Gratiot EP

Artist :
Title : Gratiot EP
Release Date : 26. June 2021
Catalog ref. : SOB007
Format : Digital Download

Marc Houle releases his new EP Gratiot via Sound of Berlin, a sensual ode to club’s moments, between experimental house and minimal techno. Marc Houle generally releases his material on his imprint Items & Things, which makes this new release on Sound of Berlin even more intriguing.

Gratiot EP isn’t a departure—this is Marc’s hommage to Berlin, its past, its future, and an ode to the electronic music capital where the Canadian techno producer is now based. Taken from the Sound of Berlin Documentary score that Marc has signed in 2018, which gathers more than 750.000 views on Youtube today , the first track “Gratiot” pictures a smoky and deep journey around the city, from a club to another, like a cruise on a layer of silk as it shifts between ethereal chords and ascending synth pad progressions, giving a pensive but ecstatic soundscape on the top of simple but effective rhythmic elements. An after-hours gear inspired by the unique night life and club scene of Berlin.

“This Old House” starts with a forthright and groovy bassline that takes the listener straight into the club. But there’s something about the track that feels reverential of the kind of atmospheric, wiggly house most closely associated with the Sound of Berlin. There’s something old-school about it, as if the layers of rhythmic percussion and hammering bassline both captivate and intimidate, a slight looseness that makes its loopy psychedelia all the more appealing.

Raised adjacent to Detroit in Windsor, Ontario, in the same fertile music community that spawned Richie Hawtin, Houle’s obsession with electronic sounds goes back to the noise of ’80s video games and vintage synthesizers. A decade-long career of seminal records on Richie Hawtin’s Minus label, as well as his own Items & Things imprint, that not only helped define the beloved minimal sound of the mid-‘00s (“On It”), but had a laugh at its expense (“Techno Vocals”), before transcending the limits of the sub-genre completely by incorporating industrial, disco and new wave influences (“Undercover”).

Not strictly bound to electronic music in the traditional sense, Houle’s work has also led to explorations into film, producing a score of Kurutta Ippeiji’s 1926 original silent film ‘A Page of Madness’ to critical acclaim. Add the equation a deeply rooted connection and affinity with the city of Detroit, widely regarding as the birthplace of Techno, and equally as close ties to Houle’s current adopted home of Berlin, exemplified through his creation and development of 2018’s ‘Sound of Berlin’ documentary soundtrack, and it’s no wonder Houle’s records have found their way into the crates of DJs far-flung from his typical list of peers.

Bell Trip EP

Artist :
Title : Bell Trip EP
Release Date : 28. May 2021
Catalog ref. : SOB006
Format : Digital Download
The main track Bell Trip travels through loopy techno, undulating noises. The bells mirror this tension, stretched to its breaking point over a bassline that worms through the quantized beat. Strange and hypnotic, it’s a surprisingly gentle journey despite its busy rhythms.
The second track That’s what I thought starts with a heavy techno beat before offering a release with some welcome house chord crescendos and glitched vocal samples.
Written during the course of the Corona pandemic, that EP is an homage to Berlin dancefloors that BB Deng describes as her biggest influence “the biggest influence for me is not a specific person but the dancefloor itself”. 
 
A music video produced and animated by Marc Houle for the main track Bell Trip will follow the release.

Soul System

Artist :
Title : Soul System
Release Date : 26. February 2021
Catalog ref. : SOB003
Format : Digital Download

About the Release


The EP radiates a sort of nostalgia back to when clubs were open and we were allowed to spend our weekends on the dance floor. Fusing elements of several different genres, ranging from groovy house and funk to organic aspects of house and hip hop while factoring in aspects of futuristic techno.

About the EP, Dan says: “I mainly used external analogue and digital gear and samples to craft these tracks. The vocal sample in Body Flap Position and the namesake for the track is from NASA astronauts performing a docking manoeuvre on the ISS.   I’m presenting deep emotion and deep groove with hard beats on this EP. That’s the combo I was feeling when in the studio doing these tracks!”

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Sunday Morning

Artist :
Title : Sunday Morning
Catalog ref. : SOB002
Format : Digital Download

About the Release


The EP perfectly radiates with Alinka’s distinct sound, while showcasing a harder-edged electro rhythm and bassline, fused with sharp, futuristic synths.

“I wrote the EP specifically for this project, so it was inspired by my time living in Berlin. It’s a dedication to Berlin’s dance floors and dancers, and the special energy that exists in the city. ‘Sunday Morning’ specifically is an ode to Panorama Bar as it’s my favourite place to play in the world and I’ve had many magical Sunday’s there.” Alinka

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Sunday Morning – Official Video produced by Rose Bonica

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