More than just a feeling: the new EP of Boston 168
A review by Clara Tehrani
The new Boston 168 is out. The Italian duo has taken over the scene as the original Fiat 500 did when it first came out. LAQ 02, out this past May 13th on Attic Music (made available for streaming on digital platforms today) is their fifth release in just 2 years, and like the earlier works on labels like Enemy Records, Involve Records, Odd Even or their co-owned Old and Young Records it delivers intense, wholesome techno filled with the distinctive acid flavour that runs in their soul.
Not surprisingly, LAQ 02 feels timeless, deeply rooted in the rave spirit. It is as old-school as it is modern: there is a rather tribal feel throughout the 3-tracker EP that seems to misplace time and space, making it impossible to tell, from the music alone, when or where exactly it was produced. Intentionally so, we must add — everything they do seems to want to bring together the old and the new. The duo favours playing and producing analogue, defining themselves as “two scientists”, and their act as “a laboratory of sound crafting”. It was perhaps the industrial setting of their upbringing (Sergio Pace and Vincenzo Ferramosca come from Turin, the Italian Motown) that makes machines so intuitive to Boston 168.
It is the authenticity with which Boston 168 keep creating music, trying to be nothing more than themselves, that makes their work so worthy. And it was probably one of the reasons why Fabrizio Lapiana invited the duo to his Attic almost as soon as he heard their initial EPs. Founded in 2008 as a platform from which the Rome-based DJ and producer could express his vision of techno, be it through his own productions or those of the artists he has released (Milton Bradley, Voices From The Lake, Reeko, Max_M, Overall Severity, Edanticonf, Allen, Claudio Fabrianesi, Mace, Synthek, As Patria, Bruno Sacco, Fernandez Manetta, Donato Dozzy and DJ Say, Commodity Place, and remixers as Giorgio Gigli, Ness, or Edit Select), Attic Music has since become a reference in underground Italian techno. Signing the second release of its vinyl-only Laq series, Boston 168.
LAQ 02 opens on a track righteously named ‘303 Regiment’. The dirty sound of the TB-303 stands at the foundation of the arrangement, a commander to its troops, so sure of its importance it happily allows other elements to hero. As the beat builds up the pace, somewhat broken by off-centre claps, we are surprised by an exotic lead that evokes desert landscapes where the chanting flute of a snake whisperer plays away, spellbinding. It is a fantastic piece of music in the most etymologic sense of the word, and probably the album’s most original track.
The B-side features two darker tracks that, despite sitting on the lower end of the techno BPM spectrum, are strong dance-floor oriented material. While an epiphany on the dance floor will unlikely be inspired by this ‘Prophecy’, it is a pondered, well-balanced track with full rounded kicks and haunting elements building a unique atmosphere over which the 303 can pour its magic, methodically. ‘Rise Again’ comes in fierce, with a thumping, gut-grabbing rhythmic section that opens way to exploring a more melodic side to the acid bass line. It is a somewhat inspirational track that unfolds freely, raw and gritty.
If this piece has teased your ear buds, you can now head to the Techno Scene (Official Group) and give the tracks a listen. But our advice is that you head to the record shop. It is, indeed, a delightful listen and great collectors item. Don’t say we didn’t warn you.
About Techno Scene Reviews
On a daily basis, we receive and perceive new pieces of music, all within the spectrum of techno. That’s why we feel like writing articles about it, to translate the music into words in the best way possible. Unlike other reviews, we’re not into giving a rating to the releases. If it’s good, we’ll give it or seal of approval. But in the end, it’s your own choice and freedom to like it or not.