Holgi Star & Harry Axt: Roadtrip

Kiddaz.FM showcases its formidable techno wares in this hefty double-disc set (thirty-five tracks) from road-trippers Holgi Star (label co-owner) and Harry Axt. Featuring peak-time bangers and all manner of jacking house and techno cuts, much of it centers on Kiddaz.FM though not exclusively (representatives from Ovum, Snork Enterprises, and Poker Flat also appear).

Holgi Star gets the first half, Harry Axt the second. Star takes a fervently jacking, tripped-out, and bass-rumbling trip that'll leave clubbers short of breathe by the time they cross the seventy-three-minute finish line. It certainly starts strongly: just when you think DJ Emerson's remix of Flinsch'n'Nielson's “Korea Tabs” is going to be skeletal, slice'n'diced techno, an Indian singer's undulating voice comes into view to take the cut to another level (an effect revisited in Heinrichs & Hirtenfellner's “Ear Worm”). With the pulsating charge of Marc dePulse's “87 Remember” dropping next, Star wastes no time in elevating the mix to peak-time levels. Lightning synth showers drench the flaming dub charge of Marcus Meinhardt's re-rub of Harada's “Conscious Movements,” and no shortage of tightly-coiled, rubbery grooves and build-ups follow, with storming tracks by Transistor (“Alpha”), Heckmann (“Silverscreen”), and Chris Liebing (“Bang Bop”) among the thunderous colossi.

Axt's set also starts memorably with an occasionally shredded voice hook (“What a shitty trip with the bus”) gracing Robag Wruhme's slinky makeover of Peter Lauer's “Free Entry For Girls” and rolls on through nineteen more in an exhausting eighty-minute mix. Though the feel's a little less propulsive in the second half, with Axt treading a slightly less ferocious path compared to Star, the basic groove never falters when Jesse Rose & Oliver $'s funky “Wake Up,” ESP Woody Mcbride's acid raver “Dr. J,” and DJ Hmc's electro-techno “Track 2” appear. Late arrivals by Pele & Shokh (“Thumbs”), Magik Johnson (a clockwork makeover by Claude Vonstroke of “Scanning For Viruses”), and Daniel Steinberg's wacky “I Like To Be” push the mix into more experimental techno territory (the latter's loopy voice shredding of “What would I like to be? A track? A train? An airplane?” a good example). As dusk falls, “Heroin” pulls into the drive to bring Star and Axt's long but adventurous trip to a (thankfully) cautionary close.

August 2008