Review: Dynarec – Sunken Park (Vapourwave)

Dynarec – Sunken Park (Vapourwave)

There’s a definite electro theme developing around here these days as I’m sure you noticed. Consider it an addiction in full bloom for the time being, and one that’s being enabled by some of the killer music around at the moment. It’s a healthy time for the scene, even if it seems to be just as far from garnering mass interest as always. What can you do? You can lead a horse to water but it’ll still just be a horsey idiot complaining that this water doesn’t taste like the Disclosure water in the other field.

Even though Dynarec’s Sunken Park is not explicitly electro, it’s still full of enough touches, textures and attitude to put it right in the vanguard. From his earliest days Dynarec has made a habit of moving backwards and forwards across the lines between techno and electro, forging something that takes the most scalding hot elements of both and compressing them together into a face melting and knee breaking whole. Sunken Park, on his own Vapourwave label, is no exception, providing six of the most damaging tracks heard this year. A word of caution, though. The embeded sampler above contains a slightly different track listing from the release (and a different name) but that aside it will give you more than enough of a taste.

Make no mistake, this is hard, tough music. It is also very playful, layering itself with little movements that wrap the sonic punches with enough cotton that they shouldn’t leave too many bruises. It’s interesting to hear a producer whose own vision of electro is less fully related to any of the genre’s major forms. Indeed, the music’s closest cousin is probably to be found in the rugged, charred sounds of Ultradyne’s fiercely individual take. In Dynarec’s case, the music finds its groove in the bounce of the thick bass lines and the occasional sliver of icy synth work which add little flares of nervy energy to the grinding electronics. It does still, in its own way, travel familiar electro paths though; take Cancel The Cobbler’s warped discoid take on the Rotterdam sound, which is every bit as funky and glitterball as anything from one of I-F’s gang. Sunken Park itself morphs between the classic 90’s European electro and something harder at will, sealing it all up with Kraftwerkian ghosts. Handover pushes out even further with its pulverizing 4/4 clatter, mainlining a boatload of sulph along side razor-sharp Drexciyan beats.

Where Sunken Park really forges its own identity, though, is in the way the clouds of fury sometimes part, letting little rays of sunshine and warmth into the mix. While it would be difficult to describe it as happy music, there is something definitely smile making in the way it plays with the emotions and rounds off some of the spikier stabs with an almost imperceptible softening at just the right time. It’s in this interplay between the heaving brutality and the weaving, ass shaking grooves that Sunken Park really takes off. A bang up, class example of modern electro. On repeated play around here. One for the end of year lists.