TheLetterElectronic Music Guide

OUT-ER 5 Years Anniversary
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After five years in the business, Out-ER, the Berlin-based label celebrate with a nine track compilation of the highest quality Techno. Founded in 2011 by Italian producers Simone Gatto and Andrea Santoro, Out Electronic Recordings was set up as a vehicle for their own music along with artists who shared their vision. Now, with a roster that includes Orlando Voorn, Christopher Rau, Terrence Dixon, Marco Zenker, Conforce, Legowelt, ROD and Roman Lindau, its pedigree is undeniable.

As you might expect from a showcase like this the quality on show is exemplary, even the initially slightly annoying Efdemin opener, with its vocal sample, should eventually wheedle its charms over the most hardened curmudgeon. It's actually perfectly judged at just over two minutes long and opens things on an accessible note.

UK Techno veteran Aubrey, aka Allen Saei, kicks things off properly with Data Block, a persuasive Techno tool brimming with energy and drive, raising expectations as to what might follow. And we're not disappointed as the first real highlight arrives in the form of the rollicking Speculation from Italian duo The Analogue Cops. Their method of gradually building layers of percussion may wreak of Techno-by-numbers to some, but at 2:28 no one would admit to finding this particular culmination a displeasure.

Frequency (aka Orlando Voorn) vs Juan Atkins sees two monsters of Techno join forces (not for the first time either) for a top-notch track call Reloaded. Fans of Transport, the collaboration between Atkins and Moritz von Oswald from earlier this year, will love this one: catchy melody, undulating bass, subtle percussion... all the right boxes ticked.

Terrence Dixon is on his usual top form with an Untitled track: high tension, insistent bass drum, classic Dixon. Another highlight.

Gatto presents perhaps the most straightforward cut here with Take One – subtlety being the operative word – while Pacify from shadowy character Civilian sounds like the work of an experienced hand; could it be Ed Davenport at play?

The darkest cut of the lot comes from another collab: Italian and German producers Haiku and Irakli. Their work Alien Cuts is rugged and tough with an air of menace yet wriggles around with vitality and sprouting textures.

Tholin is undoubtedly my favourite track and closes things out on a suitably emotional note. The artist responsible is Serbian producer Regen who combines a dark soaring melody with subtle stabbing synths and crashing cymbals.

8/10 after 14 listens

Out today on Bandcamp digitally or as a lovely double 12".

OUT-ER 5 Years Anniversary

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