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Album of the week: Octave One 'Burn It Down'

Detroit’s Burden brothers keep the fire burning.

Artist: Octave One
Album: Burn It Down
Label: 430 West
Release date: 26/05/15

The announcement that Lenny Burden and Lawrence Burden were releasing their fifth full-length 'Burn It Down' was the first word of new material from them as Octave One for seven years. That doesn't mean to say they've been easing their feet off the pedal though. It will be a long time coming to fans of the twosome's live shows. Partakers would of heard parts of its content, as the brothers operate a collection of hardware instruments, embracing the Detroit techno industrial spirit.

Affiliated with Detroit's second wave of artists, since first release on Derrick May's label in the late 1980s, the two have continued to bring out music regularly with an ever-evolving sound. Along with most recent LP ‘Summers On Jupiter', they've more or less released music exclusively on their own imprint 430 West Records over the years. Including this 11-tracker, with the opener throwing you straight into a four to the floor beat.

After donating vocals back in 2000 to string-heavy Blackwater, Ann Saunderson returns to sing above last year's single, Jazzo. Sci-fi synth stabs and funky licks, accompanied by Saunderson's belting on Lose Myself makes for a diva house affair, before she returns on deeper jam, Believer. Further collaborations come from Afrika Pratt-Ansa featuring on vigorous and anthemic New Life, with Random Noise Generation, a pseudonym for the pair and their brothers, also helping out on two tracks, the first of which - A Better Tomorrow - sees the introduction of a weightier bass line.

A highlight comes during Whatever She Wants, as ethereal pad work circulates over syncopated percussion. Things get more heated during the final three tracks with rocking arrangements and a more industrial feel, like the warped Return Of Juno. Having landed their beloved Mothership all over the world, rigged with analogue drum sequencers, controllers, and whatever else custom built device, Octave One has tested out sounds and rhythms in the club, resulting in the most fully formed album project to date.

Through an authentic approach using a host of electrical equipment, the result is driven beats, futuristic sounds, with groovy and soulful touches to soften the edges. When details such as hi-hats coming in at the right time are crucial when creating minimal techno, the duo taking their time to produce ‘Burn It Down' has ensured that it's a carefully crafted and thorough record, that unfolds with spirited disco moments.

WORDS | Emma Gillet


01. Eighth Wonder
02. Jazzo/Lose Myself feat. Ann Saunderson
03. Afterglow
04. A Better Tomorrow (O1 Remake) feat. Random Noise Generation
05. Believer feat. Ann Saunderson
06. Whatever She Wants feat. Random Noise Generation
07. New Life (Album vocal mix) feat. Afrika Pratt-Ansa
08. The Forgotten
09. Return Of Juno
10. After The Afterglow
11. Jazzo (Album mix)

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