VA: Tech My House 5

Anyone wanting to know what to expect from an Elektrotribe release could do a whole lot worse than use Tech My House 5 as a starting point. The label's fifth compilation brings its particular brand of tech-house into clear focus through the contributions of ten newly produced tracks by Elektrotribe artists. Though one's first thought might be that the release's singular focus will make it too one-dimensional, it turns out to be a fairly wide-ranging affair thanks to the contributors involved, and, as one would expect, the material is consistently club-ready, with high-rolling cuts such as Beatmörtelz's trippy “Das Abwesen” and Humantronic's kinetic “Kilei” standing out as especially enticing examples of the form. And lest anyone think the material's low in heat, Drauf & Dran's “Moonwalk” should lay that to rest immediately.

An overview of the album's tracks captures its diversity. An effective scene-setter, Animaltek's “Step Over” is a solid sampling of shimmying tech-house funk that's given a jazzy twist through the addition of vibraphone playing. In the jaunty “One Hour,” D2B twists its jacking swing and strut into nine, bass-rolling minutes of rave-ready build-ups, breakdowns, and drop-outs. An insistent and wiry bass pulse and locomotive hi-hat-driven groove gives Sascha Dragheim's “Asamblea” a strong sense of urgency, and Dragheim even manages to sneak a zither sample into the musical storm. Moog Conspiracy's “Once Upon A Time” serves up electro-powered zing and snap, while David Londono's “Young Spirit” bulldozes with the force of an elephant stampede. Truth be told, a few tracks come dangerously close to sounding like generic minimal techno (Breger's listless “Bitte Sei So Gut,” for example), and some of the material could be whittled down a minute or two, given that more than half of the ten pieces weigh in at seven-plus minutes apiece. But they are conceived to be club tracks, after all, so that they stretch out shouldn't come as a surprise.

January 2012