While veteran Dutch label Delsin has established itself firmly as a beacon of timeless Detroit techno, its sub-label Ann Aimee has always explored deeper, darker and more turbid waters. This abyssal editorial style runs throughout “Inertia // Resisting Routine”, the label's first ever mix CD. Mixed by Niels Luinenburg, alias Delta Funktionen, one of the platform's signature artists, the set features 16 exclusive tracks released in October and November 2011 on four limited edition 12” vinyls.
A first look at the tracklist reveals that this compilation is not a label sampler; it traces its sonic DNA through several artists who have a similar style but aren't necessarily on Ann Aimme's roster. In fact, besides the aforementioned singles, most of the names on this compilation aren't. And that's not just a trivial detail: it's a sign of consistence with the non-conformist philosophy of the label. It is reflected again in the way Luinenburg digs through the underground in order to bring us new talents like Area Forty_One, Lucy, Ozka and Sawlin, and draws a kind of map of the future of European techno. Aforementioned names are joined by artists from the Delsin realm, such as Conforce, Redshape and Mike Denhert. Kindred spirits like Sacha Rydell and Roman Lindau from Fachwerk and Peter Van Hoesen, the boss of Time To Express, join from other labels.
The mix starts with the dubbed-out sounds of Sacha Rydell's “ Rainy Days”, only to give way to the untamed, cerebral tone of Sawlin's track, which creates a dichotomy between mistiness and ruggedness that is maintained throughout the first part of the set. As it advances, with tracks by Ozka, Cosmin TRG and Skudge, it becomes clear that there will be no concessions to anything that doesn't fit the codes of pure techno: tough forms, vigorous sounds, dense moods and a solemn tone. The mix becomes tougher with contributions from Marcelus and Peter Van Hoesen, before offering a break with the watery “ When It Appeared”, by Conforce. The cerebral “ Finding Myself”, by Sigha, is interrupted by the oppressive gelatinousness of Lucy's track. Redshape's sulphuric “Static” starts the second part of the mix, focused more on a warehouse sound, manifested in different forms, whether it be the bubbly acid of Area Forty_One, the sharp, industrial dub of Roman Lindau or the rave spirit of Mike Denhert's “Pneumatic”. To finish the set, Delta Funktionen uses the mechanical Berghain sound of Milton Bradley's “ Sequence #1”, before dotting the I with his own “ Torpor”, probably the most ambient one of the pack.
The best thing about “Inertia // Resisting Routine” is its incorruptible spirit. It stays true to a sound that is not living its finest hour (particularly in terms of popularity) and digs up some tracks that prove that the same sound is still very much alive. It’s an admirable thing in these times of volatility, lightness and bastardisation. However, this consistency could also be its biggest weakness. Because this is obviously a release that will only be appreciated by the most avid fans of the purest techno, and would not be easily digested by the less experienced techno listener. But, what the hell, thousands of records are released every day and this one is by the heads, for the heads. And it's a good one at that.
Area Forty_One - C.N.T.C.T.