Techno giants, Ilian Tape and Surgeon kick off 2020 with three gems

Artist: Surgeon
Title: The Golden Sea
Label: Ilian Tape
Cat No: IT043
Released: Out Now!
Genre: Techno

If Ilian Tape hadn’t already cemented its place as one of the leading techno labels today, adding Surgeon to their already impressive list of artists doesn’t hurt the argument. For this author, the 2 seem like a good fit. They both produce and provide the world with a diverse blend of techno and electronica, and both can be as unpredictable as the other. There are moments on this Ep that sounds nothing like Surgeon, let alone anything you would expect to hear on Ilian Tape. Feeling more like US House sometimes than Birmingham or German techno.

With its fat, bouncing kick drums, mischievous basslines and warped acid hooks; sonically The Golden Sea EP feels like the logical evolution from the styles and sounds propagated in 2019’s, Rax Trax; a series of releases on Surgeons own, Dynamic Tension label and also from his 2018 full length, Luminosity Device.

The title track, ‘The Golden Sea’ bursts onto the scene with a thumping kick and a funky, darting bassline. Some warm, floating synth-action keeps everything relatively subdued; evoking more spring afternoon vibes than winter nights. This is not UK techno. In the end, a quality jacking number that lands somewhere in between Dan Curtin and Derrick Carter. Again on ‘Aqua Marina’, the energy feels more like tweaked, jacking acid house. With its Landstrumm style, burnt-out acid loop, splashy hats and choppy snares. With just alone, stark light of synth to guide your path. Tune! ‘Hostages of the Deep’ is the most straight-up techno track on offer, even harking back to Tony’s Force + Form days. Masterfully maintain tension with a very clean, clear and precise sonic arrangement. Shuffling itself into a pleasant state of organized chaos.

Either way, it’s a solid start to 2020 for both Surgeon and Ilian Tape.


About the Author

Growing up in Melbourne Matt’s introduction to electronic music happened during the legendary rave scene erupting in the warehouses of Melbourne’s industrial West. Matt grew up on all the classics, Carl Cox’s 'F.A.C.T', Laurent Garnier’s ‘Laboratoire’ mix, and of course all the Reactivates and early K7 mixes. During the winter of 1995, Derrick May & Stacey Pullen introduced Matt to Detroit techno, and that was that. Soon after Jeff Mills released ‘Live at The Liquid Room’ and Matt already all consuming interest in deejaying and techno exploded. Fast forward 20 plus years and Matt is still obsessed with electronic music, records and deejaying. Now a resident for the flagship Australian techno label, Nightime Drama, Matt has played alongside some of the biggest names in techno including Jeff Mills, Luke Slater, Derrick May, DJ Bone, Dasha Rush, Kangding Ray, and many more.