On tonight’s Unsung Heroes, we take a brave journey into the dark, damp and murky basement of EDM, down where 4AM is peak time and Minimalism is at the forefront of the dance floor. Back in January of 2011, expert Techno producer Dave The Drummer teamed up with another highly talented producer called Chris Liberator to create a burning two sided EP entitled Twinkletoes/Underthreat. Several months later, Dave personally asked on his Facebook if people would like to remix any or even both of the tracks, which got a great response from many different artists. After some time, the result was a Remixes release package that had 12 different renditions from both songs with artists that were not only not a part of the label, but also artists that were in the better part of obscurity. One of our favorite remixes was from a man named Mike Humphries. Mike is no stranger to the scene, as he has been behind the scenes for the better part of twenty years, creating and mixing to constantly hone his craft into some of the most innovative and expertly produced tracks that is on the market. His personal remix is dark and evil, with soul-crushing bass and cruel synth lines to bring the listener close to the music and to Minimalism as a whole.
Starting off with only five different parts of a tune, the constant thumping of the bass provides a clean, structured canvas in which to create a whole slew of wild and imaginative musical ideas. Since there isn’t much variety going on in the melodic department, the percussion takes on a much bigger prevalence than normal, and any changes in timbre are more significant. Twinkletoes takes on a dark turn with a sinister bassline with half step interval changes and personal touches of improvised effects and snippets of long hallway conversations to add color towards the entire arrangement. The subwoofers receive a brutal beating when the bass kicks come in as interesting and unusual percussion (such as iconic Techno hi-hats, clipped claps and staccatisimo wood stick banging) creep into play. The melody does not deviate throughout the breakdown and a distorted, deathly howl from the devil himself is uttered before the second drop smacks you in the face with unforgiving force and energy. More dank and murky percussion is added as the vibe of the entire piece gives it a sense of eerie groove that you can’t help but shuffle your feet to.
We got wind of this hidden gem on Simon Patterson‘s radio show, Open Up and have been hooked on the track ever since. The sense of pure dread and fear that this track entails is deliciously dark and something that completely goes against everything that is the ‘mainstream’ at the moment. While the Soup Du Jour has been bright, sunny melodies and energetic, high voltage beats, Mike Humphries instead creates deep, dank and dirty melodies with rumbling, quaking and room shaking beats with his remix, creating something that is even against the norm of what ‘normal’ Techno entails (if such a term even exists). As the great Madeon once said: “Anyone hating any genre of music simply doesn’t know the context in which it’s meant to be enjoyed.” And I believe this is important when talking about Techno. If you know what to listen for and how to enjoy it, it can be a visceral experience which is not matched by any other genre in EDM. If you are tired of the same old anthems plugging up the radio, try Techno for a change. I promise you that you won’t be disappointed. Mike Humphries remix of Dave The Drummer & Chris Liberator’s Twinkletoes is out now on Dave‘s personal label Hydraulix, so get on over and grab this stellar track today.
Keep the music alive. -Q