Rave Tuga is a brand new sublabel recently launched by Portuguese label Paraiso with the express purpose of aiding activist organisations seeking parity, with this latest collection ‘Rave Tuga Vol. II’ offering up the second in a series of four cassette / download compilations showcasing the work of local electronic producers.
While there’s certainly frequent rave-inspired elements to be found amongst the twelve tracks collected here, the focus falls mainly upon techno and house ranging from more stripped-down minimalism right through to peaktime floorfillers. Slug Beetle’s ‘Etheralismo’ sits closer to the former end of the spectrum as a tentatively creeping sub-bass pulse gives way to layers of clicking snare rolls and dubbed-out scat vocals, the buzzing synth stabs that cut through the mix adding the one sharp-focus element amidst the track’s blurred, woozy-sounding layers.
If the aforementioned track carries a slight hint of Basic Channel / Rhythm & Sound’s dubby techno aesthetic, 2Jack4U’s ‘808-10’ aims closer to the heart of darkness as throbbing EBM bass sequences intersect with rolling 808 snares and flickering hi-hats as filtered acid squeals gradually increase in intensity before locking back in against the surging electronics, in an offering that’s likely to go down well with fans of the likes of Dave Clarke and Terence Fixmer.
Elsewhere, Sabre’s ‘Altar Gilder’ conjures up flashbacks to ‘Pacific’-era 808 State as stacked snares crash against dry rattling kicks, warm analogue bass and colourful rave stabs, before Elite Athlete’s ‘Portgual Radical’ gets deep and dark, sending echoing percussion arcing off crisp 4/4 house rhythms as sheeny synths build a moody Italo-flavoured sense of atmosphere around an insistent disco-fuelled bass pulse and rolling cowbells.
There’s pretty much something for listeners of all techno / house tastes on offer here, the added bonus being that to a non-Portuguese audience, most of the names featured here are likely to be previously unfamiliar. With a high level of quality control on show, ‘Rave Tuga Vol. II’ is well worth checking out.