Batenko – “Gamma Ray Bursts” (Step Ball Chain) [June 28, 2024]

Batenko’s Electronic universe is multifaceted and rather difficult to isolate into a single genre. The artist draws his influences from several emblematic scenes: Berlin, the UK, Romania, and Detroit. He’s got neat remixes of several pop bangers, like Shakira’s “Wherever Whenever”, Janet Jackson’s “Nasty”, MIA’s “Ctrl”, and Gwen Stephani’s “Hollaback Girl” etc. on top of his own tracks. However, we can point towards a predominantly House-leaning sound, which he masters perfectly as he accelerates and transforms it into a style of Techno that is well-suited to wild club nights. Add to that some Acid, Piano House, Breaks and other Dance sub-genres, and you’ve pretty much hit the nail on the head with this rising French star.

The first track on the EP, titled “Fatzer”, features vocals that seem to repeat a single word: faster. And it soon becomes clear why. A bass kicks off the EP with a rousing energy, to which various effects are added and what seems to be a determined House beat emerges. An unexpected break in the middle blends all the elements of the track and explodes like an effervescent pellet in a glass of water. Perfect for motivating you to keep going into the late hours of the night.

The second track, “Caliente”, might be my personal favorite. Probably because the first time I listened to it, I was in the bright sun, drinking a beer. Or maybe, it’s simply because it works so well with its mega-fast piano house, repeated vocals, and delicious synths.

“NOP8”, the third track, features jolts of suave frequencies drawn out to create a more serious landscape than the previous two. There’s also a familiar bassline that creates a melody which is both groovy and deep. Towards the end, little touches of synths are added to the mix like icing on a cake.

Finally, the fourth and final track on the EP, “Omuera Bamba”, offers something much more atmospheric, thanks to the many effects that soften its fast kick. The bass tends a little towards deep Acid, adding a nice texture to the low frequencies.

Batenko is an artist to watch and a promising up-and-coming figure on both the French and international Electronic scenes. Once again, Roza Terenzi features fantastic talent on her Step Ball Chain imprint.

-Hugo Bingler

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