Although the artist has spent 2015 honing the discographies of his other projects, “Ravers” comes after a silent year for the D. Carbone moniker which in turn gives it all the more impact. The “Class of ‘87” DJ and producer’s first mini-album is dedicated to everyone interested in the ecstatic sounds of 90’s rave culture.
On “Ravers”, D. Carbone distances himself from the functional perception that techno indicates a fairly narrow tempo range. Instead, he approaches it more freely by returning to earlier formulations. The speed is higher than on the artist’s previous releases, varying from 137 to 160 BPM. So though the entire range here is faster than most current techno-tendencies, the scope is also wide. It is about pushing the envelope and rejecting limitations. The notion of rushing is central to Carbone who describes ideal techno as “body music” – a powerfully energetic mantra-resembling medium for dancers to loose control to. Letting go of restraints is reflected in the tracks that have been jammed out free of structural rigidness. Meanwhile, sound-wise “Ravers” is classic D. Carbone: Noisy and acidic industrial techno where every single sound in the mix is subject to heavy distortion.
At a tempo of 137 BPM, opener “Jerk” is most in line with the artist’s past releases using a 4/4 kick pattern, ravey hihats, 808 claps, 101 bass line, pulse synth as well as string pads that recall early Warp Records anthems. On following cut “Orius”, the tempo is jacked up to 152 BPM and the mini-album properly begins to unravel as a distinct entity for Carbone. Here, a bug-like acid line meets gabber-style kicks, metallic cymbals, intensity-heightening toms, a “hoover” synth and noise pads. On “Space Journey 1171” we travel through the infinite to the sound of a beeping space shuttle, trancey synths, grainy beats, guitar-reminiscent tremolo pads and a fast 303 acid line.
On the flipside’s opener we are in the moment to the extent that we simply “Mustacid”. The track evokes the early output of Den Haag’s Bunker Records with gabber kicks, persistent snare and rimshot patterns, a full-on 303 bass, and noise pads of human screams and dissonant guitars. Hereafter, the producer continues his “Hard Vision” in a similarly brutal manner, adding whiplash snares to a high-energy drum pattern, several acid lines and discordant synth pads. On closer “ESX”, the pace is taken down a bit on what sounds like a tense Detroit techno classic played through a distortion pedal; Hardcore kicks and toms blend with reverberated claps, rattling hihats, bell pads, a subtle 303 and an organ-like synth.
Though Carbone sticks to a familiar sound-pallet, the loosely structured tracks at a higher-than-usual pace make “Ravers” a refreshing record. Where his previous slower releases expressed dystopian views, “Ravers” has a cathartic feel – as if we’ve experienced mayhem and are now optimistically dancing among the ruins.