Established in 2008 by label head Paul Boex, Dutch label Dynamic Reflection have spent the last decade consistently championing forward-thinking techno sounds, and as its title suggests, this sprawling compilation ‘Continuum’ (available as either a lavish boxset or five separate but intertwined 12” EPs) celebrates its tenth anniversary with artist contributions from right across the label’s roster.
That all 20 of the tracks included here are previously unreleased exclusives considerably adds to the interest factor here, if Dynamic Reflection’s established high standards weren’t already recommendation enough. There’s also a nice balance between bigger names and lesser known producers, as well as a global reach. For the most part, the emphasis falls upon dark, digitally sculpted textures, with the focus falling upon streamlined tumbling rhythms and precisely-honed programming.
Blawan’s ‘The Narrowing’ pits staccato, fractured sounding percussion against relentlessly pounding kickdrums and sudden bursts of contorted synth horns, the sense of claustrophobia continually building as volleys of house hi-hats sparkle amidst the muted shades. It’s fairly indicative of the tooth-rattling pace on display here, with Keith Carnal’s throbbing ‘Indecent’ opting for a furious ride through knife-sharp snares and rattling kicks that sees juddering electro synths reaching out like tendrils against the steel-plated rhythms.
US producer Matrixxman’s ‘O00O00O’ meanwhile sends glittering shards of percussion tumbling through space against static-bust snares and eerie machine bleeps, in an offering that’s far more pared down and minimalist, yet no less energetic. Elsewhere, Woo York’s ‘Elusive’ gets deeper and more subliminal as subtle electro sequences trace a path against muted kickdrums and dark bass grooves, dubbed-out synth sequences echoing like sonar pulses against burbling arpeggios and delayed out handclaps, in what’s easily the most nightdrive-oriented track on offer here. Through the tracklisting here, it’s the quality levels that remain consistently high, making ‘Continuum’ easily one of the strongest techno compilations I’ve heard this year.