TheLetterElectronic Music Guide

Dreamy Harbor - Various
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With a title like Dreamy Harbor, Otis sitting on the dock of the bay might spring to mind but this is a Techno compilation and the location is Berlin, so erase all romantic thoughts of beach parties and instead picture Tresor, the celebrated German club and label, as the glittering docking point for the world's Techno traffic, pulsing shipping lanes welcoming juggernaut producers and DJs from their outlying ports. All aboard for Tresor! Alight for Techno sanctuary! After 25 riotous years leading from the front, who else can offer a service like this? It's fitting therefore that they close out their jubilee year with a compilation to match their reputation.

For over an hour and a half, headphone listeners will delight in the low-key dreamy vibe, delivered over twelve tracks, some driven by beats, others blissfully meander, all glorifying melody. Vainqueur's twelve minute Dub Techno opus Solanus - Extracted 2 indicates the way with dark and brooding menace. Upcomer Shao, from China, turns in an edgy and understated teaser, tense but non-threatening. UK artist Simon Shreeve, aka Mønic, follows up his acclaimed EP Four Sides Of Truth (via Tresor last year) with another sublime cut called What Lies Behind Us - spooky and tense with a great huh! vocal snippet. The Night Rider by Donato Dozzy will arguably be the highlight for many: the agile bass morphing into acid brilliance is sublime. Even the jazzy Terrence Dixon effort sounds fresh yet familiar.

The last and shortest track is the highlight for me though and comes from Daughter Produkt, a little known group with Gerald Donald at the helm (and in the past included Douglas McCarthy of Nitzer Ebb and Annie Hall). Direction Asymmetry is like a long lost cold war recording set to a ghostly choir, hypnotic female vocals telling stories of God as a clockmaker, a clandestine warning. More of that please.

9/10 after 13 listens

Dreamy Harbor - Various

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