Extrawelt: Doch Doch

SLG: Nine Hours

Swat-Squad: Escoria Remixes: Audio Werner / Ryan Crosson / Franklin de Costa

Three new EPs from the Traum/Trapez headquarters find Extrawelt, SLG, and others spinning compelling variations on the label's minimal tech-house template. First up is Hamburg-based duo Arne Schaffhausen and Wayan Raabe whose Extrawelt moniker (‘parallel world') is aptly-chosen, if the ethereal night crawlers “Doch Doch” and “Last Past” are representative of its style. Jittery, sleek, and stabbing, the former cultivates a foreboding mood, with percolating percussive patterns countered by surging bass squelches, while writhing bass lines and handclap slaps give “Last Past” a pulsating electro thrust. The duo's dark tunes are tailor-made for tooling through the deserted city-streets at 4 am.

SLG (Lukasz Seliga of Lodz , Poland ) follows up his Level Records 12-inch Quarter Past Eleven with the seriously jacking Nine Hours disc, the title cut a blinding, post-Detroit raver. With its lightly shuffling pads and nocturnal creature chatter, the B-side's “Sleepless” approximates the disoriented mental state of a desperate insomniac.

Commissioned by Trapez to remix “Escoria,” Audio Werner (Andreas Werner), Ryan Crosson, and Franklin de Costa devise three grooving variations on the Swat-Squad original. Propelled by a rolling bass undercurrent, Audio Werner's nine-minute take drapes an encyclopedia array of clicks, clangs, and whirrs over a swinging house strut, the tune segueing from an early breakdown into smothering overdrive before settling into a soft shuffle. Crosson gives his version a jacking overhaul, with engine revs adding steely grit to its banging strut, while de Costa sprays the tune with all manner of wiry splashes, buzzing squelches, and owl-like hoots.

September 2006