A man of many monikers, prolific Dutch techno producer Steve Rachmad has released relatively little bearing the Sterac Electronics name since he debuted it in the early 2000s, focusing instead on his other various aliases.
The project has apparently percolated behind the scenes over the years, however, leading to Things to Think About, a nine-track collection of previously unreleased material on Voyage Direct, and it's a satisfying dose of hardware-oriented, '80s-influenced electro, even if the austerity of its production doesn't always sustain the runtime of its tracks.
Like the project name Sterac Electronics suggests, the album is best approached as an exploration, or better yet a kind of demonstration, of a given collection of hardware. As such, there's an immediate punch to the proceedings, with steady, muscular drum programming and crisp synth tones that are clearly straight from the source. Highlights include "Next Destination," with a bass line straight out of a Knight Rider episode, the confident mid-tempo strut of "Metatron" (also with a killer bass line), and the warm electro-funk of opener "Altruistic Endeavor."
Everything here is direct and to the point, with a refreshing absence of unnecessary frills and post-production fiddling. This strength can be a weakness too, though, with certain tracks sounding a tad sparse. "Game Changers" in particular sounds a bit unfinished, simply repeating its handful of (in themselves good) ideas for most of its second half.
There are more hits than misses on Things To Think About though, especially if you can accept its austere and repetitive elements as resulting from dance floor utility and back-to-basics methodology. And frankly, even the less-than-stellar offerings are given an edge via the tight, controlled production featured throughout. Those who like their '80s synths up front and unvarnished will find much to enjoy here. (Voyage Direct)