Big on melody, these trance-tinged tunes will brighten your next DJ set.
Caos - Mandra Varna
If this is your first contact with DRED Records, the Berlin-based label run by John Osborn, there is plenty to catch up on. It put out a couple records in 2017, from Tom Dicicco and S:VT respectively, went quiet for a year, and then has since been on a tear, with 12 releases (so far) across the following two years. The pleasing thing about all of this is that Osborn has mainly focussed on new, emerging or unrecognised talent—MadderModes, Tasoko, Ceili and Mias Void are a few of the names who appear to be in the early stages of their careers. Add to that list Caos, whose Mandra Varna EP highlights some of the things that have worked in DRED's output so far.
Melody is one of these. Although mostly sitting at the border of house and techno, a lot of DRED releases have been almost trance-like in their moods and synths, although think classic Levon Vincent rather than Paul van Dyk. Mandra Varna is especially expressive in this sense. "Lohita," for instance, bubbles with arpeggios. The pretty synth bursts on "Suklah" give the track an effervescent energy. And "Haritah" could be the most tasteful inclusion on a progressive trance compilation from the late '90s. Caos doesn't do anything to truly stand out here, but like DRED itself, there's enough to keep a DJ set ticking over nicely.
Fri / 8