Råd – “Sadness Hill” (Gynoid Effect) [May 31, 2024]

There’s not much to go off on based on the internet presence of the artist, but Råd has said they are mostly influenced by their busy city as it contrasts the wild nature surrounding it. The music itself has a busy nature, yet it is self-reflective and very influenced by the previous decades—particularly in the sounds of Frankfurt and Mannheim-based label Harthouse in the early 90s. 

If you’ve followed the Harthouse label for some time, you can understand there’s a certain aesthetic and a diversity to it. Some of that comes from Sven Väth’s fingerprints all over the sound as its founder in 1992, but also, some of it comes from the geographic isolation of the label which helped it mature outside of the shadow of Berlin Techno. However, the label’s influence cannot be understated and it continues to release a steady stream of banging Techno, Deep Trance, and off-kilter Techno cuts to this day.

As the new vanguard approaches Techno, it wisely looks back to see where the foundations and history of the genre come from. Here also, we have a talented producer who’s fully captured the stylistic approaches of the past and given them new life and a creative expression all of their own. 

Released on both Gynoid and the Elektrax group’s sublabel Gynoid Effect, these two tracks really do pull that feeling together. This is mostly signified by the choice of suspensions in the two tracks, where the one pad and drawn-out hypnotic chord progression in “Sadness Hill” is contrasted by a muted hued groove in the drums and rhythm synth base layer. The track “Extent” really ties the Frankfurt Techno connection with the tweaky pitched stabs flying away into the sky, while the EBM-styled bassline and drum pattern create a seriously slamming groove. 

There are always some new heads who need to see the links of the past to go forward. After all, there is so much British Blues and Hard Rock influenced by American blues, Eric Clapton the, Rolling Stones, and The Who to name a few. As history repeats itself on a similar timeline, Techno looks back to solidify itself as a genre that is not a fluke, or fad, but as something that’s here to stay. 

And it’s those artists such as Råd here that are a light to show people the way with artistic integrity, feeling, and a passion for the music.

-Sean Ocean

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