There is no one as good as Mike Shannon at creating sonic grooves and endless labyrinths of minimal sounds for our minds to get lost in.
The Canadian producer delivers his new Homage EP – “a sound that is very much what I associate with Berlin techno in the purist form”, Shannon comments – two new tracks with the force of a minimal producer laying down experimental techno drums.
While Homage EP is “a tip of the hat to the basic Sound of Berlin’s channel, a label that made the blueprint for the techno I love to play and produce”, the first track “Graefekiez” ups the tension and rolls on and on in a lovely saline wash, with the gentle tussle of something grainy underneath.
“Graefekiez” is focused and uses the endless catchy bassline to carry the minimal theme into a more dub layout. A tension percolates through the track before finishing and “Heide’s Glowing” – the second track – wraps things up with seven minutes of shimmering haze.
“Heide’s Glowing” is a bit messier, with noises appearing like sunspots alongside modular percussive elements that create a hedge maze of rhythms. The groove feels far more smooth as a result, as Shannon teases out the tension for an impossibly long period, touching on minimal and techno flavours along the way. There’s no single moment of release though the hats dropping around the second-minute mark come close, and the journey is a rare pleasure.
“When I was invited the first time to play there [Heideglühen, a legendary club in Berlin], I came home and wrote this track, still glowing from the experience. Often my work gets inspired by these moments. Berlin has a wealth of inspiration at the core of its night life that I often tap into. Wouldn’t do what I do if it wasn’t for that.” – Shannon adds.
Both tracks are breezy, minimal and snappy, capped off with shuffling drums and Shannon’s signature crunchy percussions and looped basses. Some of the best moments come later when rhythmic phrases swirl meaninglessly around each other before patched drums come in, grounding the rhythm.
The strongest moments on Homage EP strike this unlikely balance between experimentalism and dance floor pleasures, an ode to Berlin and its unique club scene and nightlife.