Angel Alanis – “The Patriot” (Chicago Jaxxx) [January 13, 2023]

Angel Alanis serves up a 2-tracker single titled “The Patriot” for Chicago Jaxxx, which releases true to form, funky, jackin’ Techno goodness from the heart of the Windy City.

Angel Alanis’ “The Patriot” is described as a couple of tracks that were lost with time and only previously featured on Dave Clarke’s White Noise radio show. If you’ve been following the trajectory of Angel Alanis for some time, he’s gone from big and abstract Techno, to stripped-back and quirky Breaks, to heavy Acid and spending time as a member of the legendary Chicago Acid House outfit, Phuture, to Uptempo in-your-face remixes of classic Acid House pioneers, to straight up Chicago House. One thing is for certain, Angel Alanis has held true a deep-rooted sense of place in Chicago’s Dance music history through it all, and “The Patriot” really sends this message home.

American Techno musicians seem to have an identity crisis—always wanting to compete with Germany, England, or whoever else might be taking the Techno world by storm—but if you want to look at those musicians abroad, their main influences for Techno have always been right here at home in the US, be it New York Electro, Chicago House, American Disco, or Detroit Techno. You’ll be hard pressed to find one DJ from elsewhere in the world who hasn’t cited the Midwest as an influence. Angel Alanis doesn’t seem to share that sort of anxiety about their output and not being able to compete, instead leaning into his city’s own funk and flavor to lead the way.

There are many ideas on each of these tracks that send that message home. “The Patriot” bounces with that clap on the downbeat and uses distortion and filtering an a really low, chorded bassline to emulate the 303 progression. The sequenced top synth line swung just right with the groove as well as the swing in the tracks itself is just pure Chicago House toughened up with straight Techno beats and aesthetics.

“Meet the Parents” riffs off traditional Chicago hypnotic House and dives deep into the low-voiced nitrous oxide vibes of a Midwest warehouse rave. One can almost hear the charges pinging off the concrete floor now; don’t forget to breathe. It’s a quintessential theme explored and made relevant for modern dancefloors with a strong groove and continued, head-nodding funk throughout.

You can be thankful that the classic groove of Midwest Techno is alive and well in these tracks and as well in the Chicago Jaxxx catalog. There are a lot of quintessential themes to explore here, and these tracks will definitely spice up some stale material if you need a good amount of funk on the dancefloor to get people moving something besides their fists in the air.

-Sean Ocean

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