In times of melodic crossbreeding and synthesizer addiction, we deeply appreciate that there are dissident electronic tricksters whose preferences run to the more Praetorian and pulsating. To the fat and dark. Besides, if the one doing a pirouette against the grain is a label like Turbo, the reclaiming of techno purism is even more attractive and arouses even greater curiosity. You see, that PlayGround idol who answers to the name of Tiga is maybe just a bit restless. Since the creation of this cult label for clubbers with criteria, the Canadian has explored every nook and cranny of electro, danceable pop, and the coolest minimal and tech-house. Things could have just stayed there, old Tiga could have made himself comfortable in his leopard-print armchair, twittering his harangues to FC Barcelona and taking it easy; but that’s not how things work in his mind.
Turbo evolves, of course he does, and he does new things - like every football team worth its salt must do when a cycle comes to an end, even if it’s predicted by Fred Hermel. And the best thing to do is seek out new horizons in rockier, more uneven and difficult terrain, not to try to tone it down. “New Jack Techno” is not a gratuitous title, in this compilation, the Montreal label shows jaws burnished in hell: apocalyptic drums, hammering effects, accelerated bpms, rollercoastering loops and plenty of grease, rusty wrenches, and sweaty torsos. This apparent appetiser, which finally reveals itself to be very high-calorie, is a good touchstone for guessing where things are headed in the future over at Turbo, and who daddy Tiga’s new minions will be. Techno with hardcore shading – shading, not outlines – conceptualised like yesteryear, but with the added value of a contemporary quality, provided by the freshness of a new generation of producers willing to give a coat of varnish to the purest form of the clubber art.
J Tjin is certainly the most radical warrior: “The Anti Mixdown” is dirty hard techno, tribal and ancestral, rocky, full of sick edges and spirals, plagued with immense stains and vomit. Martial. Military. Pol Pot letting out low notes that kill flies in mid-air. They say that Surgeon has kept a white coat for him, at his school of cardiovascular surgery. And the reins are held tightly. In “Gang 49”, Clouds calls upon raging saturation, the noise that the end of the world will make when the dead rise and Michelangelo’s David cries bloody turpentine tears. “Milano”, by Wasteland, is the perfect cure for the impotence that the followers of James Ruskin have been suffering for some time: lovers of techno-steamroller with a British aftertaste and asphyxiating loops will be getting enormous hard-ons from now on.
There are more epidermal moments, of course, such as the tech-house with a layer of dub and the feline sub-bass of Sei A in “Mercy Bass”, but the best thing about this compilation is the hard hoof, the corn, the rockiest callus on the sole of your feet. What I’m into here is the canine aggressiveness of Duke Dumont (savage house on speed), the razor-sharp tension of Gingy & Bordello, the liquid house of Nautiluss and the dance-floor chaos of Locked Groove. Pain and nothing but pain.