Techno’s latest evolution has seen it roll back the boundaries of long form musical experiences. Clubs, promoters and DJs are pushing for opening hours and sets longer than at any time in recent history. From festivals starting at midday to clubs that open all weekend, now is the time of the techno marathon. This makes the eternal task of condensing the experience convincingly into the LP format even more challenging for DJs and producers.
Berghain dark horse Anthony Parasole steps up as the latest to take on this challenge. His pedigree is undoubted and he has quietly gone about releasing bomb EPs on Marcel Dettmann Records, Ostgut Ton, and Deconstruct as well as his own label The Corner. With a stellar DJ rep and associates and mentors, which include Levon Vincent, Dettmann and NY production guru Phill Moffa the expectations for Infrared are high for the sometime Berliner.
Given the uncompromising nature of the 12s on his own label The Corner – a singular imprint rich in raw, rugged urban connotations – It comes as a surprise that Parasole drops his debut long player on slick Amsterdam imprint Dekmantel. As a resident of the Berlin institution it may have been expected that Begrhain’s power-house sister label Ostgut Ton would be most likely home, rather than the joining the constantly morphing ranks of the Dutch uber festival promoters.
Kicking off the LP, Murky Waters stokes the anticipation with restrained, weighty kicks framed through jazz and raw deep house. Next up, Explode segues the LP into the meat of the set with a rolling slab of spacious, wide screen techno.
Momentum celebrates the joy of exactly that, stomping triumphantly away. Here the New Yorker layers things up and creates a hypnotic dance floor weapon that is undoubtedly the highlight of the package.
Bang The Drum has an EBM bump to it and Zenith shows a greater scope of the producers ideas with a Nine Inch Nails-esque, industrial influence. These tracks take the album away from focusing purely on techno, although like many of the tracks on the album they feel as if they are hinting to what is to come from the New Yorker rather than proving particularly engrossing in their own right.
Comparisons are often made between Parasole and fellow countryman Levon Vincent. While their sounds come from a similar place, Vincent’s is more on the rugged, afro, industrial influenced side of New York house and techno. Parasole leans towards the cleaner, more European end of the axis. This is tidily summed up by the album’s title track. On Infrared the melody becomes the driving force of the track, although little effect is lost this elude to accessibility will polarise those devoted solely to the drum.
To the casual listener this is a highly listenable snap shot of techno right now although for those expecting the devastating tracks that characterize The Corner may be disappointed.
The Anthony Parasole sound has always been very melodic and is emblematic of the juncture in techno today between the ever more prominent, machine gun hard style and the neon, trancey sound that is creeping back in. It may be in balancing melody with aggression his debut LP he has succeeded in framing a moment in the evolution of techno and thus justifying the long player format.
Buy the release HERE.