Since its inception in 2007, Token has released music by a small, loyal cast of producers. Inigo Kennedy and Ø [Phase] are its main flag-bearers, having released most (or, in the latter's case, all) of their recent work through the Belgian imprint. Its CV is currently one of the most impressive in the business. But while contributions from big names (Mark Broom, Ben Klock) have helped further its reach, it's the efforts of its core artists that have brought it this far.
Up until now, Token's catalogue has been made up mostly of 12-inches or EPs; a six-track remix package has been the closest thing to an album so far. That's not so surprising, as the kind of barreling techno founder Kr!z specialises in isn't particularly well-suited to the longplayer format. On Token Introspective, however, it works brilliantly, with the label's breadth showcased in a way it hasn't been previously.
This isn't what you'd call a typical mix CD: it's put together in a way that directs attention to individual productions rather than the mix as a whole. Transitions are long but allow each track the space it needs to make its presence truly felt (despite most running for less than three-and-a-half minutes). The harsh, chunky drums of James Ruskin's rework of "Tiger" by Dimitri Andreas clash with what came before it, enhancing the individuality of the mix's opening selections—Ben Klock's remix of "Binary Opposition" and the disorienting "Endless Revolt" from Makaton being the highlights. Label newcomer Rødhåd then checks in with "Spomeniks," taken from his Token debut, offering up the same brand of Berlin hypnotism that's characterised his past work.
Token Introspective's finest moment is Inigo Kennedy's "Cathedral." Released earlier this year, its behemoth of a melody and thrashing percussion blend perfectly, resulting in what will surely go down as one of 2013's finest techno tracks and one destined to wreck dance floors with its unique pairing of elation and brute force. By the time the collection comes to a close, Token's status as a truly exceptional techno imprint has been affirmed many times over, with Kr!z's curatorship deserving as much praise as the acts present on it.
Buy Various - Token Introspective at
Tracklist: Various - Token Introspective 01. Xhin - Elliptic
02. Phase - Binary Opposition (Ben Klock Process)
03. Phase - Morodem (HTS Mix)
04. Dimitri Andreas - Tiger (James Ruskin Blueprint Mix)
05. Makaton - Endless Revolt
06. Rodhad - Spomeniks
07. Phase - Decode
08. Inigo Kennedy - The Map
09. Phase - The Chasedown
10. Ctrls - Socket
11. Phase - Binary Opposition (Process 1)
12. Go Hiyama - Fallingwater
13. Inigo Kennedy - Bite Back
14. Xhin - Hunters
15. Inigo Kennedy - The Shard
16. Arrestar - Thoughts & Emotions (Oscar Mulero remix)
17. Phase - Further Trials
18. Mark Broom - Two
19. Inigo Kennedy - Cathedral
20. Grovskopa - Sex and Violins (Surgeon remix)
21. Inigo Kennedy - Obsidian