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Stephan Bodzin – ‘Strand’ EP Review

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Stephan Bodzin – ‘Strand’ EP review by Daniel G Hammond

Stephan Bodzin is a furious force within the global techno scene and has been evolving for over a decade. The German producer has created a legacy with his raw energy and insistence on playing live, which has done much to solidify his name as one of techno’s most creative, authentic and punk innovators.

Authentic –
Adjective
1. Of undisputed origin and not a copy; genuine.

Passionate, furious and driven – Bodzin is a real aficionado. His 2015 album ‘Powers of Ten’ showed the world what he was capable of creatively, creating a soundscape of enigmatic, otherworldly tracks and subsequent remixes. Bodzin commands dance floors through a conjuring of organised chaos, which ensures that no two live shows are the same. As the man himself said: “Without it (authenticity), everything would appear to be nothing more than a hollow shell.”

✕ ✕ ✕

Stephan Bodzin Strand EP review My Cup of Tech techno live

Featuring on Afterlife Records, this current release begins with title track ‘Stand,’ which rolls straight into a techno kick drum, closely monitored by lengthened, oscillating hi-hats. A brief respite from the kicks gives way to a warm pad that counter balances the track, giving it a groove to jack to. Strand begins like many other tracks on the Afterlife label, a kind of moody, slowed down techno with a dash of melody.

Yet, Bodzin has never been one to submit to any particular sound but his own, and he instantly captures the listener with the addition of a gravelly, warped synthesizer. As potent as it is distinctive, the synth becomes the dominant force on track one, overshadowing all other elements and transporting the listener on a voyage.

There is always the sense of a journey with Bodzin’s tracks, and this one is no exception. There is a feeling of release as the track drops the second time, allowing it’s kick drum to cement this track as both a dance floor weapon and emotive theme tune for a spacecraft hurtling through galaxies into uncharted realms.

Then we have track two- ‘Catamaran.’ The listener is instantly thrust into another techno number, which marks a departure from Bodzin’s previous catalogue, where his style of tech was gradual and more akin to storytelling than all out dance bomb. But, here we are- aboard the ‘Catamaran,’ where a classic techno build-up of kick, tom drum and hi hat are unfurled. There is something different here, this being a selection of atmospheric background samples that hint that something greater is about to appear.

This comes in the form of another rich synth courtesy of Bodzin’s devastating moog keyboard, which skates across the techno skeleton of track two in true style. Like Bodzin himself, the synthesiser does not fit neatly into its underpinnings, instead it bounds about brazenly, like some uncontrollable force. Long, dreamy synths add emotion to the track, while sharp claps and Bodzin’s characteristic machine like hi hats emerge to drive the listener into a hypnotic trance.

Chock full of energy and complexity, Bodzin has delivered a pungent duo of tracks to the Afterlife imprint that are sure to set ablaze dark dance floors well into 2018.

Stephan Bodzin Strand EP review My Cup of Tech techno live

Image created by Daniel G Hammond

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