UFO95 & Rødhåd – “Lavande” (WSNWG) [June 7, 2024]

If you haven’t been paying attention, UFO95’s been turning heads left and right, kicking down the doors to the Techno world with his signature energetic, no-holds-barred, Live PA sets. He most recently garnered international acclaim on his Tresor release, “Backward Improvement,” earlier this year. 

As for this “Lavande” release, Rødhåd is heard pretty much tempering the frenetic sounds of UFO95, while UFO95 dives headlong into the gear-based jams. And all while most likely being recorded and tracked out in Rødhåd’s famously analog gear-based studio. Combining these two makes for a solid and concise definition of the “Berlin School” Techno sound and a complete exercise in the restraint and tension of modern Techno music. You can tell in this collaboration that UFO95 is the ‘enfant sauvage’ being effectively restrained by the creative constraints of the WSNWG label, coupled with Rødhåd’s personal artistic expression. 

This is most strikingly evident in “Lavande 04” where the typical raved-up tools and expressions are purposely muted. They’re put into a very minimalist context with heavy compression and a feeling that’s something like being immobilized under a duvet cover full of sandbags. 

The standout track on the release seems to be “Lavande 02” where the weight of the track and even the strings used in the most traditional sense create an upward and free feeling. One instrument in the track in particular is quite amazing, and it can be heard as a stand-alone sound at the 4:42 minute mark. This quiet lead into a sort of sharp metallic pad sound is remarkable in that it sits in the harmonic range of all the instruments in both sections and sounds like a hallucination. One can imagine that this sound, while very quiet at home, and difficult enough to hear even on expensive audiophile headphones, would sound very intimate at a conversational level volume as it is heard on a full range sound system that is being contrasted by very loud sounds next to it. 

Hearing these kinds of things is what a Techno head lives for. These little nuances of ideas that the musicians really are sincere about their expression and willingness to create a unique composition. In my opinion, it is for reasons like these that Techno should always be considered the most artistic and expressive genre in dance music—bar none. 

Each track itself across “Lavande” is quite an expressive piece, but the two tracks previously described, lend greatly to the 4-tracker summary of the vibe within this EP. Each track is a little world to visit, and hearing how these minds fit together gives your own imagination a starting point to explore. Yet another great release from the WSNWG label and an outstanding, creative EP from both UFO95 & Rødhåd.

-Sean Ocean

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