Label : R&S Records
CAT# : RS1503
Artist : Lakker
Title : Tundra
Released : 11 May 2014
Format : Vinyl, CD & Digital
03. Mountain Divide
04. Three Songs
I remember first hearing Lakker‘s work on the 2007 long player “Ruido.” What struck me then (and still does now) was the sheer scope of the influences that the Dublin duo draw on and the huge depth and range of sounds used in their productions. Since then I’ve followed their productions and live performances with a keen interest, and the announcement of “Tundra” back in March (the “Irish Techno wizards” said FACT magazine) was cause for some excitement. The new LP on R&S Records is unlike anything else out there right now – by turns operatic, dark, uplifting and raw, immaculately produced and presented with amazing artwork. It’s very hard to pick a few of the tracks to go into more detail on from such a superb selection. But here are some things that stood out for me.
From the opening strains of “Echtrae” the production values are apparent. Every track on this album sounds a million miles wide. “Milch” uses juxtaposition of choral notes and firing synth stabs as percussion to devastating effect, with a haunting whispering that’s barely heard in the background. Listening to the percussive notes widen and develop into bass and drums as the track progresses is like hearing something coaxed into life by the haunting melody being sung over it.
I can safely say I’ve never heard a track quite like “Three Songs.” A sung choral intro of unsurpassed beauty is brutally cut off by fast kick drums and fizzing, static percussion, with a flat note measuring out the bars. At first listen this is shocking but a few choral notes carry through and lead you to the deep, lilting melody. Skittering hats and increased pressure in the kicks at this point recombine with choral notes and soaring synth notes, then the soundscape unfurls fully. Beauty and power, at once perfectly opposed and combined. Simply an astounding, euphoric piece of music.
The title track “Tundra” starts out as one of the most straight ahead compositions on offer here, with its measured breakbeat to click and rattle, but what grows out of it is anything but. Powerful growling notes slowly take precedence, increasing in volume and intensity and sounding like the birth of stars. Part way in, there’s the briefest touch of lighter notes and again that sense of ethereal euphoria that features throughout the album, before a gradual fading and the reintroduction of the beats. These are slowly eclipsed again, this time by sawing, tearing distortion, overdriving and expanding like a thousand supernovae and then sputtering out to nothing.
To be honest every track here is a highlight. The barely controlled aggression of the notes in “Pylon” and its clicked up beats. The understated menace and melodic chimes of “Oktavist.” The hissing, percussive syncopation of “Herald.” With Tundra, Lakker prove once again that they can continually achieve that oh-so-difficult task in modern electronic music – a sound that’s all their own and completely unique. This album deserves to be counted as a classic alongside works by artists such as Aphex and Autechre. If you go for such concepts as ‘Album of the Year’ (I don’t) then this may very well be it.
Tundra is out soon on the prolific R&S Records and is available in beautiful limited edition “splattered” vinyl as seen below and also CD and Digital formats. A more intriguing and immersive experience in electronic music you are very unlikely to find right now.
– Reviewed by Stuart Ingram for deathtechno.com
Q&A with Lakker
by Stuart Ingram for deathtechno.com
> 01. The track “Three Songs” is exceptionally varied in its musical content. Was it the intention with this album to seek out and arrange deliberately contrasting sounds?
The intention was to have an honest representation of who we both are as musicians, and contrasting different sounds is something we’ve both always found interesting. We’ve always loved the melding of different styles and different soundworlds coming together to create something new and interesting.
It wasn’t really a conscious decision to do this on the album, it’s more that that’s what felt natural to us when we were making the tracks.
> 02. Can you tell us how the artwork ties in with the music on the album and who produced it?
It was produced by an amazing artist called Eileen Carpio, whose voice also features on a number of tracks. It is an image that she drew, black ink on white paper, while listening to the album, inspired by the tracks, and when she showed it to us it immediately felt right.
> 03. How do you feel your outlook on music and sounds has changed since the early days? What is different about your influences these days?
I think now we have more of an appreciation for the sounds themselves, and also less of a desire to do so much. When we were younger we used to try and do way too much in each track, and layer things too much, create tracks that were too dense. A lot of the time we would use interesting sounds, but they would get lost in the mix. Nowadays we are more careful to not cram the tracks too full of sounds, or ideas. We are not afraid to be more simple, and let things be a bit more, rather than having to make everything chaotic or complex.
Our influences are wider than ever before. In a funny way sometimes. I think we both have an appreciation for things like garage or house music, or even pop music – more accessible things we may have shunned years ago.
> 04. Did you approach this album in a different way to “Ruido” in terms of the source sounds and the production methods?
Yes, and no. In production terms this album is a lot more refined and cleaner than Ruido. More mature. Less crammed full of sounds and ideas, as we mentioned above.
In terms of sound sources we still have a similar approach – we still use a lot of found sound, and still try to find a balance between organic and electronic sounds. But now we try to use them in a more refined way. Letting more of individual sounds have their place in the mix, taking more care with how we use the sounds.
Also nowadays we do a lot more synthesis of our own sounds, whereas Ruido was very much sample based.
> 05. It’s been over 7 years since the last album. Was there a conscious decision to wait until now before producing another, and has it been important for you both to develop musically to this point?
Absolutely. After Ruido came out, we both decided our sound needed to develop, and we wanted a period of just releasing EPs and 12″s to be able to explore that. We always felt an album is a statement, so we did not want to do a second album until we felt we were at the point to we had something to say – something that would hold up in an album format. We didn’t want to put another album out just for the sake of it. And it took until now for us to be happy and confident enough in our sound to do that. That’s what Tundra is and we’re both super happy with it!
PREVIOUS REVIEWS :
CLICK HERE – EDR007 – NoizyKnobs – Dissolve (incl. JoeFarr & The Fourth Alarm Remixes)
CLICK HERE – POLEGROUP31 – Oscar Mulero – Muscle And Mind
CLICK HERE – RLPS001LP – Relapso – States Evolution
CLICK HERE – EDR006 – Complicit – Drome (incl. Annie Hall & Plane Shifter Remixes)
CLICK HERE – MISTRESS05.3 – The Redhead
CLICK HERE – CRG001 – Cleric – Codes of Chaos EP
CLICK HERE – TRP001 – The Deviant Octopus
CLICK HERE – AFK013 – Uncode – Cmtrn EP
CLICK HERE – AD023 – Rommek – 1 View, 100 Versions
CLICK HERE – DEADCERT014 – Bruno Ledesma / Ledd – New Routes of Thought (incl. Subfractal Remix)
CLICK HERE – LIMITEDG006
CLICK HERE – EDR004 – Uun – Chaos Element (incl. DJ ESP Woody McBride & James Kelley Remixes)
CLICK HERE – TOKEN48 – Aphelion
CLICK HERE – DEADCERT013 – Alessan Main – Global Position (incl. Mick Finesse Remix)
CLICK HERE – DEADCERT012 – Black Mail IV
CLICK HERE – EDR003 – JGarrett – Monochrome Pusher EP (incl. Luis Flores & Jay Zoney Remixes)
4 years have most definitely flown by, but they do say we must be having fun and it’s absolutely true. Here is a breakdown of happenings and the things to look forward to…
Promoting established artists we are digging and DJ talent has always been the focus for us, showcasing great music. We continue to receive messages of support from fans around the world, even one person saying “Don’t change!” This is the key I find, keeping the same template and letting the music speak for itself, allowing the right people to find us.
Proving this theory, we were recently contacted by producer and friend Andreas-Tek who curates a brand new channel on the world renowned net radio site Digitally Imported (or simply di.fm) called Underground Techno. You can catch our repeat shows being scheduled bi-weekly Saturday’s around 4:30-6:00pm GMT.
The premiere broadcast of each mix can always be heard online bi-weekly via soe.fm Radio in Germany.
– This official site has over 39,000 views since launching in November 2010
To help celebrate our 4th birthday, there are 2 mixes lined up, a 2hr 22mins Exclusive LIVE recording from Marcus Reichel in Brandenburg, Germany. In the next couple of weeks will be my annual Special Mix Series set featuring artists that have previously been guests or to appear in the future on Death Techno, to show appreciation for their work and taking part in this project.
Our schedule is rammed as usual… over the coming months we have Exclusive sets to feature from Israel Toledo, ALHEK, Bruno Ledesma, XHEI, Lex Gorrie, Eomac and Affin label boss Joachim Spieth just to scratch the surface…
Our label DEAD CERT. Records that began releasing in July 2013 has the 7th instalment due March 13 from the fantastic Energun. Plenty of music is in the pipeline from more great artists that are to be revealed with some even more special news to announce later in the year… Below you can listen to some previews and check out our links…
Thanks for all the continued support!
Jack! Who? B-)
D E A D C E R T . R e c o r d s
DEADCERT007 : Energun – Psychology
DEADCERT006 : Various – Red Letter
March 7, 2014 | Categories: Messages/News | Tags: 4th birthday, Affin, ALHEK, Andreas-Tek, Assassin Soldier Recordings, Bruno Ledesma, Concepto Hipnotico, Crow Recordings, dark, DEAD CERT. Records, DEADCERT006, DEADCERT007, death techno, di.fm, Digitally Imported, dirty, Energun, England, Eomac, Germany, Israel Toledo, Jack! Who?, Joachim Spieth, Lex Gorrie, news, Sleaze Records, soe radio, soe.fm, Sunderland, techno, techno news, twisted, Unknown Territory, XHEI | Leave a comment
DTR (Death Techno Review) is a new feature we would like to introduce to our website, where we can share our experiences of selected gigs we attend up and down the UK with our fans and beyond, taking a closer look at some of the quality events out there.
We launch with a club night we first visited in March 2013, where we saw Octave, Chris Page & Morgan Tomas, who was featured on Death Techno recently (DTMIX063) and had such a great night, we had to go back…
HEFTY was an early guest to Death Techno back in 2010 (DTMIX014), so was it was an absolute pleasure to finally get to see him play. He kicked off the night at 11pm with his signature dungeon-esque sounds, setting the scene perfectly with plenty of darkness and enough funk to start the crowd dancing.
MORGAN, Reloading Records bossman and Illusion Sound resident followed on superbly, after just a short introduction he really started letting loose dropping some hellish grooves that really got us excited and lifted the whole place into party mode. Below is the recording of his set which is available for download also.
Morgan Tomas @ Illusion Sound, London (19.07.13)
KR!Z kept it rolling all night with some extraordinary, relentless, percussive techno throughout his whole set, utilising vinyl and CDJs to a tee. Constantly keeping the vibe on the level and when he felt like it, throwing in some curve balls for good measure.
MATERIAL OBJECT finished up fantastically by piecing together banging, driving multi-track loops then near the end delivered some slightly more melodic rhythms that were timed to perfection. Ending his set on a personal favourite – Rrose : Waterfall [Sandwell District]
An unforgettable night, you could feel it in the air, experiencing greatness first hand. All the guests showed their class and expertise, being on top form start to finish. After surviving the ride back to the North-East of England we booked our trains back to London the next day for Illusion Sound in September. See you then!
– Jack! Who? & Daavneeq
Other events to be featured on DTR this year will be…
– FRIDAY September 27 @ Illusion Sound, London – Octave, Kyle Geiger, Howski
July 20, 2013 | Categories: DT:Reviews, Messages/News | Tags: club night, clubbing, Crucifix Lane, Hefty, Illusion Sound, Kr!z, live, Material Object, Morgan Tomas, music event, review, techno, Token, Token Records | Leave a comment
I’d like to officially announce that DEAD CERT. Records will be launching in the coming months.
It’s been a long wait for many involved since April 2012, but these things take time and a whole lot of work to put together. We wanted to make sure things are at their best for us and everyone else before moving forward and we would like to thank those for their patience and belief in our vision.
We are nearly finished mastering the remixes for the first few releases, so from now there should be a pretty quick turn around before the first release details and promos start to trickle out to our friends. You can expect to see remixes appearing by quality artists and friends like Audio Injection, Heron, Miss Sunshine and Hans Bouffmyhre.
As you may know, we like variations of techno and minimal, as is showcased through Death Techno and this will be reflected in the music that appears on DEAD CERT.
“Welcome to DEAD CERT.
We enjoy a deep/dark sound that excites and instills passion in the listener like none other. “Quality over quantity” is our mantra, releasing a variety of minimal and techno whilst discovering and nurturing new artists that we believe in.
Keeping an open mind at all times, we look for everything from style and originality to how a track would sound in a club for that extra dimension through years of experience.
Mastered by a high profile engineer who has worked with Magda on her album for Minus and Items & Things, amongst others.
From the Creator of Death Techno and the Owner of 22 Digit Records.”
Keep up to date…
There has been some track samples up for a few months on SoundCloud so you can hear what is to come, with more due to be uploaded very soon…
Ideas are coming thick and fast for the future already so we can’t wait to get moving, releasing high quality music and making our own mark.
DEADCERT001 : Black Mail
DEADCERT002 : Tortured – Narcotics EP
January 11, 2013 | Categories: Messages/News | Tags: Audio Injection, dark, DEAD CERT., DEAD CERT. Records, England, Hans Bouffmyhre, Heron, minimal, Miss Sunshine, Newcastle, news, Record Label, Sunderland, techno | Leave a comment
A couple of weeks ago, we were visitors to Glade Festival @ Houghton Hall, Norfolk, 14-17 June 2012. It was luck that brought us there for the first time, together with help from our fantastic, generous friends and we will 100% be going back next year! We were actually the first public people let into the festival.
With nearly as many Funktion One speakers as there were blades of grass, you know it’s gonna be a good one with the lineup like a dream come true for us. We partied hard, met some amazing new friends and were surrounded by kind, open minded people. The festival’s friendly, feel good vibe completely won us over with plenty to do and lots of random things happening at any one time. We couldn’t have asked for more to be honest, even the weather turned out pretty damn good considering we were expecting 3 days of heavy rain.
I decided to start recording some videos, then that turned into a lot of videos and I’ve compiled some of our favourite snippets from this awesome festival. We hope you enjoy watching them as we did experiencing them.
– Jack! Who?
You can view all 41 HD videos on the Death Techno YouTube page.
F R I D A Y – 1 5 t h
S A T U R D A Y – 1 6 t h
S U N D A Y – 1 7 t h
The Sonic Manipulator
June 28, 2012 | Categories: Messages/News | Tags: dark, death techno, deep, dj sets, Extrawelt, Function, Funktion One, Glade, Glade Festival, Glade Festival 2012, live, Marc Romboy, Marcel Dettmann, Max Cooper, minimal, Namito, Oliver Huntemann, Robert Babicz, Stephan Bodzin, Sven Väth, tech house, techno, The Sonic Manipulator, twisted, Vitalic | Leave a comment
Sascha and friends at London based SMUT Clothing always have their finger on the pulse. Now being sported by another rising talent from Sunderland, friend, model and burlesque performer Katrina Darling in the appropriately named “Naughty Vicar T-shirt” which is available from their online store. This photo was taken before her appearance on Entertainment Tonight in the US after a very successful tour, which received attention and interest from the legendary Playboy brand.
To let you into a little secret, she also has royal connections being second cousin of the Duchess of Cambridge, Kate Middleton. Part of her burlesque act is called “God Save the Queen” to play on the family ties. A little further below are some of our favourite photos of Katrina showcasing her versatility and awesome style.
We would like to show our support and best wishes to Katrina and SMUT.
Keep up to date…
K A T R I N A D A R L I N G
Photography Credits :
– U P D A T E –
The rumours are true, here’s Katrina’s cover shot! Well done! B-)
Yes, it’s 2 years this March since Death Techno was started. What an amazing response from the world it continues to be, gaining new followers every day now…
– This official site has just hit over 10,000 views today since launching in November 2010
– iTunes & podOmatic has reached over 80,000 downloads
– SoundCloud is now over 1,100 followers and constantly growing
– Facebook Page has 414 Likes
– Twitter has 307 followers
– Mixcloud has 212 followers
It’s great knowing there are so many like minded individuals out there that enjoy our mixes and keep coming back for more. Thanks to everyone for listening and enjoying!
> Facebook EVENT <
To help celebrate our birthday, we've arranged a little get together on Saturday 7th April @ Bar1, Sunderland featuring our local friends that have been featured on the podcast…
Our plan is to raise some money for a local charity that will intern support a rich history of music making in our city. The Bunker is an organisation at the centre of music and arts in Sunderland, constantly using music as a tool to help educate and improve many lives, supporting the community. They also provide rehearsal facilities and professional recordings studios paving the way for national and internationally acclaimed bands like Field Music, The Futureheads, Frankie & The Heartstrings with Hyde & Beast more recently.
O T H E R N E W S . . .
– There’s a huge new project in the pipeline that’s pretty top secret with full details to come very soon…
March 30, 2012 | Categories: Messages/News | Tags: 22 Digit Records, Big Dirty Cables, CityWestRecords, Daavneeq, dark, death techno, deep, dirty, England, Jack! Who?, Manchester, Sharon Common, Stark, Steve Clarke, Steve Omac, Sunderland, techno, The Bunker, twisted, William Welt | Leave a comment