The Taapion Records triumvirate have been pushing a brand of techno that places an emphasis on texture, structure and form since the Parisian label’s inception in 2013. Using Taapion as a platform to develop as individual artists during these formative years, Adrien Ozouf aka AWB has followed up a handful of releases from label mates Shlømo and PVNV with a solo debut that further cements their place at techno’s top table.
When you cite Jeff Mills and Brian Eno as influencers in the press release, you’re probably out to achieve something cinematic. Luckily, it’s a quality that pervades both original tracks from the offing. An immersive piece of broken techno, ‘Celestial Longitude’ wouldn’t have been out of place under the Livity Sound banner. You may find yourself staring into empty space as the swirling ambience coagulates with dubby textures while Ozouf’s entrancing sonics and a pitter-patter of steely drums tickle the synapses.
‘Ecliptic’ does away with the fragmented rhythms in favour of something tightly coiled and devastating. With only a hint of melody, it’s left to the dramatic atmospheres and volatile drums to provide personality, but they deliver it in spades while some darkly lit pads faintly illuminate the track.
On the flipside, PVNV keeps his take on the title track shrouded in the same mist that coloured AWB’s original, but that’s where the similarities end. Instead the Taapion co-founder employs a more conventional, rolling rhythm, backing it up with a thicket of biting cymbals and charging drums that add steel without overwhelming. Antigone and Shlømo dull the kick drum on their remix, swapping the pummelling percussion of ‘Ecliptic’ for a mechanist throb. It lacks the foreboding sense of dread that Ozouf’s original brings to the table, but at its heart remains the imposing backbone that proved so destructive the first time around.