DROWNED RECORDS :: From Bremen with bite

Drowned Records has some similar characteristics to ZCKR. Both labels have released music from Qnete, a homegrown talent with a penchant for raw and thumping electronics, and both like to turn their attention to the idea of local artists.

DROWNED RECORDS :: From Bremen with bite

I don’t know much about Bremen. I know where it is, North Germany. It’s a sizable place with an historical and industrial slant. I also know that Bremen is a breeding ground for new and interesting electronic artists and labels. ZCKR first turned me onto the city but they are not the only ones doing the synth thing there.

Drowned Records has some similar characteristics to ZCKR. Both labels have released music from Qnete, a homegrown talent with a penchant for raw and thumping electronics, and both like to turn their attention to the idea of local artists.

The latest EP, four in total have been dropped in Drowned’s year of existence, is by one of the bosses: Tobias Theel. Under the moniker of Tobs the founder dishes up four slices of dense and driving machine music on a self titled outing. Beats are generously applied, rhythm patterns adopting bass, snare and clap to pounding effect. But this isn’t simple wallop and leave ya. Structures a slowly built, allowing tracks to grow and develop. This is the case with the warbling trill of “Warped V1,”,sweet bars mustarded with percussion. “Dawn” takes its cue from a ravier time. Drums are splintered and reshaped as breaks bring plains of elation.

Theel describes Drowned as belonging to the “uncommercial techno scene.” I’m not too sure what this means but I can take a guess. Techno that doesn’t pander, techno that isn’t just 4/4 bore and concerned with satisfying the floor. In other words sounds that will put the hometown “on the map for electronic music.”

12” compilations have showcased some of the like-minded locals. Qnete, whose ZCKR offering has been doing the rounds on my turntables since its arrival, is a prominent feature on these first vinyl steps. But there’s been unknown action too. The memorably named PreciousPandaExperience pushed the sample filled and bass laden “Drumterror” on Drowned second various outing with fellow Bermenite Lem pummeling with pound and reverb.

One stand out act from these compilations is Alias & Alias who just before the summer conjured up a self titled 12”. Their music, “completely made with hardware” muses Theel, is solid and uncompromising. Thud and intent roll together, a menacing leer and flash of smirk. Across five tracks highlights like “Wash” bulge with raw energy. Visceral venom and a drum machine. Yet that element of violence, the blur and bite, allows other ideas of blossom. “Trust” burns beats. Rhythms stumble across one another, trying to gain ground, when a wrenching melody somehow looms forward.

I asked Theel about future plans. Seems a Qnete release is in the pipeline and another compilation. But it’s his description of that compilation that could sum up the Drowned experience:

“Sounds like driving a rented car in the shadow of the TV-tower through Bremen-walle (zipcode 28217), bringing back the empty crates of beer from last night’s outdoor rave; craving for champagne breakfast while being lovesick and exhausted, and it’s raining outside (slightly.)”

drowned-records.de | Soundcloud

TAGS: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Comments are closed.