DBA Recommends: Dove

DBA Recommends: Dove

Free Rotation is the influential Welsh festival which provides a platform for grassroots artists like Steevio, Leif and Duckett to perform alongside other well-established names from the underground techno circuit. Currently the music world is using its voice to raise much needed funds for people affected by the war in Ukraine. The festival have tapped up their extended family of residents, previous guests and friends of the festival to contribute tracks to a compilation called Dove, with 100 percent of proceeds going to the Red Cross who provide humanitarian aid in Ukraine and other war-torn communities worldwide.

The mouthwatering lineup of artists Free Rotation have pulled together on Dove will make it a buy on sight purchase for staunch techno fans. There are some standout moments worth mentioning though. Festival head honcho Steevio sets the tone impeccably with one of his trademark broken techno grooves on ‘Infinite Cadence’. The lilting, swung backline is the perfect undercoat for Steevio’s improvised melodies. Mathew Jonson, one of Steevio’s partners in the Circle Of Live group, is better known these days for his live performances than for his productions but ‘Women and Children’ is a reminder of his prowess as a studio artist.

Free Rotation is well-known for the impeccable quality of its residents and a number of them are on show here. Amsterdam’s Juju and Jordash, who play live at the festival every year, go for a slow boom bap rhythm on ‘Slow Doves’ which recalls some of their early work on labels like Real Soon. The track would find itself as at home on an early 80’s New York b-side as it does here. Duckett also adopts a driving low tempo for his contribution ‘The Women Were Falling Miles Behind and Ahead Were The Caves’, which touches on the sludge-laden broken workouts of artists like Mick Harris. Elsewhere October, one of the festival’s original residents, doffs his cap to the bass-heavy heritage of his hometown Bristol on ‘Trophic Cascade’, and Move D gets reflective on his plea for sanity ‘Sateq (Begging For Peace)’.

Due to covid restrictions Free Rotation hasn’t been able to take place for the last two years and its absence leaves a gap in the year which no other event can fill. One of the key draws of the festival is its emphasis on artists who exist at the outermost fringes of electronic music. In keeping with that principle Dove features tracks from a number of producers who are household names to hardened record collectors but will be new to the casual party-goer. Bovill is an artist who has been active on the dub techno scene for many years, occupying the liminal space between dub and drone, and ‘Arl’ ranks alongside his most accomplished works. Mark Hand and Jez Nicholl also impress on the wonderfully deep ‘Taken Aback’.

Buy here.

Words: Semtek