Gaia's Requiem by Tracing Xircles
A welcome change of direction from Techno to House
Over the last three years Luke Standing has established a fine reputation as a producer of no-nonsense Techno under his Blue Hour guise. Listening to his back catalogue the path from early experimentation (check the ravey Solace or the post-industrial guitar chords on Axis Motive) to his own distinct definition of Techno may not be unconventional but it demonstrates a clear desire to evolve and stay fresh. Up to last years Unearthed no two EPs sounded the same, with each release steadily toughening up for the peak time dancefloor. And herein lies the delicious paradox: his latest Gaia's Requiem is no different... or should I say completely different. Hint: it ain't Techno.
The result of Standing's ongoing pursuit of the new may raise a few eyebrows but lets not overlook the influence of his mysterious new cohort A-JX. Together they call themselves Tracing Xircles and they make the dreamiest House music, think Tokyo Offshore Project and you're in the right ballpark.
Lost Illusions opens like Renegade Soundwave's The Phantom but soon gives way to soft pads, swooning strings and a general retro ambience. With all the hallmarks of a Detroit salutation, it's got classic written all over it. Aura 96 is a mix, hinting that an original exists elsewhere, but the vibe remains the same, downtempo and Ambient. Closer Gaia's Requiem is another blissful Ambient affair that wouldn't sound out of place on an isolated mix.
9/10 after 22 listens
Gaia's Requiem by Tracing Xircles is out today via Blue Hour.