Reviewed By: Roger Versey
Summers always bring about the enticement to escape, and that’s exactly the intent of Duke’s Distribution as they present a new project known as Camarade with the ‘Orwellian EP’ . The Camarade project has appeared on an excellent vinyl compilation courtesy of the Childhood Intelligence sublabel Childhood & Co for their lone previous outing. However, The newest delicacy from Dukes Distribution, Orwellian EP is the first EP of the mysterious outfit. So who are they? Arguably to some, it shouldn’t matter a whole lot after you experience the music, because that’s exactly what it’s about here; music of the finest pure D-techno variety, and the perfect amount of emotion and acid for your mental nurturing purposes.
Nevertheless, it’s natural to want to inquire about who the artist is and acknowledge for great work. Camarade refers to a friend, a good ol pal that hangs out with you and while tripping off pure doses of raw analogue and Detroit inspired surreal techno with a little acid in this case. So, It makes perfect sense, that Dan Piu and Grant are Camarade, as their camaraderie has graced us with some truly proper deep house gems lately as Theory of Movement, who’s releases are also courtesy of the superb yet young Dukes Distribution label founded by Grant himself.
Likewise, Grants got ambitious artistic vision going on strong. His Duke’s project is divided 3 ways, and consists of Duke’s Editions, a publishing project, and Duke’s Pictures, an online art gallery. Duke’s Distribution is the part of his vision dedicated to releasing music with “no stylistic boundaries” as his website puts it. You should already know about Grant and Dan Piu, they both are responsible for incredible LP’s in the last few years, and the three prior releases on Duke’s Distribution.
Camarade, is about mid 90s inspired Detroit techno full of soulful vibes and acid. Together as Camarade, Dan Piu and Grant make magic happen on their debut ‘Orwellian EP’. Apologies to the posers – there’s no corn syrup here , just real pure organic raw lush techno the way the pure people like it.
You’ll surely like how Camarade’s Orwellian EP drops in, or better yet teleports you to lush outer space techno vibes with it’s first track ‘Data Fiction’. Like something of science fiction, imagination is key here and doesn’t require much on your part as Camarade brings it to you on this musical data. Soulful lines of synth introduce the track, along with spaced out sonic signals in bleep fashion. Landing on this lush horizons surface next are shuffling 808 snares and closed hats, which are soon sublayered beautifully by warm, bass-rich, and punchy 808 kicks. It’s all lush and smooth space sailing Detroit style from here as mellow jazz influenced pads tap on the vibes of the track at the perfect moments. There’s also a very dreamy arpeggiated synth solo around a minute and a half into the track, great work indeed how this adds to the imagination in this tracks lush scene. As the track progresses, so does the kick in of acid of the 303 kind, swirling throughout the right places in this fictional paradise. It’s all here to be listened to and played amongst the real. For the cool venues or the couch, in the smoothest of techno ways Data Fiction brings great vision and friction.
We are next guided to the dreamy techno paradise vibes of ‘Newspeak’. Derrick May golden era inspired Detroit tech clap layered drums and kicks, bring in the track. Soon after, a classic D era influenced acid bassline and a dreamy, lush, soulful synth traps in you in the pudeep world of this track. All along in the tracks atmosphere are alien like arpeggiated bleeps and sonic whistle samples…. truly everything we love about timeless Detroit techno atmospherics. Delicate glass like pads tap in and out your ears in the dreamiest fashion in this lush track’s vibes as well. There’s much to enjoy here, and real DJs will be spinning this without fear. Newspeak is also an incredibly strong second track considering how proper the ep begins…without a doubt on Newspeak, Camarade wins. Fine golden mid-nineties style Detroit dream techno here at its peak
Beam on over to side B for more surreal and cerebral colours of Detroit flavoured techno. Beginning with ‘Teleport’. Cerebral teleportation begins with sensual and atmospheric synths sailing along punchy 808 kicks and hats before a highly emotive bassline and snares back the rich kicks as the track enters like a late night daydream in your mind. Melodic pads pace along the terrain of the track like delicate footsteps showing signs of life. It’s also full of some fantastic 808 snare drum breakdowns, you know the type of shuffling chaos we love. Its serene galactic late night rhythm and feel is influenced by the the Drexciyan aesthetic of fine lines between techno and electro with emotive atmospheric vibes similar to that of The Other People Place. The Stinson inspiration is clear here and it works perfectly, as both a deep electro techno cruiser, and for some really deep mood changing cohesion on this 4 tracker. It’s a strong track, one to go back and play many times because it has a lot of character in its moody yet sensual sound personality. Enjoy Teleport, and do just that as you are carried away by its emotive synths and 808 hardware manipulations.
Orwellian EP concludes the EP with a deep and melodramatic atmospheric number ‘CCTV To The People’. The track starts with thumping bass rich kicks,hats and a ringing colourful filtered pad….its not long before a peaking and emotion evoking synth give the track the ability of flight as it takes off to a new level, complete with tough edged Detroit golden era drums and electronic claps backing those bass kicks that introduced the track gracefully. It’s full of galactic sound signal like synths, acid liquid patterns, and plenty of golden era techno atmospherics. The track is well arranged from moments of building structures and textures with more reserved looping chords, and subtle yet intense kicks- to peaking moments with jamming techno drums and synth melody full of escalating dreamy highs…CCTV For the People is just what the people need at those cool venues with Camarade and deep techno on the menu, or at home with a cool select few.
Dukes Distribution has added quite the impressive artist debut release with Camrade’s Orwellian EP to its proper gallery of eclectic house and techno releases. Its properly mastered, and produced with passion and vision in every track. Its keeping alive the deep atmospheric and dreamy spaced out Detroit techno we love, and each of its tracks could be played in numerous styles of deep techno sets. There’s the romantic, dreamy, galactic, and OPP influenced variety of Detroit techno .
on all 4 tracks here and this lovely vinyl would love a place in your good home.
Hopefully, there will be more from Camarade, as Piu and Grant surely did a Hi-Five slapping type of job on this one that only good friends can do. We should also be excited about whatever Duke is distributing from here on out, as so far it’s been nothing less than absolute quality from the up and coming label ran by Grant. This is just their Dukes fourth musical curation, and The Orwellian EP is as effective at home with intelligent atmospherics and golden era rhythm aesthetics, as it is in those venues that play what you really can feel.Real DJs know the deal..
Dont miss this bliss or get juked, go grab Camarade’s debut, Orwellian EP, destined to be a timeless chapter in dreamy Detroit techno, distributed exclusively on vinyl love by Duke.
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