Most well regarded for his out put in the 90s on labels such as Peacefrog and his own Metamorphic Dan Curtin has continued to release records on a yearly basis with seemingly little fanfare. Some of his 00s productions were not really to my taste so I have to admit he did disappear off my radar. Seeing his name attached to Dominic Capello’s Seventh Sign label did pique my interest though and at times during The Waters of Mars you could be mistaken for thinking these cuts were recorded during the 90s.
One may argue about the validity of music that doesn’t have much of a modern sheen to it or, in the case of this 5 tracker, one can find some comfort in some funk fueled melodic techno that touches on many of the genre’s key elements that the greyscale miserablists of today seem to have little interest in. The 2 A-side cuts are straight up floor jams, with the especially insistent Tribena Planitia mostly working off a minimal techno backbone without ever seeming bare, allowing some loose synths to flow over the simple 3 note riff and claps that carry the song for the majority of its duration.
It goes deeper on the b-side with the eponymous title track taking up most of it; delivering the highlight of the release. A stuttering beat carries soothing pads that dip into classic styled emotive minor chords while a lead line sinews in between them. Once upon a time this sort of deep techno was a standard on the racks of shops and the bags of djs, yet now it seems more like an anomaly. Nothing about this release is breaking any new ground bar the fact its been released in 2016 when so much techno seems to have little interest in many of the tropes that made it more than just simple, functional dance floor material – something this record excels in.