Your favorite compilation series is back with more of the pummeling, moody techno you’ve come to expect from Second State – plus a few surprises.
On 'Trip Tales', Watergate resident The Reason Y and relative newcomer Tømas Sinn team up on a driving, hypnotic techno cut built for big rooms and post-peaktime blear. Dutch veteran Secret Cinema picks up the pace on 'Zürich', a deliciously unsettling blend of distorted stabs, tribal arpeggios and an atmosphere that is at once tense and mysterious. There’s a lightness and delicacy to Risa Taniguchi’s 'She': The Japanese producer layers hi-hats, rattles, a strong, lean, bassline and airy synths for a techno track compelling in its subtlety; a welcome contrast to harder beats. Swiss techno don Quenum goes for understated suspense on 'Fact Action', a slow-building mood piece that unfurls with the drama of a cinematic score and is perfect for between-banger breathers.
Prepare to take off into another dimension with Triathlon’s 'One Track Brain', a pulsing, futuristic trip shot with sci-fi lasers and springy bass: It’s a one-track ride to oblivion. The tinkling synths that welcome 'Tropical Heart' signal a different side of Second State: Three emerging Israeli talents, Jos & Eli and Magit Cacoon team up on this kinetic, warm track with a proggy core. The results are spiritual, ethereal and dynamic; a breath of fresh air. A walloping kick to introduce Dutchman Joran van Pol’s 'Derelict' pulls the comp back into hard, dark territory. Menacing echoes and fidgety synths create a prickling unease that, much like the kick, never lets up. 'Sleep Deprived Vibration' paints an evocative scene: flashing strobes, t-shirts wet with sweat, faces in various states of blissful disarray. You know exactly what Glaswegian producer Frazi.er is talking about here: the best kind of sleep deprivation, fueled by the electrical charge of tracks like this one.
Argentinian Eme Kulhnek lets 'Efforts' simmer like a perfectly cooked stew, gradually shifting out of subtle atmospherics and shrouded voices into faster and more curious terrain. Keening, circular bleeps and chanting conjure something primitive and magnetic. The Polish producers DUSS, meanwhile, head to the race track with 'Kevin the Second', a motoring, high octane thrill ride loaded with revving synths, snapping percussion and masterful pauses and drops. Greek duo Bleur & MB1 bring the listener on a cosmic trip anchored by thumping beats with 'Humans' which, contrary to its title, operates in a “parallel universe” involving time machines, robotic female voiceovers and an industrial yet melodic whirr and hum. The Italian producer Blackrachas made 'Five O’Clock' with the witching hour in mind. Burbling drones, tickling synths and monstrous mumblings combine in an ominous melange bound to hit the spot as the moon casts its last shadows.
Consistency is reassuring, but variety holds interest. On SUM 8, Second State offers the best of both worlds in what is arguably their most colorful and wide-ranging compilation to date.