"Tried and tested in Tikita’s homeland in the Moroccan desert, the 11th edition of the burgeoning record label is a masterwork in the realm of hypnotic techno"
Italian duo natural/electronic system mark their second solo outing on Casablanca’s Tikita with a 4-track EP, perfectly showcasing the pair’s diversity and breadth over tempo and style. This variability is echoed in the titles of the four works, with each piece named for a different wind pattern native to the Mediterranean area.
With each track staking out a different notch on the BPM ladder (roughly 110, 120, 135, and just under 140), this is an invaluable record in the right hands, as equally applicable to the early hours as the closing moments of the dance.
‘Scirocco’ is a perfect opener, both of the record and any given dance; a pure slice of a dream world incarnate. Warming plumes of sub frequencies greet the ears, slowly picking up pace until the track arrives proper amongst pelagic drifts of bass, elevating the entangling drums as they track from left to right.
‘Grecale’ clears out the A-side with decisive pace. Drums lead the procession, clattering about the head as they work their magic on the mind and the feet. Just as the effect seems to reach fever pitch, all restraint is broken and ‘Grecale’ launches forward on a wave of snares and percussion, lurching bass bucking the ground unsteady beneath us.
It’s not all chaos and energy though, as, after the hectic introduction, warm ambient basslines course through the track’s veins, repositioning the energy towards the cerebral once more. It’s a tactical touch that adds an extra string to the already versatile piece. This new direction slowly takes control until the track closes in deep heaven.
Throughout, the EP exhibits a precise and complex elements yet the final impression is one of balance, of an embellished simplicity that tells all there needs to be told of natural/electronic system’s control of their audio palette.
This is highly present on ‘Libeccio’ – the slowest of the bunch, the B1’s charm is in careful elaboration of groove, and the complementary elements that encircle the foundation point. Although ‘Libeccio’ is the longest of the pieces, it manages to be unbiased, pulling the listener neither this way or that.
It’s an exemplification of the pair’s restraint — restraint which is swiftly tested by the unruly ‘Maestrale’. The parting shot is characterised by a bassline that meanders over the ruins of a broken arpeggio, and by the clamouring drums sitting high in the mix. Sweeping ambience flows over the semi-chaos, holding it all in check — just.
Tried and tested in Tikita’s homeland in the Moroccan desert, the 11th edition of the burgeoning record label is a masterwork in the realm of hypnotic techno.
‘Mediterranea’ EP is scheduled for release 24 January 2020. Order a copy from Juno.