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.

Chimes At Midnight

Artist :
Title : Chimes At Midnight
Release Date : 30. April 2021
Catalog ref. : SOB005
Format : Digital Download

Two unique minds crafting modern-day electronic hypnotism.

At the root of Nick Lapien and Robin Koek’s Artefakt project is a shared love for melancholic, hypnotic voodoo music. Their sound is pensive with deep, rich textures; long track lengths—often six-minutes-plus—give the duo an expansive framework in which to make small changes of texture and tone, creating cerebral, balanced atmospheres that absorb and engage. “Sometimes we just take a short element, like the sound of a falling drop of water, and from this recording we extract the rhythm and use it as a starting point,” they say. “It’s a very organic way of creating new material.”

After a period of self-reflection, the Dutch duo returned in 2019 to launch a label with a new EP. De Stijl serves as a platform for their musical explorations and those of their close friends. The imprint’s inaugural EP, Far and Wide, a lesson in dancefloor-ready techno that prioritises mood and melancholy, preceded Monsoon, Artefakt’s second album, this time on Svreca’s mighty Semantica Records. Across eight tracks, the duo evidenced an intrinsic understanding of rhythmic structures, confirming their status as one of the most singular and emotionally evocative acts in contemporary techno.

As a live act, Lapien and Koek have performed all across Europe, North America, and Asia, their analog-heavy set a must-see for fans of melodic and deeply emotive techno. Drawing on their shared love for collecting records, they also perform as DJs, crafting long, hypnotic narratives laced with exclusive material and records from the expensive collections, old and new.

Having first crossed paths at university, Lapien and Koek began making music together in 2012. Lapien, whose infectious, swinging house cuts have featured on Rekids, Soul People Music, and DVS1’s Mistress, was just beginning his career as a solo artist; while Koek, who designs his own artistic systems and teaches at dBs Music Berlin, had just earned a Master of Arts from Utrecht’s School of Arts, specializing in Sound Design and Composition. After releasing two EPs on the legendary Dutch imprint Delsin Records, in 2017 Koek and Lapien presented their debut album, Kinship, cementing their nuanced, atmospheric style while showcasing its breadth. It was the first big step in their ongoing pursuit to adopt techno as an art-form rather than a genre.

In 2021 the duo emphasized their long nurtured ambient roots, with the release of their third album ‘Days Bygone’ returning to their homebase Delsin Records. Reflecting the dynamic of the times, the album is a spacious introspective work interwoven with their signature airy textural rhythms.

Folllow Artefakt: FacebookInstagramSoundcloudBandcamp

Wrestle

Artist :
Title : Wrestle
Release Date : 26. March 2021
Catalog ref. : SOB004
Format : Digital Download

The duo INIT, consisting of Nadia D’Alò and Benedikt Frey, will release their new EP “Wrestle” on March 26th via the label and multi-channel platform Sound Of Berlin.

Despite the intensive use of analogue synthesizers and drum computers, INIT‘s productions cannot be pigeon-holed into the techno drawer. The duo breaks boundaries and creates their very own soundscape. On their latest EP, rhythmic and hypnotic sounds meet distorted and mystical vocals, which moves the EP somewhere in the mysterious middle of acid house, techno, ambient and krautrock.

Nadia D’Alò and Benedikt Frey, whose house productions have already been placed on Live at Robert Johnson in the past, met at university where they were both studying sound studies. The foundation of the joint project INIT in 2012 was the logical consequence of an experimental phase, in which the two worked together with different artists from other creative fields. The willingness to experiment continues with the duo mixing influences from the most diverse genres into a unique and coherent sound aesthetic.

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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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