Reviewed By: Matt Sever
Distant Worlds continue their excellent catalogue with this forthcoming fourth release by Perseus Traxx titled Simulacra.
Distant Worlds is a UK based vinyl only label, focussed on quality techno. Although a relatively new label, the first three releases from John Shima, Derek Carr and Mihail P are each of stand out quality. All three releases are still in my box, and this new release is no exception. DW has earned itself a spot as one of those labels I will just buy.
Perseus Traxx is one of many aliases of Nigel Rogers. Some other pseudonyms are Northern Powerhouse, Nite Vision, Orpheus, Sir Leon Greg, Operator Tracey, Scandalous Arthur, Orpheus, Ellis de Havilland and Vulcano. Secret Gang 001 by Perseus Traxx was my first review I did for timeline. I still play those tracks now. I made a point then of delving into his back catalogue and his aliases, I highly recommend you do too.
He has released on labels such as; Den Hague’s legendary Bunker, M>O>S and BOE Recordings, Photic Fields, Love Notes & I Love Acid. His live sets are revered by those that know, a simple hardware set up that he knows inside and out, he can take it wherever it needs to go. On this release – “This record uses a Juno Alpha and a Yocto, along with other bits I can’t remember. It was made after I returned from an inspirational trip in Southern Italy in 2017.”
The A side kicks off with A New Mystery. Morphing, buzzing synths swirl surrounded by some percussion before the four four beat comes in with a grooving almost laid-back bassline. Pads add atmosphere, this record for me gives a good vibe, like a discovering something new feeling. More layers of synths build morph and flow round the groove of that bass line, the percussion drops, changes and moves all in the right ways.
A2 is the title track, Simulacra. This starts with a bassline synth a bit like the one from Mr Fingers can you feel it, but if it had taken acid and been sent through a wormhole. This has a more broken/electro beat. Again, pads bring soul to the electronic madness, another bassline subtly folds in and around the original, building and dropping throughout. Expert programming of percussion adds intensity and flow.
On the flipside B1 brings us Circumstantial. Rolling toms start the track, no messing about a beautiful, bouncy, driving bassline comes right in. This has real groove. A synth melody rides the bass, and another rides that, the layers keep coming, all the while tough percussion drives it through. If I had to choose probably my favourite track.
Finally rounding out this awesome EP we have The Map Is Not The Territory. This caught my eye straight away when I got this through. I love an author called Robert Anton Wilson (you should check him out!), he often cited Alfred Korzybski a scientist and philosopher. The title of this track being one of the things he said. Melodic synths build from the offset those lush bit round bass sounds again roll effortlessly behind another electro style beat. Another masterclass in analogue hardware and programming, a beautiful track. Uplifting but not in an over the top or cheesy way. Tough but understated.