Big techno cuts from the Bassiani resident.
Like most things from Bassiani, which only opened in 2014 and started its label in 2016, the album can be seen as a symbolic step for the nascent scene. As We Were Saying is the label's first full-length release, coming after a run of compilation EPs that pair new Georgian artists with established international talent. Solid as some of those records were, they amounted to a mixed bag of dark and dubby techno, without a distinguishing edge to indicate where the label's sound was headed. Oaks's album might be the clearest picture yet.
As You Were Saying has a lot to offer in terms of driving club tools. Oaks's music is raw but steady, focused more on tense repetition and high energy than dramatic builds and drops. The gritty "Afterall, She Had No Reason To Stay" might be the most effective cut for this kind of pummeling. "Forwarded State Of Evidence" has a similar thump but is more focus on mid-range chaos. DJs could get sinister with "Sounds Violent, Truth Always Is," or simply keep it rolling with the buoyant "Improved Motto." But we already knew Oaks could write functional techno bombs.
What's more special here are the tracks that seem to bear a sense of Tbilisi's fight for freedom. These are defined by their emotional quality, which ride feelings of pain and hope into big-room techno gold. The title track offsets its furious arps with chords that climb longingly towards the sky. On "Together We Stand," the final banger before the album's outro, big breakdowns center on triumphant synths, which inspire thoughts of Tbilisi's protests. Its passion will move dance floors in Georgia and beyond.
Mon / 28 Jan 2019
01. Is Imminent
02. Sounds Violent, Truth Always Is
04. Forwarded State Of Evidence
05. As We Were Saying
07. Afterall, She Had No Reason To Stay
08. Horoom Reclusion
09. Improved Motto
10. Together We Stand
11. From Here Onwards (Outro)