A powerful blend of electro, techno and minimal.
Evan Baggs - Untitled
Although Evan Baggs released three EPs before 2017's Neu Rochelle, his Time Passages debut signalled a new direction. He's been exploring it ever since, resulting in his emergence as a gifted producer. (He'd proven his salt as a serious DJ many years earlier.) The shift came in concert with an evolving approach to his DJing, which appeared to happen simultaneously with close compatriots Binh and DJ Masda. All three have embraced a rugged, sci-fi techno sound that's faster and rougher than the crisp, stripped house of their respective pasts. The aesthetic centres on age-old staples like the 909 and 303, but Baggs's approach has a particular flare for gregarious basslines and maddeningly bent atmospheres. Both were on display on Neu Rochelle and its followup, Atonement, but Untitled, released on Franceso Del Garda's label Timeless, might be the best all-round effort of his new phase.
If there's any space for tonal melody in Baggs's aesthetic these days, it's in the basslines. "With Awareness," however, has a genuine chord progression, and an uplifting one at that. The results are about as anthemic as this style gets, calling for tears and hugs on the dance floor rather than the usual heads-down tripping. While most of his recent output has been messed up nighttime music, "With Awareness" feels like daybreak.
"Bqe" and "All Dry" have us in more familiar Baggs territory, but they'd be standouts on his previous EPs. It's hard to pick a winner between the two. "All Dry" centres on a slippery-dip synth in the mid-range, while "Bqe" dials the paranoid anxiety levels to ten. While we've heard this level of quality before, if you were going to get one Baggs EP, it should be Untitled.
Wed / 8
A1 All Dry
B2 With Awareness