Modularz has worked itself into a highly respected position within the Techno community over the past 7 years. The California based label is a platform for heavyweights such as Developer, Truncate, Silent Servant, Ascion, Elyas and Adriana Lopez. Modularz consistently delivers deep, industrial informed techno that is exquisitely poised between rolling hypnotism and devastating heaviness. Modularz 11 is Oscar Mulero’s first 12 on the series and it does not disappoint in the usual Modularz style and substance. Mulero has produced two tracks for this release that have been remixed by Truncate and Sleeparchive respectively.
Rotula opens up the affair in super reduced stlye with a straight pounding kick drum and minimalist percussion. A synth rides in over the top of the track that really hypnotizes the listener putting you in a distant headspace. The synth is oddly tuned and in classic Detroit style doesn’t give away the emotion of its subtle hook keeping it mysterious and interesting. Through its straight percussion and kick drum this one is a really unrelenting heavy hitter.
The Truncate remix defines itself with a decidedly funkier Planetary Assault Systems esq bassline. Dry and metallic atmospheres give a sense of density to the mix whilst a snare that sounds like a sample from the Alien Trilogy videogame (original Playstation game) whiplashes through the track. A sparsely distributed chord also adds to this simmering pot of psychedelic stew and finishes the track off nicely.
Next up is Mulero’s Transversal. The synth hook is interestingly delayed and tumbles over the track in a swung rhythm that provides a nice comparison to the reasonably straight kick and fluttering percussion. It reminds me of continuous cycles of crashing of waves over a rocky seashore. The track is enticingly mixed with really nice panning and a great sense of space and movement created through the rotation of the synth.
Like a freight train flying through darkest Siberia this track is probably the best ‘roller’ on the plate. Sleeparchive’s version is a lot more restrained than its predecessor and doesn’t get too excited at any point, lending itself to DJ’s more as a building tool. Yet the track is strangely enthralling and almost nourishing. The more one listens the more this track gives away and I found myself returning to it to try and understand it better.
A strong release for Oscar Mulero and another string to the Modularz bow. My favourite track on here is Truncates version of Rotula. The bass line is very cool and in general the tone of the piece is smoother and groovier than the other tracks. All four tracks however are decidedly heavy and are guaranteed to destroy the dance floors of the darker edged clubs from here (Berlin) to Detroit.