Melbourne has been a hotbed of 303-driven acid since the early 1990s. Back then – at the height of the rave scene – producers from all around the world would ship their beloved Roland TB-303s to Melbourne to have them modded by electrical engineer Robin Whittle. Robin would perform his legendary Devilfish mod and then send them back to Detroit, Cologne, Frankfurt, London, Ghent. Then records produced with those modded 303s would filter back to the local shops and sit alongside records by local producers. Skip forward 25 years and those 303 sounds have remained as familiar and persistent as ever – a template that seems to continue to throw out surprising variants.
Melbourne producer dyLAB has been active for around ten years releasing a wealth of different experiments with analogue synths from harsh gritty industrial acid techno to slow melodic 303 workouts. With releases and remixes on labels all around the world, a new set of self-released material ‘Library Sessions’ recorded at the State Library of Victoria late last year up on Bandcamp for Acid Worx, and a few live shows on the near horizon, Cyclic Defrost asked him to pull together his rave inspirations.
I chose 10 records from my own record collection that would make a kind of dream mix. If I was to play records out rather than playing live sets it would be a bit like this, a mix of banging acid and old school breakbeats, and pretty much how I go about loading up my sampler for my live sets.
Unique 3 – Rhythm Takes Control
On the subject of bass weight this tune has it in bucket loads. I’d love to hear this on a big rig or something like the Melbourne reggae crew, Heartical Sound System. Though not sure I’d play vocal or non-vocal version, they both are ace. This bass bleeping slow starter.
Earth Leakage Trip – No Idea
Keeping in the theme of lots of bass to get the room humming, screams and seagulls then the break drops. Such a good tune. Not too fast either so not a big jump from last tune.
Project One – It’s Driving Me
Great sample, dirty lead synth, sub bass and rough break beats. This one picks things up pace wise and gets things moving along nicely.
Final Exposure – Vortex
Jumping from breakbeat to four to the floor. The Beltram on plus 8 crescendo tune, this one is taking you up and up and up some more.
After all that bass it’s good to contrast with some high pitched screaming and change tone, texture and pace.
Sysex – Intruder
Moving in heavy acid territory with this one. Something harder and deeper, the whole EP is a great one this has the brief pause then goes right into it, claps, rims and toms sound fantastic on this.
Edge Of Motion – Set Up 707
When I think about going a bit harder it’s this power acid track from Edge of Motion that points me in the right direction. This has got the growling acid lines that build it up then slams you when the drums drop. A Full body acid experience and a masterpiece of hard acid, I hope your trip was as seductive as mine J.
4 Hero – Mr Kirk’s Nightmare
From hard acid back to breakbeat with something much darker. Also because no one plays this out anymore, the beat is infectious, the bleeps and bass are sublime. Perfect contrast of music and message, and bleeps for days and bass bin wrecker.
F.U.S.E. – Substance Abuse
When Ritchie used to make good tunes and perfect thematic link from the last tune. This is some pure dark brooding acid. Great tune.
ACEN – Close Your Eyes (Remix I)
Keeping he theme running from Mr Kirks Nightmare – the use of the Beatles sample on this is perfect, the loose beats at the start and way it builds, proper lost it rave tune, nice and dark, especially that Beatles break/ overdose contrast .
Underground Resistance – The Final Frontier
The end of the show and this one sets the scene for the next DJ, the perfect acid electro tune. The pads, the beats and the acid line all work together so well and brings us back to the light from the last three slightly darker thematic tunes.
dyLAB plays live at the next Acid Slice party at Boney on July 6th, and his self released recordings can be sourced on Bandcamp. His remixes and tracks for other labels are listed on his website AcidBoxBlues, alongside samples and even 303 patterns.