Alarico – “Carnal Fever” (Primal Instinct) [May 3, 2024]

“Less is more” is the mantra made famous by Ludwig Mies Van de Rohe, a highly influential 20th century architect, designer, and pioneer of Modernism. By emphasizing simplicity and minimalism in design, Modernism embraced technology, rejected ornament, and favored a form-follows-function design philosophy. 

Techno is easy to overdo. Sometimes, the most effective tracks on the dancefloor employ this “Less is more” approach, favoring simple yet powerful rhythms and streamlined sound designs over complex arrangements or excess sonic clutter. While some producers and DJs are embracing speed and maximalism, there are others who strive to strip down Techno to its soulful, funky, and minimal roots. 

Alarico taps in here with “Carnal Fever” EP for his third release on Chlär’s Primal Instinct. The label is stacked with tracks slick with sweaty raver perspiration. Superlatives like “Pure Techno” get thrown around a lot to establish tribal boundaries in certain communities, but there is no denying Alarico’s raw and dirty rhythms. 

Each track on the EP is thick and thumping with that oh-so-addictive kick and bass combo for all the sub lovers out there to get their fix. The opening track “The Hive” buzzes with funk’s trademark emphasis on the one, followed by the eponymous “Carnal Fever” that features a bit more of a tribal vibe. “Sweating Souls” is almost monolithic in its minimalism with only little bits of ear candy tickling the brain to mark the passage of time. “Toilet Rush” and “Aftermath” are the epitome of laid back and bouncy groovers, with just enough splashes of little hooks to get stuck in the head. Alarico closes out the EP with a classic peak-time roller titled “Mentirosa” that’s only available as the cheekily titled Bandcamp Exclusive Digi Bonus. 

Although each track ends abruptly, watching Alarico play a set demonstrates that these tracks also beg to be mixed, layered, and chopped up much like an old-school Hip Hop or DnB DJ. In a recent interview for Telekom Elektronic Beats, Alarico shared that his approach to production is highly influenced by his background and inspiration from listening to hip hop. Sometimes the simple technique of slicing and chopping samples, pitching them down or up can create completely unexpected sonic textures. 

His studio setup is also distilled down into absolute essentials… his laptop / DAW, a few hardware synths, an audio interface, studio monitors, sonic treatment, and most importantly, careful sample selection. Crafting tracks with restrained arrangements where each element serves a purpose allows the music to breathe and build tension effectively. 

Don’t be a bore. 
Listen to more Alarico.

-Alex Dahm

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