Deepbass: Counter Culture EP
Informa Records

Though the Counter Culture EP is only the second release from Informa Records, it nevertheless sounds as if the label's already got its identity clearly sorted out. To some degree that can be accounted for by the fact that both of the releases have come from the label's head, Glasgow-based producer Deepbass, who in this case supplements two originals with remixes from Schermate and Modern Heads. The first original, “Maya,” makes good on the EP's stated objective, which is to merge dark ambient soundscaping with intelligent techno. This particular cut rolls out a glorious, industrial-strength thump that could just as easily pass for the latest missive from Stroboscopic Artefacts as Informa. The music sounds like its pushing its way through a thick fog with the driving hi-hat-and-bass-drum pulse the primary means for doing so. The accompanying remix from Modern Heads only strengthens that impression, as Italy's Dino Sabatini and Gianluca Meloni have also issued music on Prologue, LINEAL, and, yes, Stroboscopic Artefacts. The makeover throbs even more insistently than the original, as Sabatini and Meloni amp up the track's groove until it feels ready to detonate. One could easily imagine “Nil” to be Deepbass's reply to the Modern Heads' track, so intensely does it pound. If anything, the second original likewise invites the Stroboscopic Aretfacts association, given the depths of the track's atmospheric design. A second Italian production team, Alessandro Larice and Stefano Greppi (aka Schermate), overhaul “Nil” in such a way that both the forward momentum and ambient sweep of the original are retained, but they also turn it into something more epic by stretching it out to ten minutes and accentuating its syncopated side. The EP's style is dark and experimental techno that's equally focused on groove and artfulness, and on pushing the electronic genre into the future. Imagine some glorious spawn of Stroboscopic Artefacts and Chain Reaction, and you'll have some idea of how Counter Culture EP sounds.

May 2011