SCION VERSIONS (SV07, 12”)
After Basic Channel, the key name in the consolidation of the old Berlin dub-techno is Scion, the duo formed by Vainqueur (René Löwe) and Substance (DJ Pete), notorious employees of the Hardwax store and incorruptible heralds of a sound that is the maximum expression of suspense and hypnosis, of deepness and weightlessness. Let this be clear: neither Monolake, nor Porter Ricks, only the Scion cell, which by creating a new label –Scion Versions– has made the wet dream of the majority of techno purists come true: taking over the torch from the mythical label Chain Reaction. The second miracle is that after various singles on which René Löwe had reactivated himself in the company of his partner, this is the first 12” he signs under the Vainqueur alias in fourteen years. Everything released before under that name –from “Lyot” (1992), a Classic with a capital C, to the material collected on the CD “Elevations” (1997)– is living history of German techno, a gem buried in the memory of the deepest underground.
That rough and enveloping sound has always been considered as one of the best outings of the aesthetic installed by Basic Channel, and the two takes of “Ranges” –one with the subtitle “theme”, the second marked “expanded”, both in excess of nine minutes– are a happy reunion with Vainqueur at his best. It’s hard to tell if they are new or recovered productions dusted off from some shelf somewhere, because it’s like not a day has passed since they were conceived. The B-side, “Ranges - Theme”, is the most pumping one, with Jamaican dub breath in the Rhythm & Sound vein, but it’s “Ranges - Expanded” that oozes the magic of the old Vainqueur tracks: that sharp, metallic grey texture, and floating sound that falls like acid rain. It’s not the most resounding comeback of the year, but it is a cult return that reaches the high standards of the legend.
Vainqueur - Ranges (Expanded)