Feature Review : Intec reign supreme with this phenomenal album

Artist: Various / Jon Rundell
Title: Intec 2015 (Unmixed Compilation Album + 110 Minute Mix)
Label: Intec
Release Date: 15th February 2016
Genre : Techno

On February 15th 2016, distinctive and influential dance imprint Intec’s label co-head Jon Rundell is back with another essential Intec compilation release. Intec Records, originally created in 1998 by the legendary Carl Cox and then re-born in 2010 alongside Jon Rundell as Intec Digital has evolved into being well re-established as one of electronic music’s most forward thinking imprints, showcasing artists with diversity who strive to push the boundaries, both their own and those of the scene.

The newest compilation, Intec 2015, created by the critically acclaimed DJ/producer, who has selected tracks from every EP released by the iconic imprint in 2015 (25 tracks in total) has been put together to celebrate yet another outstanding year at the forefront of credible dance music.

It’ll be available in both ​mixed and unmixed formats, boasting tracks from some of techno’s finest established and emerging artists such as​ ​Marco Bailey, Pirupa, Victor Calderone, Cristian Varela, Stephan Hinz & Philipp Ruhmhardt, Harvey McKay, Danny Serrano, Copy Paste Soul, Ramiro Lopez, Ant Brooks, Henri Mattise, Layton Giordani, Joe Brunning and many more outstanding talents.

I was delighted to get first listen of this album! I admire the diversity and passion of Intec and the artists combined who make it’s sound known and loved around the globe. As the follow up of what was a truly awesome ‘Best of Intec 2014′ also put together by Jon Rundell and judging by the hugely successful releases on the label in 2015 this version a whole year and a whole lotta new sounds later is fired up to be a beltin’ one!

As albums go this is pretty cool and I have to say I’m one for finding a new artist or label and having an obsession with it until my next new discovery, so compilations (or albums, actually) have to be REALLY good to hold my interest! The progression from track to track couldn’t fit better and it’s a true explorational journey through the finest of Intec’s 2015 releases. Taking us through from the easy-going, smooth, minimal, techy beats into a more bulky techno, ravey feel with some acid stabs in just the right places. A few proper STAND OUT tracks in there for me that really bind the album together yet take you by surprise – Copy Paste Soul’s ‘Wah Wah, Harvey McKay’s ‘Wrong Turn’ and Marco Bailey’s ‘Final Approach’. The placement of the tracks in the album has been done expertly (of course!) and I couldn’t commend Rundell’s track choice any more!

Henri Matisse hits us up with the first of the album ‘Ghost Notes’. A pleasant intro into the 110 mins ahead. Uplifting the tempo and pushing the album’s get-go, Copy Paste Soul’s ‘Wah Wah’ sits perfectly a few tracks in. This is where I started to really get sucked in… It’s a real ‘progressive’ track that very slickly fuses an acid-house bass line with a groove that gets to your soul. Layton Giordani’s ‘Never Forgotten’ (his awesome debut on Intec!) is an essential track on the album, pulling us gently through to the bulkier side of the album with his gritty use of bass and hypnotizing vocals – delving into more depth and true techno. If you’ve had the joy of ever seeing Jon Rundell play, you’ll already know of his gift in warming up the crowd then getting stuck into the journey he wants to take them on. It’s exactly the case in this album, as he would when playing to the crowd, he has a quality way to move along nicely from beats to bulk and builds up the tone perfectly.

Oh Ramiro… I absolutely love this one. ‘Truce’ – what a track! Quickly rising Spanish techno star Ramiro Lopez has been a massive hit on Intec with his most recent EP ‘Truce’, gaining heavy support from all walks of the industry. The bass-heavy drums in this track warp us into a techno trip with very cool melodies along the way. This is the sort of darkness I love and suitably used by Rundell to roll into the absolutely awesome Steve Mulder production ‘Madiba’. Mulder is an artist I only discovered a few months back when I heard his track ‘Fire Burning’ being played in Mexico – this one’s more on the substantial side bass-wise but Mulder has his signature sound reflected here in the Intec 2015 album.

As I mentioned before, ‘Wrong Turn’ by Harvey McKay – one of the most stand out tracks on Intec 2015. Every single one of Harvey’s productions is a smasher but ‘Wrong Turn’ more or less sculpts the album together for me. Boasting all of his signature production sounds (which are exactly why he’s a hit with some of the biggest labels in techno!), soulful vocal cuts with a distinctive bass as usual… Such a driving track!! Another new discovery of mine, Mars Bill (an abbreviation of his real name Mariano Sibilia) graces the mix with ‘Motorcity’, released on the label at the back end of 2015 in November. the young Italian started off as a scratch DJ evolving into the attitudey techno he makes nowadays. Dramatic sounds with well sculpted synths.

Rolling down to more depth as the album gets through to the darkest yet – Ian O’Donovan ‘Gauntlet’ – perfectly crystal clear production, minimal yet thundering bassline with an acid tease through the whole track. In fact, this whole 2nd half of the album is a bit of a tease, krankin’ it up to more of a ravey feel and spinin’ out with more acid and synths. A bit of an old school feel for the old fools! Right up my street… Rundell nails the outro track – Cristian Varela ‘Alarm Waves’ – a serious techno affair to finish up with! Energetic techno teamed with seductive vocals and Varela’s unique experimental sound. The Spaniard (who has been solid in the scene for 20 years!) has an arm-length awards list for his techno productions and it’s clear to hear why…

All in all a diverse and brilliant album full of depth & adventure, fusing sounds and emotions and in Intec’s own words, an array of ‘reliable and solid releases in a cool, understated way’. Me being more of a bass junkie, I get my kicks from the second half of the album where the drums are more prominent and the bass makes my belly feel funny. A TRUE journey through the best of Intec’s 2015 releases. Jon Rundell’s ‘Intec 2015 Mix’ compilation is available exclusively via Beatport on February 15th and everywhere else two weeks later.

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About the Author

Our raving and roving Ibiza reporter Karen Brown knows how to tell a story or two. Founder of Last one Dancin and lover of all things techno. You can follow Karen at https://www.facebook.com/lastonedancin