Released last month, Moments In Time Vol.2 Various Artists, is a stomping compilation of fiery techno. We asked the producers to run us through their tracks.
Moments In Time is a Manchester based label run by Mark Bradbury aka Rudosa who we’ve featured in Attack previously. In March, the label released 005 a compilation from Rudosa, DAHRYL, Charlie Sparks, Analect, Balrog, NTBR, SLV and Selective Response a group of like-minded producers handpicked by the label boss himself.
Thumping, driven, Jesus Christ Superstar inspired techno, this VA is bound to liven up any Zoom rave you’ve got going in absence of the real thing…unless you’re a plague raver. As the label prepares for further releases in 2021, we asked them to run us through the release and take us back to some rave inspired memories.
Rudosa – ‘Viable Entity’
This track is a harder track that I have been saving for Moments Vol 2. It has a thunderous low end which really drives the record throughout then is coupled with an aggressive stab from Rob Papen – ‘Raw’. The Bleep sequences from DS Audio’s Thorn give the track rhythm and flow throughout.
Whilst creating this record it was around the time the government was advising DJ/Musicians to retrain in a new profession due to Covid which warranted me making an angry track. So, when I discovered the vocal, I thought it was a nice fit to translate how I was feeling at the time. Hence the name ‘Viable Entity’.
DAHRYL – ‘Reviere’
The production of this track started when writing some MIDI for a sample pack I was producing. I had some chords stretched out in an old track and chopped them short into 1/8 notes, pitched up and into Ableton Wavetable to check, and this hard house style bass lead came out.
It wasn’t complete, but I liked how it sounded and knew what I wanted from it so I played around until I got what I heard in my head. I worked it over a drum loop and kick then layered in MassiveX using their basics for more beef, followed by a heap of processing, some sampled drums and sent it all through my Drum Bus of fun stuff, which is some Ableton stock.
I added some distortion plugins, black box, rat and Izotope trash 2 (I use a lot in all my tracks). I mixed it down and the sample pack was put to one side again. I was heavily influenced by my younger DJ days, when I owned a lot of hard house and trance vinyl. I’ve noticed some of today’s techno has these influences but not done the way I knew it back then, from the likes of Nukleuz and Tidy Tracks. I guess this is my modern-day update or take so to speak.
I sent it to Rebekah shortly after finishing which resulted in a video of her playing it on Instagram with a comment ‘If you’re going to do hard house techno do it right with Dahryl’’. That was a solid enough confirmation for me I’d achieved what I was after.
Balrog – ‘Flak Business’
Flak Business came into being from the riff that runs throughout it. It was inspired by the “Overture” from the Jesus Christ Superstar film. I love the guitar and bassline in the track so emulated a similar riff using the Native Instruments Massive synth and running it at a number of different pitches throughout the track. I then pushed the synth cut-off and adding compression and distortion soon made it sound almost like a piece of artillery.
When the track drops after the main breakdown and the main synth sound comes in it really gave the sense of a massive piece of artillery reeling off ammunition. This gave me the idea of looking for some old footage of artillery that might have some interesting vocals. I found some on 1930’s “Flak” anti-aircraft guns, discussing the damage they could inflict. I love history and I’m often inspired by old film and voice-overs so was keen to use this in the track.
I then sampled it and set about editing it to make it sit nicely within the track. This was probably the most time-consuming part of the production process as often old film such as this have lots of white noise in the background which I removed using high-end EQ.
Discovering these sorts of samples then inspires me to develop the rest of the track around them, in this case, I created a number of heavy metallic drum and percussion lines all tied together with a pounding kick.
NTBR – ‘Big Bang’
For the low range frequencies, I created a huge kick with different layers mixed together with an EQ and compression. Next to that, a Groovy bassline made with Omnisphere, inspired by the track “Even Mike’ (Dissolver remix).
I also added a rumble of different Toms to add more groove to the low range. For the percussion element, I created a rumble of the snare to give to the track a 90’s vibe. Alongside a well-distorted snare, layered with a clap, to create a crunchy slappy snare.
The use of a metal percussion that sounds like an anvil helped to make the track sound more ‘industrial’. I took screech samples for the synth part, and Hoover to stay in the 90’s universe. I added an acid bassline, made with the tb303 vst proposed by Roland cloud, which arrives in the second part of the track. Finally, I took a vocal from a hard/raw style sample pack. And I tried to recreate a groovy pattern by chopping it.
Charlie Sparks – ‘Phobia’
The track is focused on a forward drive-like motion, the psytrance-like sub which is accompanied by a solid kick keeps you pushing forward. A lot of the hazardous, cyber like noises are created from my favourite VST Rob Papen RAW which I have been using a lot in my productions recently.
The laser-like noises and sirens going off throughout the track really give a dark enticing feel. The use of rolling percussions adds a sense of speed and gives the track a fast constant pace which I love. I wanted the atmosphere of the track to feel like a chase between you and your fears and it is a constant battle of which can outrun which.
Analect – ‘What You Do To Me’
I’ve been trying to keep my productions interesting lately by mashing up genres wherever possible. This one is based around what I would almost consider to be a hip-hop/trap style melody layered with a vocal hook which is sampled from a Remy Ma track. 90% of my productions sample vocals from something. This can be anything from obscure old-school punk vocals, to a German talking story that I’ve found on YouTube. The weirder the better!
As the track builds up with a couple of gated synths designed in Omnisphere, I drop it back down to a gritty bass melody which is made from several layers of Serum. Most of my synths in this track are run through a great little VST called Gate-Keeper, which give it that really choppy, rhythmic effect. Finally, it all builds to a big, trancey-crescendo, with the lead synth here once again having been built in Omnisphere. To create this type of sound I used a few detuned saw waves and a fair helping of Ableton’s Amp plugin to add grittiness and character.
SLV – ‘Buried Alive’
Let’s say that when I write a song I start from the melody. With “Buried Alive” I started playing some notes and from there I came out with this melodic synth at times melancholy using Nord Lead 2x; for the bass line, I used the Dave Smith Pro 2 Rev2 and the drum comes from the Elektron Analog Rytm and Roland TR8.
On the sound process, I used some hardware such as TL Audio 5052 (compressor) of Lexicon effects but I also I used Universal Audio plug-ins such as The Culture Vulture, Vertigo, Distressor, Manley and many others and then do the final mixing with my new Focal Twin6 BE which I trust a lot.
Selective Response – ‘Waking Up Alone’
This track was something that came about as a result of me wanting to make something more stripped back than my usual work, as I tend to make music that’s very full-on.
The production is very simple, but feel it’s got a cool and unique atmosphere to it. The lead sound was created with the Sequential Pro 3, which I had just gotten at the time, and it’s a weird melancholic/slightly odd sound. Coincidentally, the whole track came about as a result of exploring the synth and its character.
The sub is the Behringer Pro-One, and the drums are a mix of my Elektron Digitakt and Analog RYTM. I generally try to keep things minimal when it comes to processing, as I learned the best way to make great music is to start with a great foundation. If the foundation is solid enough, you don’t even need to do much processing. I’m grateful that it’s part of this compilation of great rising talent.
MIT005 Various Artists is out now on Moments In Time. Order it digitally or on vinyl.
While you’re here..
Many producers making techno love the Analog Rytm and so do we. You might be interested in our preset pack, Refraction, 136 patches for the revered Elektron device including a free Korg MS-20 pack.