Ukranian label Wicked Bass have been pushing a lo-fi, crossover techno sound for a couple of years now. They clearly have an instinct for uncovering new artists, having issued debut 12″s for Huerco S, Innershades, Raw MT and others. Hupnosaurus‘ gritty, analogue production is on point but a bit of digging reveals that they are an Estonian duo who have been bashing out dance tracks and experimental synth works since the fall of the Soviet Union. B-side ‘Always In N Out’ was previously available on a 1995 cassette, and the other tracks on the ‘Where Am I?’ EP are apparently salvaged from the same era.
‘Muru’ is the standout track. Melancholic, hazy chords gently build up to a climax that is part acid, part kosmiche. It’s a moody affair which could come across as either gentle or driving, plaintive or uplifting. This makes it a natural fit for epic end of summer sets, the kind of track that would make infinite sense to someone who’s been raving for three months solid. Bookworms provide a remix which buries the track in a tougher techno loop.
There is nothing in these tracks which would make me guess they are 20 years old. They have aged remarkably well, and offer a glimpse of how far and how fast dance music culture reached across Europe.
Release date: June 2015
– Mike Curtis