Despite some similarities, techno and house tend to be divisive genres — not for French producer Lazare Hoche, though. Techno fans bemoan diva vocals in house, house heads gripe about a lack of soul in techno, and the versatile Parisian producer plays both sides nicely.
Lazare Hoche really burst onto the scene in 2012 via the self-released limited 12-inch with Malin Genie, I Don't Sync So Part 1. It was a collection of dead ringers for early, thumping Kerri Chandler productions, and the second release on his eponymous label. On Part 1, there were organ stabs and, yes, big vox; wait for those tropes on Lazare Hoche's latest EP, Seascape, though, and you'll be disappointed. They aren't coming.
Together with compatriot producer Traumer, the genre-jumping label boss crafts ambient yet driving techno, a sound Hoche has been exploring through his Mandar project alongside the aforementioned Malin Genie, as well as S.A.M. It's a more sophisticated sound, sure, but all three songs on Seascape blend together so as to be almost indistinguishable from one another at first blush. Is it the A-side track "Seascape," B1 "Compass," or B2 "Belhara" playing? Before several listens, even the techno-initiated might have trouble telling.
The tracks all have depth. The problem is that each tune reaches that same depth. Sunrise synths spar with sub-bass-imbued tech-house rhythms, and then fade out. And repeat. There is great material here — but only about one song's worth of it. (Lazare Hoche Records)