Hug Heroes

Young and prolific, Swedish minimal techno producer John Dahlbäck is the first artist to release a full-length album on Kompakt’s K2 imprint — an offshoot started in 2005 in an attempt to bring more of a pure techno sound back to the label. Some tracks are taken from Hug’s earlier twelve-inch releases but he has also added some new songs that are true to Kompakt’s form: spacious yet somehow baroque with evolving, stripped down rhythmic patterns and trance-inducing synth melodies set against washing atmospherics of background ambient noise. Analogue meets digital in "Fluteorgie,” where a cyclic flutter of the flute is contrasted with high-pitched blips and bleeps, and a restless beat. "Sub” pops with bubbly synths but all the action is at the gritty, growling bass level that comes down hard mid-track, proving it difficult to not lose your mind if heard through the right speakers. This stuff appeals to the primordial, which plain and simply, makes you want to move. (Kompakt)