Antic Soul – “Transmutation” EP (Planet Rhythm) [May 10, 2024]

That weekend in Detroit known to many as ‘Techno Christmas’ is rapidly approaching, and it’s often the time of year when people acknowledge Techno’s Birthplace in Detroit. As such, we have a lot of people doing their due diligence and giving the nod to influences around this time. However, it seems like this is a stylistic approach for Antic Soul that is hard-wired into their sound. They seem to fully embrace the deep grooving character of Midwest Soulful House and contrast it with hard, straightforward, technical beats.

This unique blend can be heard in their marathon DJ sets and in tracks like “Just a Dream” where R&B vox are punctuated throughout the mix and fast filtered chords set a beautiful challenge to the toughness of the hard straight beats below. Similarly in the title track, “Transmutation,” we have the Detroit strings laid up against a synth reference of the chords in Dave Clark’s “Red. 2 Wisdom to the Wise.” 

Both “Utapau” and “Asukara” explore chords in a more technical and arpeggiated fashion with “Asukara” taking the more geometrical approach while fitting the chords to the beat in a tight angular fashion. Of course, “Transmutation” and “Just a Dream” are both very dope and well crafted. It’s the technical prowess and unique tailoring of the sound design of “Asukara” that really nails it for creating thoroughly modern and well-thought-out Techno.

As a duo, it seems like Antic Soul really has something to say.They are fully welcome to keep the torch lit for the continuance and relevance of the sounds of Detroit in a Techno world that is increasingly becoming rather soulless.

“Transmutation” marks another step forward on a powerful journey towards soulful and uplifting Techno. With Tresor and Planet Rhythm keeping a steady eye on them, there’s definitely not anywhere to go but up for this pair. It would definitely be wise to keep tabs on their socials and Soundcloud as they continue to grow.

-Sean Ocean

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