Wednesday 21 August 2013


Here today we have a nice versatile piece of techno from Clara Moto, an Austrian-born, Berlin-based producer. Now, my preconceptions of what "techno" was exactly were pretty much influenced by that line from that Eminem song: "Nobody listens to techno!" I just thought, "Well, I guess if nobody does, then I shouldn't either" - not that I actually ever stumbled across this misunderstood genre until much later in life. Somebody introduced it to me and I decided that it was actually not as bad as I thought it would be.

But aside from the rumbling intensity of "actual" techno, Clara Moto has created a track here that dips its feet in a lot of different sounds, resulting in a smart, well-composed and intuitively dynamic piece of music. If you don't believe me, then perhaps you should have a little listen to it. Just below here. Yep, that play button. Click it - yep - there you go.

Starting off with an lightly industrial-sounding set of percussion, all drenched in a steely variety of reverb - and my favourite being the subtle church bell/tubular bell noise - the kick soon makes its appearance, muffled and organic, more like a heartbeat than anything else. The smooth-smooth bass that joins later seems to meld with the kicks, giving it a wonderful dimension of low-layer sound. On the top layer, a ghostly xylophone flickers like an oil-lamp in fog, and an unintelligible (to me, anyway, perhaps it's in German or Austrian - idk) vocal sample floats in echoing treble like something otherworldly.

But yes. A really nice use of dynamic. Things get turned on and off, the vocal gets the spotlight, then just the bassline, then the kick and bass get a turn to shine. Ambience disappears as intensity takes its place. Everything is switched around and brought back in just at the right moments - precision stuff. Towards the end, in the last minute, I like how all but the strongest of noises begin to disappear - you can really get to hear that intricate percussion, sounding as if somebody is doing some very rhythmic and well-thought out DIY next-door. A very nice tune.

It comes from an EP, Joy Departed, out 26th August on the Franco-German label InFiné.

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