‘Frammenti’ – Vinz Exe (Systolic)

'Frammenti' - Vinz Exe (Systolic)

Naples-based Vinz Exe (AKA Vincenzo Gargiulo) delivers ‘Frammenti’ a sublime five track E.P. on the Systolic imprint, strengthening the producer’s rich discography, including past releases on Planet Rhythm (Seven) and Circular Limited (Quantica)

‘Ametista’ kicks off the E.P. with hypnotic dubby kicks, complemented by sweeping synths and tight high-hats, further enhanced by acid-like wobbles, introduced at the tracks mid-point. ‘Diorite’ contrasts well against the heavier tracks within the E.P. with Gargiulo seemingly focusing more on the mid and hi sections of the production. Lighter ‘padded’ kicks form the backbone of the track and at three minutes in, a ringing syncopated high hat gives it some dancefloor oomph.

A slight digression is seen in ‘Opal’ and ‘Opal pt.2’, where 4×4 sections are replaced with ambient soundscapes. The former is atmospheric, with break beat kicks and delay-ridden snares being introduced at different interludes – in my opinion, perfect for starting a set. The latter is led by dreamy synths and transversely, would be perfect to close the night. 

To round things off, ‘Quartz’ sets a ‘head down’ tone, with rave like sirens ushered in gradually against a backdrop of driving tribal loops. A host of different elements are layered up, with extra energy again, coming in the form of syncopated highs at the tracks mid-point. A real peak time treat.

Gargiulo states he prefers playing live and this approach is present throughout all five tracks, with the producer carefully layering a multitude of electronic elements to create rich compositions. As a vinyl obsessive, I only wish the release was available in 12” format. 

‘Il Labertino del Fauno’ – Doctrina Natura (Circular Limited)

Doctrina Natura (real name Alex Caballero) returns to Circular Limited little over a year after his debut, delivering ‘Il Labertino del Fauno’ a four track EP (incl remix from Unjin), which encapsulates the deep and hypnotic sound the Seville-based label has become renowned for.

Caballero has steadily been making a name for himself within deep techno circles and his maiden release of the new decade follows strong production output in 2019, including an E.P. on Ryogo Yamamori’s 951beat and ‘The Sacred Circle’, a six track offering released on Ghent based Aarden Records. This has been bolstered by contributions to some of the genres leading podcast series, including Sure Thing #79 (curated by Aaron J) and and Munitum #99. 

Presumably aided by their ‘Digital-only’ approach, Circular have a rigorous release schedule (17 in 2019). But whilst this frequency can often impact the quality of a label’s output, Circular have no such issue. Each release is beautifully curated, and their artist roster is bursting with production talent, ranging from more established names such as Svarog and Norbak, to emerging artists such as Vinz Exe and Citty.

Such is Circular’s contribution to the deep / hypnotic techno sub-genre, it would be effortless for them to expand into vinyl releases, a podcast series or even curated events / mini festivals. Their formula, however, is a winning one, and whilst there appears to be no immediate plans to deviate from their current output, they will continue to be one of the leading lights in contemporary techno music.