30drop – The Time of Cruel Miracles (30drop Records, 30DLP-001)

Through mysterious circumstances this triple LP reached the itsoundsfuture orbit last week, so we had to have a closer look on it. The artist, 30drop, is no less mysterious. It reminds us a bit of T.B. Arthur. But we found a recent interview here, where he talks a bit about his music cosmos, the importance of putting the music in the first place and the ego last.
30drop with ‘The Time of Cruel Miracles’ on 30drop Records (30DLP-001).

Press release (written by DJ Zero):

‘I did not know what achievements, what mockery, even what tortures awaited me. I knew nothing, and I persisted in the faith that the time of cruel miracles was not past.’
– Stanislaw Lem (Solaris, 1961).

This paragraph from Solaris, the novel written in 1961 by Stanislav Lem, is the starting point for the concept this 30drop album has been built upon. Science fiction masters like Lem are one of the greatest influences for the artist, who devised this album after the mental challenges that humans should overcome in a future: encounters with beings from other civilizations: capable of interacting with us in a way totally unthinkable so far.

Away from what many a sci-fi blockbuster depicts, this work revolves around the idea that such meetings with alien species will be eminently a mental experience that will shock not only our cultural values but also our very own perceptions about what space/time/reality is – a mind-bending experience where everything we knew before dissolves around us and propels us to uncharted grounds. Terra incognita so far.

Bypassing the ‘random track collection’ syndrome that plagues many of today’s so-called techno albums – this LP was conceived and devised from it’s very beginning as a full, complete work in itself, best enjoyed in its totality. A story-telling journey (very much in the tradition of seminal / genre-defining albums as UR’s X- 102) where tracks lead you to one another. Tracks can be enjoyed on their own, being all suited for dancefloor and DJ-set, but take a complete different meaning when put in the right context within the album.

Musically this long-player combines stripped-down rhythms, sweeping pads and hypnotically bleeping sequences woven together in an intricate but subtle way, a fashion that harks back to the classic minimalist yet complex mid-90’s sound of Hood, Mills and T.Dixon – sounds appealing both to the mind and the feet.

Classic and futuristic at the same time, this is a compelling journey that opens with the eerie atmospheres of ‘Our Understanding’ before really taking off with the cadential ‘NGC1277’. The hypnotic ‘Captured Rotation’ sets the pace for the rest of album which oscillates between the exhilarating cosmic groove of ‘Beyond Language’ and the contemplative stasis of ‘The Mirror’. Other highlights include the entrancing ‘Goldene Spirale’ or the furiously busy ‘Approaching Light’.

The whole package is further rounded up by a set of remixes which showcase the different directions taken by techno producers these days: from Substance’s solid Berlin-style to Architectural’s spaced-out visions via Rivet’s hard-hitting club bangers and Zero Mass abrasive experiments.

Tracklist: 30drop – The Time of Cruel Miracles (30drop Records, 30DLP-001)

A1: Our Understanding
A2: NGC1277
A3: Captured Rotation
B1: Approaching Lights
B2: Gravity Zone
B3: Goldene Spirale
C1: Beyond Language
C2: Standard Model
C3: Future Teller
D1: Superstring Theory
D2: Stadt des Orion
D3: The Mirror
E1: Goldene Spirale (Substance Remix)
E2: NGC1277 (Architectural Remix)
F1: Stadt des Orion (Rivet Remix)
F2: Superstring Theory (Zero Mass Remix)

Buy release: Vinyl // Digital

Conclusion: Nothing much too add to DJ Zero’s words: “Classic and futuristic at the same time […]”. Spaced-out techno, classical Detroit madness, a captivating story. Invest your money in the analogue version.

And if you like techno, space, Detroit, madness and Leftfield (influence), check out Zadig too.

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