Label: Fever AM Cat: FAM06
Label: Fever AM
Release date: 23/09/2019
Mor Elian once described her experience of getting into production as “a beautiful journey.” The same goes for a listener’s perspective. You can trace the development and perfection of a distinctive production style she’s developed over the past few years. Elian’s tracks are packed full of ideas, but generally free of catchy melodic hooks and euphoric climaxes. Dense textures, taut sound design and hypnotic atmospheres take precedent over big moments.
The idea of “updating” or “putting a modern spin” on classic sounds is becoming a cliché when talking about techno today, so much of which relies heavily on ’90s references. To her credit, Elian manages to find that balance between contemporary and nostalgic more effortlessly than most. This has a lot to do with her focus on sound and texture over melody. This detailed approach stood out on the brilliant Move Like Atoms EP, her last release on Fever AM, the label she runs with Rhyw. In his review of that EP, Andrew Ryce applauded Elian’s ability to take iconic sounds and transform them into something that “doesn’t feel remotely retro.”
On “Farewell To The Snare,” she again does what she did so well on her last release—cutting and manipulating breaks beyond recognition, but with a subtlety that keeps the track rolling. You can hear her novel approach to melody on “Radical Spectacular.” A synth line stands out in the mix, but it seems to doodle aimlessly, repeating three or four notes without fixed patterns, as if generated at random. “Waves Of Alienation” is a solid breaks track, but it sits a little too close to the line between subtle and dry until the catchy chime riff comes in during the final minute—always a risk with such a fine-tuned approach. Radical Spectacular might not reach the same heights as her last release, but Elian’s comfortably maintains her good form.