"Blisteringly fast at 150-160bpm, Modell fractures his more peaceful paradigms into myriad colours"
Few producers and DJs command such worldwide respect as Rod Modell, AKA Deepchord. The Detroit producer has embellished the world with such a consistently high grade of smoked-out ambient dub techno for so many years that he’s synonymous to the genre.
Modell’s latest offering, ‘Captagon‘, lands on no less than Tresor, and whilst it’s recognisably his work it’s also worlds apart from recent endeavours such as his latest on Astral Industries. Blisteringly fast at 150-160bpm, Modell fractures his more peaceful paradigms into myriad colours over 8 pacey full lengths and the introductory mood-setter, ‘Triangulation‘, which hurtles through the void into ‘Reiki‘ (the Japanese term for ‘Spirit’).
Across the album there’s spirit in spades. Devoid of fumbling over-statedness, each track is a purpose-built exorcet with the express intention of devolving the dance floor into frenzied limbs strapped to close-eyed bodies shunted into inner space. Clamouring syncopation drives each track, with panned FX jostling for attention. The effect is mesmerising, a landscape of sonic art sufficient to fill worlds — or perhaps more suitably, voids — to the brim with bustling life.
The speed of the music enhances the complexity — but this is no mindless 4/4. ‘Riga‘, embellished with a sort of two-step, is unhurried in slow evolution through somber pads. ‘Jade‘ shimmers through whispered vocals and dub-techno claps, and ‘Tracer‘ defies the surface-level connotations of the name to provide a superpowered bass powered blitz.
Club highlight ‘Qurra‘ hyper charges the methodology over a warp-speed 5 minute cut. Launching straight into a nostalgic bleep formula the ride is augmented with ricocheting Basic Channel claps, oscillating ambience and quivering white noise.
Whilst other tracks patiently evolve and flow form-to-form and hover around the beautiful margins of club music and rhythmic ambient, ‘Qurra‘ uses full-tilt repetition, propelling the crowd into a 5 minute trance-state caught somewhere between peak-time mayhem and the outer reaches.
Hinging on a loop-based structure doesn’t mean Modell has been lazy with the production — that cannot be said of any of the productions here. Instead, we’re presented with a perfect-form loop needing neither intro nor outro, a standalone statement of Modell’s that will shake the floor six ways from Saturn. Balanced underneath the top-of-attention elements are swiftly altering drum patterns, their fluttering breaks adding intensity and form to the revolving audio image.
The beauty of “Qurra” is defined by Modell’s specialism in minor fluctuation, just-perceptible changes evolving through time-lapse production tactics, piecemeal dissolving the smoke masking the full picture. Simplicity belies the convoluted pathways, making for a fully interpretive sound ideal for the truly creative dancers and DJs, always hooked onto the whirling lure of the levitating beat.
With ‘Captagon’ Modell shows us the future is fast, colour blurring into streams behind us as we lurch forwards. All around us the trend is evident: you only need look at the support for the now well-known burgeoning scene in Copenhagen to confirm that pace seems to be the direction techno is heading. Modell’s contribution demonstrates in a typically scene-leading manner that faster strains need not be constructed purely from the tougher cuts, but can be balanced and measured in delivery.
‘Captagon’ is scheduled for release 21 June 2019 via Tresor. Order a copy from Boomkat.