Oxia - Speicher 34

Oxia hasn't been releasing that many records lately so it comes as a surprise to hear him put out new material on Kompakt's sub label Extra. Indications of a variation in style could be heard on his recent electrofied remix of The Hacker's 'Traces' and via his collaboration with Eric Borgo under his real name Olivier Raymond on German label Tsuba.

The acidic groove of 'Jackin Me' together with the uplifting electro funk of 'Traces' illustrated a production scope that expanded beyond his dense and funky retro techno that first made his name on labels like Intec. And variety is a key part of Speicher 34, but a keen ear will still detect the trademark Oxia sound beneath the minimal cover.

'Change Works' adopts a slower tech house groove that supports delicate percussive layers. A simple but infectious rave riff competes with broad chords in a dancefloor designed building format. Oxia is an accomplished engineer of peak time techno material and uses his experience to full effect via tightly sequenced equalisation during the main breaks. The riff is heavily electronic and modern, but the classic Oxia retro drum arrangements are the real feature, transforming the electro ryhtmns into a near perfect techno groove. And after hearing James Holroyd get the biggest reaction of the night when he recently played this at Back to Basics - it should proved just as effective for the house communities as well.

'Domino', on the flip, is an epic piece, combining pure electro, minimalism and Reese inspired bass patterns. The French producer demonstrated his love of classic electro on his 2004 album '24 Heures' and once again this connection is evident. However, the most striking component of 'Domino' is the droning bass fluctuations, clearly inspired by Kevin Saunderson's early techno output. This will come as no surprise to Oxia fans, who will be more than familiar with his aptitude for modified Reese bass structures. What is surprising however, is how he fuses this bass with glitch type beats and a melodic transcendent layer created by dark pipes and strings. By the end 'Domino' communicates too many trance qualities to be a stand out record, although it could become a suitable end of the night addition. But 'Change Works' - despite being less subtle - is the pick of Speicher 34.

Oxia - Speicher 34


Kompakt Extra




April 10 2006


May 11, 2006 at 1:09 AM CEST


Paul Pritchard

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