Theo Nasa – “Mad Hectic” (We Are The Brave) [July 9, 2021]

London selector and Alien Sound Trax label head Theo Nasa delivers another slice of high energy exuberant techno in a single, “Mad Hectic,” with a remix by Pagan, on We Are the Brave.

Moving from strength to strength, Theo Nasa has carved out an identity as an artist taking influence from drum & bass, jungle, rave, hardcore, grime, hip hop and R&B, an experimentalist and genre-blending producer. Previously releasing on labels like Rekids, UNCAGE, Suara, and World Unknown, the world’s leading purveyors of techno are starting to take full notice of his self-described “eccentric” productions. Eccentric or not, they have proved to be unique, hard-hitting, experimental, and musically fearless.

“Breaks in Ya Face” is a journey. It begins with immediate wharehouse energy. While a dubbed out string synth hypnotizes the intro, a grimey bass takes us to dirty rave territory. When the beat pauses, a jungle break with echo drops in, completely unannounced. It’s a taste of freshness, and it’s quite welcome! The break loops and drops back into a deceptively simple beat… but at the next drop, the jungle snip begins cycling, looping again, this time dry and more insistent, without echo. And the result turns into a surprising, pumping, jackin backbeat of the track, syncopating the groove heavily, as it opens into full gallop.

At almost the 3 minute mark, hardcore rave stabs, sci-fi samples and interstellar sounds float in and out, taking us to strange places. But soon enough, the jungle gallop returns, and no matter how far we float into outer and inner space, the Mad Hectic vibes are back, accentuated by lazer shots and bass slides. The drama plays out to the end, never boring. The depth and progression of this production, rhythmically connecting the musicality of jungle and techno, is a step forward. Theo Nasa’s evolution will indeed be one to watch in the near future.

The second cut is a remix by new artist and producer Pagan, hailing from Dublin, Ireland. He’s been catching fire, with a debut EP on Lobster Theremin’s 1Ø Pills Mate which gained recent support from Alan Fitzpatrick among others. His interpretation of “Breaks in Ya Face” definitely takes a different approach. An epic, melodic synth line takes center stage, while the bass drones in melody as more strings and synth swirls accentuate the lush effect. Halfway through, the jungle breaks theme appears, dirtier and grimier, driven by a distorted version of the bass. As the remix rolls into the outro, an 80s sounding synth adds to the drama, like a car driving into the sunset. Difficult to pindown in terms of genre, this track lives in melodic, euphoric, epic, intergalactic, perhaps a bit trance-like territory.

Known for reviewing other artists’ music with passion, excitement and love on social media, Theo Nasa LOVES the music, displaying a singular, ego-less energy, and the vibe is catching. With the likes of UK techno don Alan Fitzpatrick’s name being added to the list of heavyweights supporting him, it’s hard to fathom any limit to how far he can go in the near future.

-Nicolaas Black

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