On this week’s Unsung Heroes, we venture into the far unknown of Trance and Techno in 2009 to pull an incredible work of music from a genre that has seemingly been lost through time. Arguably one of the top Trance acts around the world is none other than Tech Trance legend Bryan Kearney, who has been having an electrifying year in releases and live shows. His label has just received a number one spot on Beatport with the legendary Napalm Poet by up incoming producer, Adam Ellis and Kearney‘s own fiery Tech Trance productions have been a staple in many shows around the world. Additionally, some highlights include his smashing set in Den Bosh during the ASOT 600 Expedition Tour, 4 hours at Trance Together’s The Energy Box in England and his massive 5 hour journey in the heart of Argentina. His live sets takes a voyage through many different genres with an emphasized focus on Trance and Psy Trance and his rapid fire style of mixing has ensured fast paced, bloody knuckled sets that have been brutal as of late. However, his sets have not always focused on Psy and Trance and back in 2009, his sets not only had a completely different format, but also had a much riskier, much more technical style of DJing that rose him to fame.
While many know Kearney as a leading figure who is paving the way through innovation within the Trance scene, (and EDM as a whole), his style and way of thinking was very different four years ago. Back in 2009, Kearney was just starting to make his break into the scene with a rising smash collaboration entitled Exactly with the mighty John O’Callaghan. His artistic style of set building was starting to transition into the more advented Tech Trance phase that was sweeping the Trance scene at the time, with artists such as Simon Patterson, Neal Scarbourough and John Askew. However, his main passion during the 2000’s was an interesting subgenre entitled Hard Techno (or Hard Groove to some). In modern times, the visionary behind Techno emphasizes either slow, low cut minimalism with industrialistic sounds or slow, deep rooted groove with an emphasis on sub work and total lack of any clear, definable melody. However, Hard Techno was rooted in the faster BPM range and focused on keeping a relentless, in your face groove that emphasized on pure, unwavering rhythm or Latin tinged Samba tracks. Kearney has stated that he was heavily influenced by the BXR era in his early years (which was an infamous Techno label in the late 90’s), which boasted legendary artists such as Mauro Picotto, Ben Sims and Mario Piu.
With a hearty collection of personal edits for some of his all time favorite Hard Techno tracks (including some deadly mashups), he also created a small handful of pure Techno releases before heading towards his Tech Trance and Uplifting styles. An incredible example of his pristine Techno craftsmanship is his remix to Sean Tyas‘ single, Rulebook. While the Original consisted of a hearty Acid track, Kearney counters it with pure, no nonsense Hard Techno. Exploding from the beginning is an agitated BXR bassline amidst a sensory overload of various percussive instruments attacking all at once. While the basskick flits in and out of the soundscape, the consistent squadron of hi-hats keep the energy high while allowing enough space for the subs to come stomping through with the impact of artillery fire. With a sudden burst of layered white noise, the first melodic element comes into play with a one note repeated ostinato, emphasizing the gritty technical aspect of the Techno/Tech Trance hybrid of sounds. Gingerly adding small elements of musical suspense to emphasize tension, each part adds more and more the the mechanical beast that Kearney is constructing. With ‘No Rules‘ repeatedly muttered, the bassline cuts out as the full force of percussion begins their barrage with war horn trumpets announcing the inevitable attack. The combination of savage basslines, floor quaking basskicks, heavy percussion implementation, metal noise synths and full on Tech ostinatos shows no mercy as its Hard Techno sounds mindessly pulverizes you to the mat.
Bryan Kearney‘s ‘Out The Window‘ remix of Sean Tyas‘ single, Rulebook, is now available on Discover Dark on Beatport, so make sure you pick up this massive mix today.
Keep the music alive. -Q
Unsung Heroes is a weekly segment where we take a look back at an amazing production and bring it back into the light for older and newer fans alike. These tracks were often overlooked, overshadowed by a huge release or are just not that well known to the public here in America. Here, you can find all the hidden gems in many genres and find a new favorite track (or another tool/weapon for aspiring DJ’s).