The German Techno label announced recently that after 10 years it would be shutting down the label after 50 releases (how poetic). To send it off in style some of the label’s best artists have come together for a series of EPs, all ominously clad with a headstone as cover art, demonstrates the techno-powerhouse that this label had become. We’ll look at a couple select pieces from this recent run of EPs with tracks from Benjamin Damage, Doc Daneeka, Phon.o, and more.
Phon.o’s breathy “Tw33tz” is a perfect place to start. It feels dark and somber, almost elegaeic to a certain extent, but grows into an uplifting wave of emotion as synths grow brighter and the vibe becomes more celebratory. The track has ravey sounds like an underground version of old-school Deadmau5 but that comparison feels less like a compliment nowadays. “Tw33tz” is definitely a hidden gem of a track that you should go support right now.
Cosmin TRG takes things a bit more minimal with “Narr Day Remodulated.” The whirring beat sounds like a distant helicopter coming in and out of focus while hollow notes delineate the landscape. A definite warehouse vibe to the track it shows us another facet of this label’s diverse sound.
Benjamin Damage & Doc Daneeka’s “Kansas” almost sounds like a heavier take on “Narr Day” with the same whirring percussion that lurks in the background against a churning beat. That is until a spaced out synth melody takes over the track moving it up into the spectral plane. It goes bouncy warehouse tune to ambient 2 AM heartbreaker back to a heater over the course of 8 glorious minutes. This odyssey of a track feels industrial but pastoral like its namesake state.
50 Weapons’ last release will fittingly come from German duo Modeselektor who have long been at the helm of the label. But they’ve already remixed one of the other releases at the halfway point of their final run of releases and perhaps it offers a glimpse into what they’re planning for their final bow. Their “Dark Planet” Remix has a weird warbling melody that steadily grows more in more chaotic until its reigned in by half-tempo broken beat. With some hallmarks of Modeselektor’s production like brushed bass and abstract hip-hop type rhythms they manage to turn a pretty conventional into something completely new and attractive.
We’ll miss you 50 Weapons.