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Various Artists - ELEGAL1 EP (Elegal, 2020)

Proper deep and heavy gems from the Klasse Wrecks camp, that span all kinds of electronically wired dreamscapes.

If you want to move due to the percussive nature of riddims, the emotive undertones that set fires inside your belly, or you care deeply about top draw electronica at a fast pace, then Klasse Wrecks certainly ticks all those boxes, and more. Operated by two of contemporary dance music's most dedicated and in depth producers, Luca Lozano and Mr Ho, the two have overseen some sublime releases since the labels founding in 2013, with tracks that blur the lines between modern day sensibilities with all the goodness and enriching vibes of 90s dance music. Combining killer progressions, with beats that almost punch holes through walls, to soft and tender moments that allow the room to breath (just for a moment), the label has kept up a constant steam of tracks that are revered world wide for their genre pushing and blended like qualities. Some selected highlights include Privacy's 'New Product' EP from 2018, the Lozano and DJ Fett Burger 'Hands of Doom 2' EP from 2015, both the Alphonse releases from the label (both excellent!), along with some other stellar release from Rozi Terenzi, Dawl/Sween, Coral D and Dungeon Acid. Every release makes its mark, across the board we always await the labels outputs with baited breath. Always challenging, always exploring, and always getting to our hearts and minds.

Up next on the label comes a trio of cuts from that oh so glorious time period of musical expression - the early 1990s, on their new sub label, Elegal. These tracks display all of that classiness that we associate with the underground, their blendedness only adding to their intrigue, spanning across the board as far and wide as possible. Its awesome when labels look to the past to reissue music, as it honours the people who inspired the music that they release, along with contextualising why we get inspired by it in the first place. The tracks come from across the globe, in Germany's Utasia, who released his only EP under this alias back in 93'; Enlight, a early 90s group based in San Fran, who released tracks under their own names but just a couple as a group; and Cybertrax, a UK producer with a number of hard hitting techno releases under his belt. Together they conjure up the essence of 90s dance music; the flare, the progressiveness, the ambition, and the melodies, all brought together on this fantastic little slab of wax that will be your best mate at a night where the music is fast paced, thought provoking and euphoria inducing. Anyway, lets get into this!

Up first comes Utasia with their track 'Stratosphere', and oh boy does it open up proceedings. What begins life as a thick ass bass kick, jumping about all over the place, gives way for chimes to overlap on top. The two intertwined, gathering pace to something up ahead. The pads come into play in the background, shimmering and bathing in goodness, before it all just descends. In true heavy dance music style, right into it, the breakbeats abound underneath all the harmonic layering. That key line from the start permeates through so beautifully, just keeping the pulse so effortlessly. Then it all breaks down, to allow for the piano progression to come into play, pumping up the track to far away heights. The breakbeat lightly taps away in the background, content in its flight to new galaxies and cosmos. The energy is feverish, but so wonderfully balanced, the harmonies looking to spread themselves as far as possible, only for the kicks and beats to do their utmost to reign them in. As the track breaks down one further time, we remain as captivated right now as we did from the intro. Up next comes Enlight with their track 'I feel It'. The intro remains posed, a series of soft piano keys align with a chuggy line that moves in and around them with ease. The vocal sample then announces the arrival of some proper breaks, as the lines continue to worm away around them. The track at this moment lays it all down, allowing the user to get into the bass lines and all its associated grooves. The piano then joins back in, politely playing away, content in providing these wonderfully touching moment, within the deepness occurring all around it. The vocals, 'I Feel It', seem to really be reaching out of the track and asking you to jump in and really get involved, to touch the essence and core of this tune. The vocal becomes more apparent, repeating their line of asking and asking away. Perhaps one more tender moment can be found amongst it all. Then, lo and behold, we get exactly what we were after. Some beautiful keys that land with pace, energy and affection, they do it all. What a wonderful ending!

Finally, we have Cybertrax with their track 'Illusion'. This one picks up the intro vibes from the previous tracks, tentatively placed keys set the tone for big things to come. Some echo delayed deep chimes come in and around the space age chords, before the inevitable kick drum thunders into the scene. By this point, the well placed keys at the beginning have created a wonderful rhythm, allowing the kicks to read between the lines expertly, the track now in full motion. The chords recede into the background, as proper little synth lines now do the work for the melody. The beat too is morphing, allowing itself to unravel slightly, the pace and the interchanging chord structure on top meaning it must. But it feels so natural that we don't pause for one second, we simply let it keep doing its thing. Then, the track lets itself fall away, and offering up to us some deep seated bass chords that chug along beautifully, before the kicks and cymbals come right back in to achieve infinite glory. This end of the track descends into deep chug territory, gone are the chirpy keys, and in with the deep bass that cuts to the core. We are so hypnotised by it all that all we can do is continue to ask for more, but it must end sometime. Shame really, that tune could have kept ascending forever.

Well now, this is something magic. The Wrecks cru come through once more with some stellar material, this time looking back in order to bring the sweetness forth. All the tracks here are beautiful in their own way, working tonally across the board to provide experiences rich in sensory overloads, layered to help us escape, and nourishing in their relentless vitality. We can only wonder what more treasures they will bring forth from the golden age.

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