Reviewed By: Roger,Roger
It’s been an amazing 1st quarter of the year so far for underground and soulful techno hardware jams dedicated to purveying the real; the latest curation from the highly in demand and superb Childhood Intelligence and Dan Piu – ‘Ocean of Blue Chaoz’ is a yet another fine and standout example.
In the world of web, there’s not much information out there on Childhood Intelligence, they are hardcore purveyors, releasing limited and on vinyl only. Those lucky enough to know about them have been treated to some techno, house, and electro of the highest order from the promising German label, including it’s sublabels Childhood Electronix, and Childhood & Co. It’s plausible to theorize that this all adds to the charm of the music- atmospheric, timeless techno that takes you away, thus it makes sense that this label exists on another plane of reality musically, at least it seems.
Likewise, with more than 25 years of music production under his belt Dan Piu is quietly but surely creating a high demand for his work, despite his music being released on pure underground and exclusive vynl only labels like: Moto Music, Temporary State, Cartulis Music, Childhood Electronix and Childhood Intelligence, as well as upcoming on Common Dreams. He’s also responsible for Child Five of Childhood Intelligence; the highly acclaimed and superb Tru Time and Ages double lp, reviewed here on Timeline as well, and arguably to many, last years best techno album.
In addition, he has deep house projects with Jesus Gonsavev, The Winelambs and cult underground producer Grant – Theory of Movement which serves up some proper warm house that you should own if you dont already, as well as another mysterious,yet beautiful collab project with Grant that you might have heard on previous Childhood Intelligence compilations.
Audio from Childhood Intelligence is served up interestingly. Each of its fine catalogue releases are sublabeled as a Child- ‘Oceans of Blue Chaoz’ by Dan Piu births their seventh, ( i.e. Child Seven) and just like a child, this is filled with imagination, and playful intelligence, while having structural production that is naturally welcome for the deep minded adult dance floor or living room.
The Oceans of Blue Chaoz ep is equally styled with elements of house and techno like a customized sampler for your mind and body. Beginning with the hybrid Chi-house jacking, Detroit fueled 909 percussion and spacey blips of Aztec Challenge . There’s an anticipatory and looming arrangement to this track and it makes for the feeling that something is about to happen; the move towards a deep groove. Bass rich kicks introduce the track with a minimal moody bassline, and soon serve as the terrain for a haunting synth that is the premier melody and guide in the track. All the while, the shuffling soulful bassline rides the tracks myriad of 909 hats, and thumping kicks sublayered by claps during the tracks peaks.
It’s all arranged in late 80s jacking acid house percussive fashion with mystique filled synth arrangements and otherworldly bleeps for our sensual pleasures. Aztec Challenge delivers like the strong warriors it is named after, and is an excellent opener to the world of Child Seven, and that DJ set that takes listeners to late night deep heaven.
Digging in deep with yet another display of fine deep acid inspired house in Dan Piu’s signature aesthetic is ‘Polydeuces’. The excavation into the deep begins minimally with thumping and punchy kicks shortly accompanied by shuffling hats that soon welcome a filtered, and moody acid bassline. Before you realize it you’re lost in its deeply emotive dreamy pads, as the wormy acid bassline travels through your ears with higher clarity as track builds. There’s other flashes of subtle atmosphere like the crystal drops of arpeggiation at just the right moments in the track. This surely is emotive acid house of the finest, yet the mean and driving acid bassline keeps it aggressive in nature, eventually coming in stronger in presence as the track ends; this all sums up to the right formula for the floor; that late 80s, early 90s cool, deep street tech and acid house style that drove your parents wild when you were just a child.
Flip over to side B for the inner Detroit inspirations in Child Seven. ‘Paranoia City’ will embrace you warmly, beginning with its punchy 909 kicks, and signature party house bassline. About thirty seconds into this jam affair, warm, airy, and uplifting synths help us truly paint the picture of an ethereal metropolitan city in the future. The kicks shuffle in this track smoothly, complete with clear as water metal snare drum breakdowns amongst the kick arrangements that keep the track driving. There’s also plenty of funky industrial bleeps that go along with the bouncy driving rhythm of the track, as well as that raw sound hiss we all love about golden age hardware techno. Things are Real in this Paranoia City of paradise, so no worries friends, upon arrival you will cease with the Paranoia of poser techno you might hear at uninspiring venues elsewhere. This is definitely refreshing, smile-inducing, melodic techno with elements of deep house present… its timeless and could be played right along a golden era classic or a deep tech set colored with hybrid hues of Detroit and acid. Excellent job on this one, the hard work shows in its timeless quality.
This fine ep closes with the type of mastery of colorful machine art that is signature of Dan Piu. Dreamy and ethereal are instantly the feelings that come to soul, as ‘Orbital Honjo Masamune’ pulls you in with the smoothest gravitational force. Like the 700 year old Samurai sword that this track refers to, its beautiful yet more than powerful enough to be quite dangerous in the finest way, especially at the right moment with the right DJ. Balance helps too, as it’s a techno track colored with fine lines of electro and acid. The use of the 808 and 303 help produce this achievement finely. The track arrives in orbit initially with rich 808 kicks and 808 snares shuffling seamlessly along currents of space bleep arpeggios giving this the feel of both energetic and mental techno. Next we are introduced to a dreamy, and octave fluctuating synth with an equally soulful bassline; they both compliment each other so well throughout the track, all the while spaced out bleep arpeggios keep a subtle yet powerful presence in the background. As the journey progresses synth pads and chords go through various textures and peaks, creating a bliss de force of beautiful ambience that rides the waves of techno beat present here. Realization is further fulfilled in this musical journey with some truly deep analogue synth and 303 squelch solos, a cool cowbell, and raw sound fidelity. The track goes out in grand fashion with good fine waves of acid over its drums serving as a reminder that the beautiful Orbital Honjo Masamune is still a sword, and it came to save your Childhood lntelligence, and of course the children from preposterous posers and fake djs in the sharpest manner. Superb work by
Dan Piu, strong enough for the deepest floors away from home, yet sensual enough for the deepest corners of your dome.
We should be humbled and grateful for labels like Childhood Intelligence that dedicate their time to curating such fine moments to be painted in our minds. With just their Seventh child, this is an impressive release and arguably one of the better eps this year. Dan Piu has done it again dropping 4 proper tunes that are in many ways a flashback curation of everything we love about raw analogue house and techno from the mid90s, plus the uplifting, dreamy, and emotive signature touch of Dan Piu. Piu is not trying to overdo or create something new, but rather go by a model where there is no time, just the feeling…and the feeling here is plain out good, something missing these days until guys like Dan come through our neighborhood..
Considering the rich and raw sound of the ep, as well as recently available reissues of Dan’s older material, one might wonder when these tracks were made…we cannot say for sure, but it doesn’t really matter because the music here is timeless and will always be an example of that future world underground techno producers were envisioning and creating in the mid90s, and that still gets play today. Dan Piu has been doing this thing called T-E-C-H-N-O for over 25 years by the way, hence the quality skill and mastery in his productions, naturally at home for the deep DJ. And for those of you still not wanting to come down from the highs of Tru Time and Ages, you will truly be happy to have this release. You’ll also love this if real techno made made from box machines is your thing.
Luckily and much to surprise for all of us, there is vynl from Childhood Intelligence and its sublabels available directly from them on their bandcamp page. It would certainly help fulfill your emotional wealth to add these to your collection of electronic perfection. Likewise, future releases from this label are exciting to look forward too, as well as more material having to do with Dan Piu.
There isn’t much else left to discuss, and some of you already knew Childhood Intelligence and Dan Piu do it like very few. Its time to head over to their bandcamp and show Child Seven some love; Ocean of Blue Chaoz works fine with a DJ for the floor and your third eye’s cerebral door… Excellence and Expertise is on full display here with 4 crafts of imaginative hardware intelligence sure to secure a fond place in your mind and dance the test of time. Thanks to Childhood Intelligence and Dan Piu for this one- Check ‘eem out in the link below: