Forte Techno’s next instalment comes courtesy of a four track EP from Chris Page, whose music I first began to enjoy through his live sets as ‘Kontrol Room’ with partner in crime Dave Johnys. Since then, Chris has had a number of successful releases on Silent Storm, Sonntag Morgen and the mighty Decoy Records, as well as a number of self released tracks. He also produces more left of field work via the ‘Pleasuremode’ imprint under his other alias, Ceren, which I highly recommend, and of course there was the justified hype over Blawan’s remix of his track ‘Corpus Delicti’. For this release, Chris is working under his own name, and delivers a strong package of originals and remixes…
‘Pedestrian’ opens with serious intent. Floor shattering bass rolls over a booming kick, perfectly set off by popping percussive sounds and a shaking, deconstructed hi hat. The first break comes early, and further percussion and melodic stabs arc downwards into the mix, which forges urgently ahead. The resulting groove is irresistible, peppered with breaks and subtle but effective enhancements to the melody and percussion, and elegant hint of dub running through the entire thing. This is my pick of the release, and if this doesn’t get your floor moving then there is something very wrong.
‘No more Bernards’ (what did Bernard do to us huh?) changes the tone to a more upfront and playful vibe, with solid bass and kicks providing the anchor point to plenty of experimental sounds. This is one of those tracks that sounds fairly simple at first, but then you listen deeper and realise how many elements are going on. Moving through the track a jittering, gated vocal sample comes in (I love it when this happens in techno, it’s too infrequent these days) at a breakdown that stutters and (delightfully) makes you wonder where the track is going, just for a second. Inventive, and a great counterpoint to the other tracks.
Next up Fran Hartnett, going to work on ‘Pedestrian’. Fantastic skittering rim shots steal the show early here, hammering out an insistent pace, assisted by urgent hi hats. The bassline has been taken by the scruff of the neck and mutated into a swirling monster, the reverb and distortion being cranked up on this channel to great effect as the track progresses. The final piece of the puzzle is a hypnotic, melodic sample, with a beautiful emphasis on some of the notes (reminds me of Rodhad’s productions actually), and a dramatic deconstruction towards the end of the track. A completely different take on the original.
‘Pedestrian’ then also gets the remix treatment from Timothy Alexander, treading a nagging path through sweeping synths and drones and understated percussion during its intro, underpinned by those big, big kicks. You just know it’s building to something, and as the track develops, percussive elements come to the for providing a slightly tribal melody on top of the now seething bass and notes. The intensity develops expertly through the breakdowns (big synth notes) and onwards into the tunnelling groove, very fine work.
In summary this is yet another solid offering on the Forte Techno imprint, offering really good variety – it can be tricky to offer three versions of a track that stand equally in their own right, and this is testament to the strength of Chris’s original track. A big thumbs up from me.
‘Criminal Mundanity’ by Chris Page is Forte022, available 20 September 2016, and can be purchased directly from the links below: