As yet another fresh outlet pushing the continuance and revival of acid house, Dresden label Uncanny Valley finds itself in pursuit of the locally-minded end goal of consolidating the city’s producers and club-culture under one banner. In this, the third release of a four part compilation series, the label branches out from its traditional house ideology into intergalactic strains of pan-Atlantic techno and early British IDM.
Taking cues from Drexciya, Model 500, Aphex Twin’s Analord detours, and the intangible crossroads between Chicago and Detroit, Uncanny Valley’s niche is in molding a sound that is as irrefutably representative of its artist’s adolescent years, as it is of Dresden’s nightlife itself.
On his first 12” outing, One Day in Metropia’s ‘Night Train’ is a pleasant and utterly effective tune, bubbling and bobbing like its 1989; melodic, star-gazing and mystical. Whilst it’s not game changing, one can’t help but enjoy the ride.
Stefan Lohse’s ‘Fog Patches’ is also deceivingly stellar, and is perhaps the best representation of what Uncanny Valley is seeking to achieve. Lohse hits some serious 3AM vibes, in a descript homage to and unification of, his Underground Resistance and Trax Records influences. Memory is often the platform for innovation, and Lohse is obviously well-clued in.
Credit 00’s ‘Eiserne Lounge’ reflects an obvious love of arcade machines and SNES, on an upbeat collision between Actress and Zomby-like capers. With a similar mischievous ethos and sense of mania, cheeky hats play daring hopscotch with wandering synths, crispy claps and wig-flipping stabs.
On the B2 flip, Projektname Unbekannt’s ‘Dresden, den 15.05.2005’ melds Autechre’s adventurous spirit with R&S era Richard D. James, in fine style. Planet Mu and Rephlex are other obvious reference points, but they don’t seem to stymie Dresden’s search for new sounds.
Whilst the market of 808’s and 303’s is once again as flooded as it was back in 1998, UV 003 avoids the poor decisions and creative stagnancy which derailed minimal techno and IDM by the mid-naughties.
Judging by UV 003’s excellent content, Dresden seems to be forming its own city-centric pastiche of US Midwest and UK sounds. When it comes to Uncanny Valley’s future releases, continuing this level of artist development is of the highest priority in cementing the label’s position on the map.