Originally formed out of a Belgian party organisation back in 2009, the De:tuned label has spent the last decade building up an impressive backcatalogue of releases, with last year’s albums from Luke Vibert and Peshay being recent highlights. There’s always been an eclectic and open minded nature to De:tuned’s aesthetic, and the label’s new ten-part ‘DE:10’ series highlights this, with each ensuing 12” EP exploring a different facet of the label’s roster ranging from drum and bass through to techno.
For this second volume in the series ‘DE:10:02’ the focus falls firmly upon ambient techno, the added treat being that the three tracks here are unreleased new exclusives from some of that genre’s most renowned names. On the A-side, Sun Electric make a welcome reappearance with one of their first new tracks in years, ‘Every Now And Then’, which emerges from blissful glimmering ambient pads and dubbed-out squelches before shifting forward into fluttering, off-centre rhythms and elegant rippling synth arpeggios – just as everything starts to drift off into ambient reverie, the emergence of lazy guitar chords and muted dub-bass wobbles starts to shake things awake.
Higher Intelligence Agency’s ‘Shift’ kicks the pace up a few notches, its collision of sheeny electro rhythms, glittering dubbed-out FX and airy synth pads calling to mind the ‘Artificial Intelligence’-era IDM of The Black Dog and B12 as the deep bass tones swell against the busily modulated sequences.
On the flipside, DeepChord closes this EP with ‘Garden’, taking things off on a ten minute wander through deep, dubbed-out techno landscapes as muted 4/4 kickdrums and clicking snares glide lazily beneath a backdrop of swirling ambient synth trails and heartbeat-like bass, the rhythms only really starting to build up a sense of dancefloor inertia towards the end. Excellent stuff – and ambient house / techno heads are likely to rejoice at the long-awaited return of the artists featured here.