Artist: Various Artists
Label: Soma Records
Release: Out Now!
Illustrious and ingenious super label, Soma Records delivers a masterclass in Techno with a limited edition vinyl box set featuring world renowned artists such as label boss Slam, on the remix for Daft Punk’s ‘Drive, Adam Beyer, Josh Wink, Jeff Mills and more. The LP celebrates over 25 years at the pinnacle of underground electronic music and the music explains in detail what Soma is all about. They have been setting trends in the Techno world for over 2 decades, this LP really shows us why.
Robert Hood’s, ‘The Bond We Formed’ gets us underway in a purely energetic style. Fast, choppy percussion gives the track its groove whilst the overdriven kick lined with a nice subtle reverb gels together with the erratic hats and bright stabs. This is true Techno!
Jeff Mills‘, ‘A Tale From Another Universe’ is exactly that. The seemingly random sounds really make this track sound like an adventure through time and space. The shine of the strings make for a real mystical proposition. Slam’s ‘Modular Interpretation’ of Daft Punk’s ‘Drive’ is an astounding display of modular synthesis. The energy is nuclear!
Adam Beyer needs no introduction and his track ‘Just Things’ keeps the flow of heavy Techno consistently strong. It really is incredible what Adam can do with a minimal percussive based Techno palette. Blawan’s ‘Clipper’ is solid and absolute analog. The winding bassline slots in perfectly alongside the amazingly unique kick drum whilst a tight synth line progressively builds throughout. This is really catchy.
Josh Wink, Robert Hood, Steve Bicknell and Andrew Weatherall team up for an incredible collaboration under the guise of The Woodleigh Research Facility with their track ‘S.O.M.A 25’, which sounds like a tribute to Techno through the ages. All our favourite Techno elements from over the years make an appearance, from acid lines and weighty drums to mystical vocals and dark progressions, this is a top class track.
Josh Wink’s ‘Synodic Period’ has a nice House based feel to it, with grooving percussion and alluring synths keeping us in full motion. There’s no slowing down here! Slam’s ‘Stepback’ gets a top notch reword from Jonas Kopp. The remix is very atmospheric and constantly builds tension, keeping us drawn and interested.
Kobosil also makes it onto the LP with another remix of one of label chief Slam’s tracks ‘Visions’, which, once again, fills the room with epic energy and leaves us with an unwavering need to pump our fists. Vril comes in with a remix of Percy X’s ‘X Track’ which has been manipulated to expert standar. The delayed stabs form a nice melody whilst the drums progressively build in the background and take the track through the levels until it reaches full throttle and blasts us off.
Slam’s final track on the LP ‘Tempest’ features a delightful chorus ridden arpeggio that is truly alluring. The drums are so tight and well balanced, I am mesmerized. Steve Bicknell’s ‘Mind Cycles’ shows us, once again, the sound that Soma love. That trippy, modular based sound that you can get totally creative with, which is exactly what Steve has done. Total modular mayhem.
Funk D’Void’s ‘808 Planet’ takes us on a journey back down to Earth with a slow, 808 filled epic electronic track packed full of stunning melodies and progressions that really capture the imagination. This is really fun. Joe Stawarz get’s a double remix from Deepchord on his tracks ‘Cry’ and ‘Beebear’. ‘Cry’ is really slow and emotional, again filled with stunning sounds and beautiful progressions with a wondrous atmosphere. Deepchord’s remix of Joe Stawarz ‘Beebear’ continues that slowed down vibe to bring us right back into that realm of thought provocation. A fantastic end to a fantastic LP from one of the greatest labels the underground has ever seen. It was a spectacular journey through Soma25, and one I will be taking often. An absolute 10/10.