“Have you ever stood in limbo between the click of a strobe or between the shards of a dense orange haze that emanates from a fog machine? Floating away on never ending waves of music and substance induced – we may as well call it – LOVE?”
What may read like a William Burroughs-esque depiction of a rather spacey Saturday night is actually R-Zone’s self-penned description of the Global Darkness affiliated label, which has been rolling out anonymous 12”s for over a year now. The otherworldly concept and sound they’re producing does feel very typical of the Dutch club scene, and having checked out Studio 80 and the late Trouw over New Year (DJ TLR actually played the Studio 80 NYE party), they do seem to put a lot of time into creating almost alien environments in their clubs.
Much like R-Zone’s bio; I spent the majority of my time in Trouw buried in a supernatural haze of blooming orange, which was periodically banished by a blinding flash from a strobe light. The effect borderlines on being disorientating, which is an apparent theme on the fourteenth release.
With all three tracks moving steadily along at a dance floor pleasing 124 BPM, ‘Your Wear The Mask of a Beast’ and ‘Salt Volatile This Sucka’ appear as two sides of the same coin. Both tracks grind over essentially the same melody and it’s possible to see ‘Salt Volatile…’ as the surface, whilst ‘You Wear The Mask…’ is the more gruelling underbelly.
‘Salt Volatile…’ is worked over a 4/4 drum pattern and filled with uplifting synths that provoke movement. ‘You Wear The Mask…’ is, however, clearly the sounds of a cold, 6-in-the-morning-warehouse space; it’s that time in Amsterdam when you start calculating the odds of actually finding you bike outside for the ride home.
The final track, ‘Arrowhead’, is a sparse Techno affair with any remaining melody reduced down to an incomprehensible squelch. Every other bar is capped off with three satisfying blows from the kick and the constant ebb of background noise is accompanied by the creeping echo of a single cry, which accentuates it’s unnerving edge.
The route to pleasure, or euphoria, seems to be somewhere within moody, nail-biting atmospheres in the eyes of the Creme Organization sub-label. Amidst a culture of spoon fed information, it’s also quite satisfying to see music released that has people second guessing and in a state of uncertainty. I find myself uninterested in who or what R-Zone is and hopeful that we’ll hear more of it in 2015.
You can pre-order R-Zone 14 in 12″ format here (available soon in the UK).