Packed full of uncompromising and unrelenting intensity, Unrest is the latest THEM release from Serbian techno producer Lag. This single marks the forth release on the imprint, featuring two original drum track club tools as well as a stunning remix from longstanding US techno heavyweight Paul Birken.
Unrest is a hard-hitting, 3 track release that’s already had several rave reviews from a few respected techno producers in the harder and darker areas of the scene:
Perc: “Nice EP, but Nemir is by far the winner for me. Great track!”
Truss: “This is really good”
Manni Dee: “I’ve been rinsing these! Been playing Nemir and the Birken remix at every gig. Great release”
Lag’s techno identity is yet another story of musical self-discovery and cross-genre growth that is becoming increasingly more and more common throughout not only the techno community; but many other electronic scenes as well.
Growing up on punk and then acquiring a classical education in music, Lag quit it all after finding himself positively enchanted by the sheer possibilities of artistic expression available to him through both DJing and creating electronic music.
His works combine a potent mixture of rhythm, raw grit, fearless attitude and unrelenting chaos. A mixture that pushes the boundaries of techno by forming aural creations that move the body, shift the feet and enthrall the mind.
Lag’s style of techno, whilst decidedly on the harder end of the spectrum, is a unique blend of harsh bursts of energy, frenzied percussions and sonically penetrating explosiveness that drives a dance floor.
Whilst this track starts out with quite basic hollowed out break-beat styled kicks and spacious crackling shakers, half in minute into the intro section they are joined by a swinging and distorted noisy clap pattern, a heavily processed filtered vocal loop, and the original kick sound has now morphed into a somewhat punchier and thumping kick sample.
The first minute discretely hides the extent of the heaviness that’s due to be unleashed from Bumer, building up exciting anticipation as a couple of intense and bassy kicks appear, leading us up and into the first main phrase.
Whilst the initial kick drums were boxy, hollow and filtered – they now transform into pounding, thunderous bassy monsters. Cleverly designed to evolve from what they once were, mere inklings of percussive prowess, to now be creations of a malevolent techno deity.
A high passed distorted shaker pattern appears on top, hypnotically driving alongside the kicks and loud unabashed snare/claps. Make no mistake, Bumer starts off relatively mellow and coy, hiding its true form from the listener at the start – but it rolls out the goods quickly and effortlessly; staying true to Lag’s trademark “take no prisoners” style of production.
Bumer (Paul Birken Remix):
Paul Birken’s remix of Bumer is a glitchy and metallic take on Lag’s original track, full of heavily filtered and very distorted sounds. Splashy reverbed high hats and deep thudding kicks roll alongside chaotic rimshot sounds and utterly industrial noise stabs.
Birkin’s remix of Bumer is a choleric and tightly packaged take on the original track, almost schizophrenic in its musical delivery, and it takes Lag’s original level of chaos to bold new heights.
This remix is a great re-imagining of the original – demonstrating the heaviness that techno can bring. And very clearly shows how rough rhythms, brash soundscapes and tight percussive fury can lend a very serious note of confrontational sonic drama to 6 minutes of pure techno.
Nemir begins with an energetic percussive explosion of vicious rolling kick drums, a hollow and distant sounding side stick hit, and dry shuffled drums that are all tightly packaged together into one tight unit of jacking percussion.
The high level of energy is ostensibly palpable as a furious vocal stab shouting “take take, take take” launches the track forward violently, being washed over with some splashes of reverb for a mini-breakdown leading up to the 2 minute mark – which is when a very distorted and extremely frenzied high hat pattern is let loose into the already veracious cacophony of sounds that make up Nemir.
Ringing out in the background is a loose and spacious pumping reverb swell that sticks around for a few bars before we’re treated to the main breakdown. The drums are stripped back to their bare essentials, the vocals still roar along and the kicks still roll hard, and then one by one, the elements fall out. And then just over 4 minutes in to Nemir, the whole guttural symphony of industrious sounds soar back into life.
With the primary vocal loop having been killed off, the original tight percussive drum patterns explosively chug alongside the prior droning reverb pump that was introduced minutes before. The energy of the track is steadily disassembled in the last remaining minute, giving the listener time to mentally recover from the six and a half minutes of sonic intensity that makes up Nemir.
Pre-order Unrest: Lag – Unrest [THEM004]