Techno, much like other electronic music with old roots, has morphed and expanded with the rise of the broader genre’s growth in popularity. Specifically for techno, some of the inclusions to more recently typify the genre have arguably carried a lighter but almost groovier demeanor. Dubfire’s label SCI+TEC has consistently made strides in developing its own brand of this sound, and Maksim Dark’s “Acidstage” EP puts the brand’s strengths on full display.
Minimal, dark, funky, and possibly borderline repetitive, SCI+TEC releases often strive to rock the seats of their listeners but their success at doing so is difficult to pinpoint. Common ingredients like a kick-clap pattern and eerie vocal track are usually sprinkled in but, more often than not, to little effect. Right off the bat with “Harpsichord”, these label staples are fired off but undeniably come together in a more elegant and cohesive fashion. “Basserwiser” and “Coneblower” only add to the package and demonstrate Maksim Dark’s achievement of the smooth layering of simplistic elements that characterize past SCI+TEC hits. Whether this is good for the label or genre is a matter of personal taste, but the EP undeniably does what SCI+TEC does best in the niche this family has carved out for itself: a home for a seat-rocking, bounce-inducing techno/house lovechild.