Antonio De Angelis – “Moderat” (KSR) [December 20, 2021]

Antonio De Angelis’ second EP for Kaiser’s KSR records, Moderat, makes for the perfect soundtrack to kick off the New Year.

Antonio De Angelis’ latest “Moderat EP” is anything but moderate. With an abundance of exceptional techno releases this month from artists all over the world, keeping up with and sorting through December’s releases has proven to be quite a challenge. It’s as if every artist out there has put something aside for the last month of 2021, How many of these recent releases will withstand the test of time? That’s where I believe Antonio De Angelis and his most recent EP, come into play. These four, meticulously crafted tracks, are sure to be welcome additions to any techno collector’s arsenal.

Starting off the EP is the title track, “Moderat.” There’s no grandiose, overly drawn out introduction to this EP. Instead, De Angelis greets you with the fastest of the four tracks, throwing you straight into the deep end just to see if you will sink or swim. Building off of a massive analogue kick, a fully energized, maniacal rhythm fills all the gaps and sets the pace for what’s to come. Constantly evolving, the track eventually introduces its bouncy percussive lead that cunningly maneuvers its way in and out of key, left and right like a slithering snake. Through this track Antonio De Angelis demonstrates his mastery over building tension and release, and we’re only just getting started.

While “Moderat” is technically the fastest of the four, the second track “Junes” feels more abrasive. A clunky drum hit on the downbeat staggers like two quick hits on a bongo, while an array of hi hats and shakers add bright color and vigor to the mix. An unnerving bleep noise further intensifies the already frantic track, and suddenly we’re lost in the dance. Chaotic, yet pleasantly repetitive to the point of being trance-inducing, this hypnotic, raw sound should satisfy most techno fans in and outside of the warehouse.

Tracks three and four on the release feel like welcome continuations off of the first two, which implement some of the same production techniques that help unite De Angelis’ creations into being a cohesive and exceptional EP. The melodic lead in “Stulaya” bends its pitch in a similar way as “Moderat,” while the closing track ”Exam” emphasizes its crisp and intricate hi hats, cymbals and shakers. In both tracks, modular synthesizers work alongside incredibly complex drum patterns, creating a delightfully delirious and thoroughly engaging take on techno.

Antonio De Angelis’ “Moderat” is a fantastic new addition to KSR’s growing catalogue, available just in time to help kick off 2022. Support the artist and label with a digital download on KSR’s Bandcamp page, linked above.

-Jeronimo Watson

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