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Album of the Week: Decoside 'Reload'

Martin gets all dub-techno on yo' ass.

Artist: Decoside
Album: Reload
Label: Eclipse Music
Release Date: 19/03/2012

What could be easier than attempting to summarise the reasons to buy an album comprising almost identically titled dub techno tracks and remixes? Well, quite a lot, actually.

Because this genre is one of dance's most divisive when it comes to hearing its produce as individual pieces of music. Sounds for the dancefloor, in the mix, make no mistake, that we've still singled out the contents of this rather generous double CD (of no less than 19 tunes) for recommendation, despite being presented separately, is indicative of the quality throughout the collection.

So this isn't a proper album, but nor was it ever supposed to be, as the arrangements included were originally released as Italian producer Decoside's Reload singles project. As such those looking for anything close to anthemic should keep on with their search, as almost everything here is designed with a heads down ethos.

As is proved within a few seconds of opener Disorder, what with the shimmering waves of synth- creating something close to immersive ambience- being underpinned by hefty kick drums and slightly stepping percussion. Similarly, Reload 2 merges its dark and intimidating low ends, all drawn out basslines and lumbering beats, with opiate harmonies to create something at once peaceful and hypnotic.

It's not all quite so lackadaisical, though. Reload 5 invokes Alex Smoke's early Vakant work, with its complex driving beats and sparse hints of melody. Meanwhile, Reload 6 will go down well with anyone who thinks Craig Richards' Fabric 01 still ranks amongst the finest in that mix series- dubby, dirty, and with a serious groove from start to finish then.

Over on the remixes disc the highlights similarly straddle the near-melancholic and straight up feet movers. The Echologist ups the techno end, throwing a wobbling acid bassline and clanging noises together to re-dub Reload 3, whereas Antheus' remix of Reload 4 marries sharp, minimalist house cymbals with floating synth melodies to create something in between DJ Koze and Jitterbug, sort of. Altogether it makes for a great collection of records, albeit one that might struggle to convert non-believers.

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