Coming straight out of the heart of Brooklyn, New York is a label that has been growing rapidly in both audience and critical acclaim alike. New York Trax found its origins in 2016 as a platform for New York based electronic artists to showcase their original productions that erred towards the rougher, more raw, and grittier side of techno; and despite being relatively new in the global scene, the label already boasts a very impressive artist roster that includes the likes of David Dahl, Another Alias, Steve Stoll, Boris Brenecki, Alex Alben, Richard Hinge, and Løt.te.
Staying true to the roots of techno’s core foundations, New York Trax has offered both vinyl and digital releases – with the 12” vinyl hardcopies frequently selling out within weeks. The label has been met with an incredible amount of positive acclaim, and has garnered global support from a veritable “who’s who” in the global techno community.
Building on the success of the main label, NYT have spawned a sub-label imprint called “New York Trax Imports” which resides as a platform for international artists to publish their works to the label’s already impressive worldwide audience and fanbase.
The latest of these releases to hit the scene is NYT Imports 03 by Drvg Cvltre.
Drvg Cvltre is the alias of Vincent Koreman, an electronic artist who originally hails from Tilburg, Holland, and who has been composing his own unique brand of experimental house, brash and punk-influenced techno, as well as acidic electronica since 2009.
Coming from a background of black metal, experimental and punk genres, Koreman’s music is often brash, raucous, sonically visceral and highly energetic. Listing some of his stylistic influences as Sun Ra, Terrence Dixon, and Suicide – the sound of Drvg Cvltre is a highly confrontational mixture of dark techno and deep house, all whilst staying in touch with his creative and musical roots of experimentation and punk-fueled energy.
A1 – The Dead In London Basements
Kicking off the release is ‘The Dead In London Basements‘ – a track that is almost a love letter to overdrive and distortion. Heavily crushed, thumping kickdrums bounce alongside crisp and swinging filtered closed high-hats for the first minute and a half.
As the intro section thuds onwards, an overdriven acid-style synth riff slowly begins to take centre stage as the cutoff on the lowpass filter on it unwinds and unfolds to showcase the raw and squelching heat of the mangled 303 beauty.
Distorted Lo-fi percussion sounds ring throughout the tune, whether they be morphed shaker noises, harsh and splashy ride cymbals, or the original shuffled closed hats – all of which produce an overly experimental and abrasive analogue feeling of 90’s industrial warehouse techno raves.
As the tune drives forward, the low-end thumping 808 kick drums are complemented expertly with the noise percussion pattern programming, and the interplay of the 303’s filter cutoff. As the filter is shifted up and down throughout various parts of the track, an excellent balance is made between the crisp, squelching resonant acid stabs and the lower note harmonics. Whilst a relatively simplistic track in retrospect, ‘The Dead in London Basements‘ is a prime example of thrashing techno energy that would drive any illegal warehouse rave to a frenzy.
A2 – Extended Life
We start out the next track, ‘Extended Life‘, with thin yet thudding kick drums and an arpeggiated stacatto synthesizer pattern, alongside plasticky & shuffled closed high-hats that almost feel transparent in the mix – but that sit nicely in the near foreground as a percussive layer. As the intro segment begins to build more and more in prominence, we hear a thick and ominous rising drone sound that adds some pure physiological and mental anticipation. It increasingly draws a powerful sense of dread and harsh texture into the listener’s ear until, at the 1:20 mark, all hell breaks loose.
The drone experiences its own ‘breakdown’ of sorts, as if the inner circuitry behind it had simultaneously melted and crashed. The kick drum returns, however this time, it comes back with a much more hefty weight and energetic thud compared to the original – bringing a choleric and industrial influenced techno power to the track. Rhythmic percussion is supplemented in the background as reverberated, overdriven open high-hats are swinging around quietly for a few minutes until they’re firmly placed on the off-beat to create a more solid drive.
Whilst the low frequency drone jumps around throughout the track here and there to push the lower bass sounds more and more into the listener’s ear, we are also met by a recurring noise synth stab a few minutes into the track, which loops over and over to inject a bit of hypnotic melody into the remainder of the track. As this sound joins into the totality of the layers, ‘Extended Life‘ takes on much more of a dark, industrial techno flavour and all sonic elements play towards the finality of the tune: resulting in a slamming cocktail of percussion, texture, and noise.
B1 – Oblivion Imminent
‘Oblivion Imminent‘ is probably the darkest and deepest cut off of this release. From the get go, the track has cavernous melancholic atmospheric pads droning in the background and heavy kick drums. Classic 909-style open high-hats pump freely as a noise percussion loop unfurls its way out of the intro alongside a filtered hoover-esque synthesizer pattern. This synth dynamically ebbs and flows around the other track elements, with filter cutoff modulated by an LFO and some slight tweaked delay providing a bit of extra life to it.
Approximately 3 minutes into ‘Oblivion Imminent‘ there is a short breakdown/breaktro – providing a few seconds of aural respite – where upon a lazy and slightly off-grid clap pattern joins the frey, and a secondary resonant synth squelch melody runs in parallel to the track’s main elements. As the rhythmic percussions swing and pump dynamically, all the modulations and automations of the filters and other effects on the synth layers provide a unique and interesting playfulness and forward motion to the overall energy of the tune. Add to all this, the deep and texturally rich vibe of the backing atmospheric soundscape – and you truly are on the receiving end of Oblivion itself.
B2 – I Can Feel the Devil Walking Next to Me Part I
Bringing a close to this release is the track ‘I Can Feel the Devil Walking Next to Me (Part I)‘: a super lo-fi and raw delivery of playful 1980’s Casio keyboard styled sounds that have been heavily bit crushed and run through sample rate reduction.
Combined alongside these retro and vintage kicks, claves, percussions and other noises is an ethereal and psychedelic droning synthesizer that chaotically flies to and fro in the background, and adds an extra sense of phonic cacophony and abrasive experimentation to this track – a clear and demonstrable example of Drvg Cvltre’s roots and stylistic influences from the DIY Punk scene.
NYT03 is currently available for purchase on the label’s bandcamp page – both digitally or as a 12” vinyl release (with limited copies remaining) – on the link below: