Onium & Ivan Torres - Dub Excursions (Harmonious Discord)

As winter lingers longer than expected, waves of indecisive weather permeate the planet. The Harmonious Discord camp is picking up on deep connotations distilled in dreary afternoons. It’s a perfect time to revisit some of the label’s dub-minded artists with a special collaboration called Dub Excursions. Dub Excursions features label familiar Onium as well as two rising stars in the expansive dub techno arena, Ivan Torres and James Kelley.

Onium’s “Intentions” is a breathing invitation to rise. Artifacts of ambient works and eco-botanal shades temper organic dub influences with expressive synthesizer design. Cascading momentum drives this pensive powerhouse to a floaty array of melodic bliss. Next, “Perceptions” compliments “Intentions” as that selection set the path and “Perceptions” moves things deeper. The soundscape is filled with vinyl remnants and complex pads, but the other elements bring a more aggressive techno flavor to the later sections.

Dub 7,” the EP’s first cut from Ivan Torres, cracks a smile in this rather serious project. It begins with evolving pads and a muted, dusty drum machine. The cut starts to open up in the middle with brushes of melodic leads that dance in-between the lush soundscapes. Its successor “Dub 8” is a good order sharper. Driving interstellar melodies and tense bass deliver on the dance-floor presence of Ivan’s contribution. Expect more from Ivan to come on Harmonious Discord.

On the remix tip, longtime Dallas-based sleeper sensation James Kelley (Subspec/Momentum League) drives the subtle but tense properties of “Intentions” into a skin-crawling warehouse techno piece. The once calming breaths now breed uncertainty as James layers on heady atmospheres. James gives us a crippling bass-bin workout for the after hours.

Nice Warren (The Soundgarden) – “A great EP!”
Anthony Pappa (Red Light District) – “Cool EP. I love ‘Intentions’. Some nice tracks that will be used.”
Greg Gow (Transmat) – “Love this EP. Nice and moody and deep.”
Craig Steward (DCSTrax) – “Stunning deepness here. Absolutely superb, great work!”
Haris Custovic (Laus Music) – “This is super!”
Jean Jérome (Kut ‘N’ Paste) – “Lovely deep vibes, will play.”
Taigo Onez (Bang Le’ Dex) – “James Kelley comes correct with the righteousness. Great tracks by Ivan Torres.”
Simon Kirk (Stag Beetle Radio Show) – “Breathtaking stuff here. Love it.”
Sharlese (KEXP) – “Nice chill vibe sounds.”
juSt b (Melodic Deep) – “Great collection! I love ‘Intentions’ – such warm, inviting & dreamy vibes with such a fierce remix!”

Available Now From: Beatport, Traxsource, Apple Music, And Spotify.

Steve Balance - Shade One (Harmonious Discord)

Harmonious Discord’s first selection of the year is from Austin-based tech-house producer Steve Balance (Headset, Bunchlox). Steve is a foundational pillar of the vibrant city’s underground. His humble nature and thoughtful approach have always been front and center in his music. Shade One is Steve Balance’s first project with Harmonious Discord and features remixes from Jeff Scroggin (Denied Music) and newcomer Ajay Kapoor.

The clever “Wander Ring” starts the release, a syncopated, tracky number with finely-enveloped synth washes. The disorienting nature of the musical components are well-tempered with the playful nature of the accompanying drums. Bearded Viking-prince Jeff Scroggin returns to the label to remix “Wander Ring” into a Detroit-style mindful tech masterpiece. Jeff uses vocal sampling and reverb tails to drift from section-to-section while sonic elements dance back and forth.

Shade One” shares the syncopated structure but adds a dash of jack. Pervasive, almost chanting, drum collisions roll into a muddled cascade of arpeggiated synthesizers. Ajay Kapoor joins the label as a fresh-faced talent with an evil disco sound. Ajay borrows the synthetic structure of “Shade One” on his rework but plays with the pitch to create a harmonic, moaning cadence. Coupled with the heavy disco drums, this remix occupies a unique hour in the night.

The release closes with “Resplendent,” an industrious, dark, and troubled love song. Steve Balance flexes multiple muscles in this handy dance floor expedition.

DJ P-REZ (Not So Fast Records) – “Some good stuff for those naughty late nights.”
Lee Jones / Country Gents (Buslife) – “Ajay Kapoors mix is really cool.”
Haris Custovic (Laus Music) – “Lovely deepess…”
Deepshizzol (Deepvibes Radio) – “The Jeff Scroggin remix is nice.”
Kosta (Vibe FM) – “Intense and flexed music on this one.”
DJ Hal (EQ Magazine) – “This is a solid release.”
Nico De Ceglia (Hyena Stomp) – “Nice one!”
Andrea Rraqi (Black Angel Promotion) – “Wonderful!”
Sharlese (KEXP, Seattle) – “Fun Tech house & synth grooves.”
Snooba (Radio Panik) – “Infectious & haunted folklore”

Available Now From: Beatport, Juno Download, Apple Music, And Spotify.

Kay Barton - MacroGod (Emerald & Doreen Records)

After the well-received “Return 01” for the Bonzai label, Kay Barton returns with the MacroGod EP on Emerald & Doreen Records.

The North German producer started DJ’ing in 1997 after a several years in the studio and followed the rapidly developing techno scene in Germany and abroad. Eventually, Kay worked for a record label some radio stations, and regularly hosted numerous events dedicated to electronic music in different locations around the Rhine-Main area. After releases under different artist names Kay now focuses on straight techno and tech house under his given name, Kay Barton.

With the MacroGod EP, Kay combines rough sawtooth sounds and TB-303 waves and rounds things out with four-to-the-floor techno beats. Besides the two original mixes of “Oh God“ and “Macrowave“ the EP features a remix each from Berlin’s techno godfathers, Dr. Motte and Mijk van Dijk.

Dr. Motte — founder of legendary Love Parade in Berlin and as well as the Praxxiz label — has countless projects and releases during the past 30 years. He’s shaped an entire culture as an ambassador for electronic music worldwide. His remix of “Macrowave” is a straight-up sexy techno underground track featuring the 303 from the original mix as its main element.

Mijk van Dijk's history also reaches nearly 30 years. As a DJ and live under the name Microglobe, he’s performed at countless clubs and events all over the world and is an important part of the electronic music movement. With his version of "Oh God" van Dijk takes the dance floor into a world of synth melodies and his own distinctive sonic character.

Colin Dale (Abstrakt Dance Records) – “All really cool mixes here. Top EP.”
Hard Ton (Toy Tronics) – “Gimme Aceeeeed!”
Projekt Gestalten (VRAAA Records) – “Loving the acid lines. Great release.”
Rory Hoy (Howlin’ Records) – “To quote Fatboy slim, "Everybody Loves a 303". Here's proof on why Acid is for the win!”
Satoshi Fumi (Outerspace Radio show) - “I like the Dr. Motte mix for my set.”
Yourhighness (Born Free / Romb Records) – “Great release!”
Snooba (Radio Panik) – “Energetic & Infectious.”
Zach Van Lue (91X) – “Wicked!”
Simon Francis (Tonic Music / HouseFM.net) – “Loving these! Supporting.”
Salenko (MoustacheMusic Radio) – “Emerald & Doreen always brings us high quality sounds.”

Available Now From: Beatport, Juno Download, iTunes, And Spotify.

Josiah Fontenot - Unseen Forces (Harmonious Discord)

Harmonious Discord staple Josiah Fontenot (AKA El Natured, JB Fontenot) has a knack for creating wide reaching projects that display a precision for the foundational aspects of dance music with a propensity for boundary pushing. Recently Josiah has been busy with projects on imprints like Denied Music and Colour and Pitch. His productions have the city of Houston, TX, clamoring to find out more about this talented and mysterious artist. On remix duties are Signal Deluxe, who bring a seasoned tenure to the project, and multi-faceted Dallas, TX, artist Wanza Dover (Blixaboy, Black Dots, and Jack Dover). Wanz features his rough and rumble alias Jack Dover, giving listeners a comprehensive variety.

Unseen Forces” starts with dulcet chimes and disorienting effects. Growing steadily, synthesizer elements begin to collide with dusty drum machine patterns. The track progresses into abject calamity, with distorted acid lines and circuit bent squeals. Signal Deluxe muddies the waters keeping subtlety at the forefront. Their remix widens the sonic landscape and plays tricks in the ears of the listener, instilling a bit of confused delight amid a playful mixture of elements.

New Paranoia” rattles nerves with expertly executed musical framing. Wrought with tension and growing in complexity this tune introduces a fever to the dance floor that can only be followed with more well-tempered weirdness.

Picking up the pace, “Distant Ally” sits squarely between a techno banger and an electro spectacle. Synthesizer placement and construction are remnant of early electro recordings, but the drum progression is all techno. As with the rest of the project a hint of acid permeates, giving the desired fluidity that only a TB-303 can provide. For the remix, Jack Dover brings a Detroit discipline with big drums, looped-crescendos, and playful percussion.

This fall the Harmonious Discord camp is falling for the weirdness with upcoming features that continue to challenge ears and excite the senses.

Spettro (Get Physical Music) – “I get goose bumps listening to Unseen Forces. The chord progressions and groove are amazing!”
Nick Warren (The Soundgarden) – “Unseen Forces is dope!”
Salah Sadeq (The Crate Radioshow) – “I like the release, and nice work by Signal Deluxe.”
Steve ‘Griffo’ Griffiths (Freak Da Funk radio show) – “Brutal stuff! ‘New Paranoia’ is my fave so far … dirty acid workout! ‘Distant Ally’ brings to mind Dave Clarke’s Reese inspired Red series.”
Snooba (Radio Panik) – “Yeah Acid!”
Henderick AKA Thelonious Funk (Thelonious Funk Sessions) – “Liking the original productions and the Jack Dover mix.”
James Kidd (Thoughtless Music) – “Gorgeous synth tone on Unseen Forces. Both mixes are good.”
Lunacybot (FNOOB Techno Radio) – “New Paranoia is saucy as hell.”
Lcaise (Tanztone Records) – “Signal Deluxe mix for me. Nice minimal house trip.”
Taigo Onez (Bang Le’ Dex Radio Show) – “This is lovely. Signal Deluxe Remix is a sure fire cut for me. Great body of work on the whole EP.”

Available Now From: Beatport, Traxsource, iTunes, And Spotify.