Track 4

[Released: 21.09.20 on Demarcation]

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Thanks to Insolate.

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