Earwax – “Always Start”(dolly) [June 14, 2024]

Italian producer Earwax keeps the dolly TS Series on a roll with his latest “Always Start Never Stop” EP. While there is an understandable temptation for artists to learn into the harder and heavier side of Techno recently, dolly is offering a welcome respite from the fray with a deeper, more soulful sound similar to Detroit Techno.  

Although the genre police will show up the minute there is too much melody in a Techno track and banish it back to Neo-Trance territory, Earwax avoids any such crimes here by mainly dealing down and dirty drums—not brain-deranging EDM drops. 

Earwax wastes no time on opening track “Always Start Never Stop.” Within a minute it’s full-on stomper mode. Strings and pads swell in and the drums drop out, letting the track breathe a bit before building the groove back up for another go. 

The second track “707 Perfume” is a classic Techno roller centered around a dubby chord stab pushing and pulling against groovy loopy percussion. Tasteful time-stretched vocal samples and lush pads add a sense of tension and release. Earwax dives even further into the Deep Techno realm on “Mute Tunnel.” Syncopated, gated chords bounce around like the strumming of a rhythm guitarist playing in the pocket of a pumping, funky beat. 

“H Meets T” takes a left turn and drops the melodies for pure menacing moodiness, while the energy in “Reverb Me (Tribe Mix)” slowly grows around polyrhythmic percussion and more pads swelling in the background. The closing track on the EP “Adventure” ticks just enough boxes to be a downright banger. Bouncy beat, nasty bassline, and with that little string stab—it almost sounds like a stripped back and deranged disco track. 

When Earwax is in the driver seat, expect nothing but functional, and timeless Techno that skillfully rides the line between hard hitting modern Techno and its deeper, groovier roots in Detroit. 

-Alex Dahm

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