by T. Drenckhan
After a year’s absence, the Italy-based duo is now back on the label “Odd Even” with its brand new Phenomena EP. The release comes only in vinyl and is divided into two parts, containing four tracks each. All of them are characterized by Boston 168’s way of creating new sound textures with vintage analogue machines. Recently the Italian producers have published many new tracks on influential labels and now they are contributing again to the “Odd Even” project with the release of EP number thirteen and fourteen.
Based in northern Germany, the label was founded in the year 2014 and is the most popular real techno label from Mecklenburg-Vorpommern. The head of this music factory is the experienced DJ and Producer Andre Kronert. Due to his long-ranging connections in the techno scene, the label is featuring hot productions by international artists like Regal, Johannes Heil, Pär Grindvik and many more. On Resident Advisor the label is ranked at 82, and one can be exited about which artist the producer will release next.
The recent release is enveloped in the usual “Odd Even” way by a thick red sleeve and an abstract cover art in grey-scale color. The picture is a perfect reflection of the sound of Boston 168’s music, and it looks somehow like a chemical reaction caused by the contact with acid. Metaphorically speaking, it could represent one’s mind when a synthesized acid line of the Italian-duo hits your ears.
My favorite track on the EP is ‘Transmission’. The first bars of the sound sequence already create a danceable groove through rhythmical percussion accompanied by a deeply saturated kick drum, which could immediately squeeze your solar plexus on a decent sound system. Like almost always, the few drums work perfectly together and the mixture of a reverb-shaped lead line supplemented with unconventional noises creates a gloomy atmosphere. In contrast to the other compositions on this release, ‘Transmission’ is rather straighter and the featured acid line is not as playful as in the other tracks.
Like almost always, I don’t like all the tracks on an EP equally, and some of them just don’t suit my taste. This applies, for example, to the track ‘Vera’: The sound quality is just as good as on the other composition, but somehow the groove and the theme doesn’t really catch me. In a way it kind of makes me feel depressive, and it’s too boring to my ears. This reception might be different in another surroundings, because each piece of music has its perfect moment to be played, and maybe I haven’t had this one with this track yet.
The EP is DJ-friendly, and with 140 grams even handy in dark and low frequency flooded club surroundings. The records vary from 122 – 128 BPM and are produced as usual in a four on the floor manner. I would have also liked a few different interpretations of Boston 168’s music in form of remixes instead of an 8 tracker EP.
In comparison to other releases by Boston 168, this one stands out because of its melancholic character. The soundscapes sometimes created an apocalyptic mood in my head and the shrill and clinical noises made me think of a post-natural world where machines replaced the voices of our environment. Non of the tracks is actually a peak-time tool for DJs and in my opinion the EP is designed to be played in closing sets, at afterhour sessions, or just when driving through an empty city by night.
You can catch Boston 168 playing these tunes and newer ones on the 9th of February when they perform live at the club “Griessmühle” in Berlin. All in all. I’m satisfied with this double EP and the cover arts perfectly integrates in to the decoration of my room interior.