Business techno? These guys helped start it.
Pan-Pot - Radio Berlin
In some ways, Pan-Pot are trailblazers. The German duo's roots are in modern tech house and minimal, a clinical sound they spent the '00s making from their base in Berlin. Where many of their peers from that era have since taken up day jobs, Pan-Pot are thriving in a different scene: big-room techno. Saying goodbye to the sunny loops they once released on tech house labels like Mobilee and Watergate, they now champion a more intense sound, sometimes referred to as business techno. Big and booming, it's the kind of stuff you hear played by dance music's busiest acts, a tier where Pan-Pot now find themselves. But that sound is a long way from what they were originally famous for (a track like, say, 2007's "What Is What"), which makes you wonder what happened. In 2012, they made tech house. By 2014, it was full-blown techno.
Through their Second State label, founded in 2014, Pan-Pot have fostered the careers of a few breakout acts. Second State is also behind Pan-Pot's latest record, Radio Berlin, the 60th release on their mostly digital label. Like most big-room techno, the energy is high and the mood is bleak, with flecks of acid and trance bundled with tunnelling kick drums and other markers like hissing white noise and big drops. Oppressive and distinctly unoriginal, "Radio Berlin," "Deutsche Welle" and "Kanal 7" suit big rooms and unimaginative DJ sets. They are at least well produced, as you would expect from a pair who have been making tunes for a few decades, and would steamroll any dance floor. Going from Watergate to Awakenings couldn't have worked ten years ago. Pan-Pot has shown it's possible.
Fri / 24
A1 Radio Berlin
B1 Deutsche Welle
B2 Kanal 7