747 – “While My 303 Gently Weeps EP” (Aquaregia) [February 12, 2021]

747 album art

For acid techno fans, we can instantly recognize the signature squelches and chirps attributed to the TB-Roland 303, a bass line synthesizer minted in the 1980s that failed commercially in its intended purpose as a bass guitar substitute.

Its popularity surged when its new adaptation in dance music, popularized by Acid Tracks by Chicago’s Phuture, birthed the sound of acid techno.

In his EP released on February 12, the Toronto-based DJ/Producer and acid techno zealot 747 pays tribute to the time-honored 303 in his growing collection of productions. First coming onto the scene with the refreshing Aurora Centralis EP, then releasing the impeccably gorgeous Gate of Life album in 2020, this third release reaches a new stage in his musical evolution. His journeying tracks indulge in lower registers, installing club-ready beats, all while preserving his signature melodic style.

In “You, you,” a favorite of mine on this EP, the intro invites us in with a wormhole of gyrating watercolors and wind chimes. When we step through to the other side, we are greeted by a trance rave. An impatient bassline and muted kick drum cushion a trance loop in minor. A crooning siren threads the needle, creating tension on the surface before loose hi-hats lift the track off the ground. This is when 747’s playful acid lines glow like an incandescent light against the dark fog of his rhythmic moderation. A coda to the track’s opening provides some natural respite for dancers before jumping back into the thumping kick and acid and trance elements melted within a sound bath.

As in his previous works, 747 tends to solo improvisatory melodies over minimalist beats and shapeshifting acid basslines in the middle of his tracks, such as in “Does Anybody Remember Laughter” and “While My 303 Gently Weeps.” In the former, he achieves an enchanting effect with the 303, deploying a sawtooth wave that emulates the throbbing vibrato of a theremin. In “While My 303 Gently Weeps,” an acid note focuses and blurs as if our eyes were adjusting to a dark space lit by a singular strobe beam. Fog fills the room and the texture intensifies when closed hi-hats and distant ambient chords calm our senses. The melodic solo creates a dream sequence that elevates the trance state to a different dimension.

Enchanting, meditative, and banging, this EP executes simple ideas to perfection, a testament to 747’s attention to detail and firm commitment to his sound.

Listen/buy here: Bandcamp

-Lina Xing

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