Record of the Week 010: Act III

by Harry Shackleton                                                              rec

Record: Act III
Artist: Various
Label: Propaganda Moscow
Genre: Techno
Released: 20/10/2017

Rating: 4 / 5

This week’s Record of the Week takes us to Russia for some heady techno from Propaganda Moscow: a new label created by Propaganda Club. Like Tresor, this club has decided to encapsulate its sound by twinning the venue with a label, thus giving them complete freedom to show what Propaganda is all about. The label’s third release, the inventively named ‘Act III’, may not sound enticing but this is exactly what they’re all about: no nonsense techno. Russia and techno is a match made in heaven with vast spaces and industrial heritage, and ‘Act III’ showcases this excellently. Having first been drawn in by DJ Deep whose techno productions are always top quality, I was pleased to find that the other contributions were of the same standard.

As with Berlin, this kind of techno is all about the journey; subtle changes in the mood leave you wondering how you got to where you are and where did that last hour/day/weekend/life go? The first track ‘Solar Analog’ by Zadig is just that, starting off modestly with ethereal pads overlaying a whip crack snare that could cut through crowds on the right sound system. The track builds and builds into a crescendo with slight acidic tones if you delve deep enough.

The next track is ‘Kontext’ from Savas Pascalidis: a low key groover that rises and falls, breaking into snarling overdriven sections which then fall back in to that consistent groove. DJ Deep’s contribution is a track called ‘Night Scan’ which features longer breaks, setting it apart from the rest of the EP. He effectively showcases his ability to capture almost funk-like rhythms in a hard-hitting techno track. There’s real soul here. The final track is ‘Broken Strings’ by Versions: a more melodic piece that sounds almost ritual-like with tonal drum arpeggios and creepy synth soundscapes overlaying the rhythm. It thus comes as a nice surprise after the other three pure techno tracks.

Overall, a great view into the club’s vision with four excellent tracks that punch above their weight. Check out Propaganda Club here; they seem like a lovely bunch.


Zadig – Solar Analog
Savas Pascalidis – Kontext
DJ Deep – Night Scan
Versions – Broken Strings

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