September 25, 2009

Delsin various artists - Delsin II (2009)

One of the labels I've really been enjoying for new dance/techno music in the last couple years has been Delsin, operating out of the Netherlands since the mid-'90s. I had heard some buzz around some Delsin artists in the early '00s, like IDM artist M>O>S, aka Aroy Dee who had a bunch of releases on Rush Hour Recordings, and Yotoko, a side-project by the prolific "broken beat" producer Domu, but I didn't really start paying attention to Delsin's techno releases until I heard the '05 compilation "Planet Delsin : Interstellar Sounds Of Stardust". The general aesthetic of Delsin is oriented towards the pure, experimental synthesizer sounds of classic early '90s IDM, blended with the rhythmic patterns of Detroit techno, and brings to mind early Warp Records and Rephlex artists like Polygon Window, The Black Dog or Bochum Welt. Many of the artists compose with minimal palettes of bleeps and bloops and unprocessed, old-skool drum machine beats to craft catchy house hooks, working both as an homage to classic analog synthesizers of the past, and as a forward-thinking futuristic movement in dance music. This year, Delsin released an even greater follow-up compilation called "Delsin II", a 2CD set featuring many of the best tracks from the past couple years of 12" releases, with copious liner notes featuring a label profile and artist interviews. Highlights for me include the moody, melodic atmospherics of Taho and D5, the gritty, lo-fi stomp of Redshape, and the pounding, hypnotic patterns of Delta Funktionen, Quince and Newworldaquarium. While some of the tracks get into territory that I find a bit too robotic, simple or lo-fi sounding, almost all of the artists on this collection can be depended on for regularly releasing high-quality new tracks. Delsin has kept up a steady release schedule, with a new 12" every couple months, and I frequently check their website to see what's new. (BONUS LINK: I particularly enjoy the large collection of free DJ sets and live performances available for download, such as this interview and classics-laden DJ set by label boss Peel Seamus, or this deep and dubby set from Quince.)