Switzerland’s Dan Lagadere, as well as having produced many fine EPs and 12”s of funky and jazz-laden techno with hip-hop influences, is also A&R and label manager at Vanina Hänin. This particular label is unique in that it also sells arts, clothes, accessories and books.
This sort of extension to other finer things in life is musically reflective in Take A Deep Breath. It is a four-track EP sonically clean as a whistle, pure Swiss machinery, and made for spinning as wax.
The strength of the pulsing and tribal ‘Deep Breath’ is prevalent in the punctuation of guitar string hits at the end of every second bar, which is then further sophisticated by Knight Rider-style synths into an irresistible groove. Drum beats are understated but tight with accompanying staccato snares.
Second track ‘Delete’ is uptempo but controlled, varying from a steady 4-4 to a broken but elegant beat signature between phrases. Drums are again understated, further complementing the restrained but flowing nature of the Lagadere sound. Punctuation this time is provided by reverberating congos at every second bar and synth hits on every first and third beats. This simple formula creates spacial synergy that is still full in sound.
‘Metal Pianissimo’ is jazzy and frantic with the same degree of restraint still prevailing over the elements. A glitchy, off-beat complements the metallic keys of melody chiming discordantly but harmoniusly with the beat. This beat may have carried on for a bit too long without progression, although it may be great to dance to.
Final track ‘Voices of the Mountains’ provides an eerie crescendo for Take A Deep Breath, with layers of angelic yet harsh singers breathing out a simple off-beat melody, which is then thrown into unsettling synergy with a second layered and reverberating male singer. This would be creepy except for the moving choir of accompanying percussion, which again delivers a delicious groove.
All in all, Take A Deep Breath is undoubtedly good techno and one tight EP, only available digitally at this point.
8.5 out of a possible 10 Haarp Strings.