The revered Spanish duo NX1 is back on the BITE label with “Wound Mark,” an EP presenting complex and dense soundscapes that embrace the experimental potential of techno to guide it towards new territory.
NX1, a project resulting from an association between Barcelona-based Samot and Surit, began in 2011 with an EP entitled “NX1 01” released on the duo’s own label. The power of their intricate and forward-thinking productions quickly caught the attention of the world’s top DJs, leading them to a resounding success on the international techno scene. In the ten years that have passed since then, NX1 have been incredibly prolific, leading them to engage in fruitful collaborations with artists like Developer, Oprhx and Adriana Lopez, not to mention their presence on the lineups of the most beloved techno clubs.
NX1 released their first EP on BITE in 2018, and this March they are back on the label with “Wound Mark,” a journey through textured layers of intricate sound designs that fully embrace the experimental potential of techno. The first track, “BT4,” exhibits an intriguing combination of playfulness and emotion, conveyed through the juxtaposition of a slow but engaging beat with melancholic chords. The many different layers of the track interact amidst a surreal harmony, in unison with a broken down rhythm that provides a more concrete and less whimsical dimension to the production as a whole. What is so captivating about “BT4” is its capacity to reimagine what club music should be by defying the conventions of the dance genre.
“BT5” introduces a heavier and faster beat, and distances itself from the melodic quality of “BT4” to deliver an increasingly intense sonic experience. The crispiness of the track’s rich kick collapses with the density of the auditory environment crafted by the producers, resulting in a thumping and energetic extravaganza. “BT6” further explores the darker side of techno music with an oppressively relentless beat that unleashes thunderous instances of bliss, as a result of NX1’s masterful control over composition and structure. “BT7” retains the previous track’s power, but evokes a much more visceral mood and presents a busier soundscape that generates a sense of sensory overload ridden with psychedelia and oozing sonorities. At the outset of the “Wound Mark” EP, it seems clear that NX1 seeks to reject simplicity in favor of multiplicity and fusion, while reconfiguring the idea of club-ready music by taking a futuristic and avant-garde stance.