Trish Van Eynde: Belgium
Subject Detroit

The strong impression made by Trish Van Eynde's contributions to Subject Detroit's The Lost Tribe of Techno collection is nothing but enhanced by the quality of her own EP Belgium. Much like the imprint's other “auditory strikers,” this ambassador for DJ Bone's label favours a maximal style that manages to be both resolutely machine-based and emotionally-charged.

Eight minutes of glorious neo-funk techno, the nostalgic A-side opener “The Future Was Yesterday” acknowledges Detroit's techno roots while charting a way forward. In a track where layers incrimentally accumulate, “The Future Was Yesterday” bounds from the gate with a swift gallop, then segues into a stomping groove that grows heavier until a funky synthesizer motif catapults the track even further into the future. With synthetic coils repeatedly twisting themselves into labyrinthine formations, “Thinking of You” eschews beats for a heady exercise in intricate melodic cross-patterning. Inspired by a dear one's fight with life and death, Van Eynde builds up the B-side's “Softness” from layers of staccato synth melodies, bright smears, syncopated flourishes, and a percolating rhythm base, with elements dropping out and adding in throughout the track's seven-minute duration. In the most direct of the four tracks, “Finally Found You” brings the EP to a jubilant close by wedding a sing-song synth theme to a simple pumping techno pulse for seven jacking minutes. A future-funk mix of polished surfaces and precision-tooled machine rhythms, Van Eynde's alluring “science fiction soul” oozes passion while keeping its sights firmly directed towards the future. Her debut release on Subject Detroit is masterful indeed and makes much other techno, minimal or otherwise, seem antiseptic by comparison.

October 2009