Agara Music closed out 2013 a bit quiet as the labels last release came in early October. It was the very well put together ‘Friends Around The World’ compilation that label Boss Travis MacDonald so meticulously compiled. Agara Music gets 2014 underway with a brand new EP from Booiamrudolf who is making his third appearance on the label. The Colombian producers first EP for Agara is entitled ‘Coloured In Rain’ and it comes with remixes from Noraj Cue and Blake Sutherland.
Diehard fans of melodic techno most likely discovered Booiamrudolf with his releases on Wide Angle Recordings which along with Agara are the two leading lights for cutting edge electronica in Canada. The Colombian has certainly been spending some quality time in his studio over the last year as his two originals here are really intriguing. The lead track on the EP ‘Coloured In Rain’ might be Booiamrudolf’s most emotionally stimulating creation to date. The foundation of the track immediately grabs you with its brooding intensity and warped, momentous sensibility. It’s heads down serious at the outset but once the heavy, marching foundation gets layered with sparkling keys and blissed out pads something very special happens. The vibe of the record grows into something that is both dramatic and beautiful. The melancholy through the broken beat interlude leads to a more stripped down and introspective section which has the menacing beats seemingly injecting even more life into the undulating grooves. There is something magical about the punishing, alien like beats in conjunction with the heart wrenching melodic layers here that is really special so don’t miss it.
The lone remix of ‘Coloured In Rain’ is provided Noraj Cue who is making his first appearance on Agara. The Dutch producer is much loved for his productions on Manual Music, Connoisseur and Crossfrontier Audio. Noraj also delivered one of the year’s best bootlegs with his remix (in conjunction with Paul Hazendonk) of Viridian ‘Sunhump’ which was an old Sasha favourite from 1996. For his ‘Coloured In Rain’ interpretation Noraj has provided a more laid back and floor friendly rework that reinvents the melodic components wonderfully. There is an added funkiness which really opens the track up nicely following the drop and the twisted harmonics play off the funky stabs perfectly. A great remix from Noraj.
The companion piece ‘Wine & Cigarettes’ finds Booiamrudolf with another cool excursion into melodic techno. The foundation of piece certainly doesn’t come with the heaviness of ‘Coloured In Rain’ but there is still a very mutated groove there which is both unique and captivating. The really spectacular element here though are the dancing keys which assault the senses throughout. It’s a dazzling sequence which proves to be not only emotional but incredibly hypnotic. The wispy vocal elements and gleaming electronic accents are the perfect addition as well and add just right amount of effervescent glow to the surrounding beauty here. Awesome stuff from Booiamrudolf.
The lone remix of ‘Wine & Cigarettes’ is provided by Blake Sutherland who should be quite familiar to electronic music fans as being the man behind Wide Angle Recordings. The label would have to one of Canada’s longest running electronica imprints with nearly seven years committed to pushing contemporary sounds to its fans. Blake’s monthly podcast Cityscape Sessions is also one of my favourite monthly mix shows and is fast approaching its 100th edition. It’s a rare event that we see Blake with enough time to venture into the studio so it was a pleasant surprise to see a remix from him included here. For a guy that only has 3 released productions under his belt (and that’s over the course of the last 6 years) this remix is truly exceptional. The big, well shaped bass tones bring a cool elasticity and vibrant colour to the mix while the mesmerizing rhythms provide a playful hypnotic complement. Blake has created a wonderful harmonic theme which seems to evolve throughout the record but what really makes it so inviting is the character and texture of the sounds. It is such a pleasant listen and should sound absolutely ace on a club system. Big remix from Blake which is actually my favourite out of the four and a great start to 2014 for Agara Music.