“There’s a special part of the brain that only this kind of music can access and hearing this on a really fucking loud system in a room full of people going nuts (because they will be going nuts), is a thought to salivate over.” – Ian Maleney
Irish techno has something of a hidden history. It’s not the kind of scene one just casually picks up on from blogs or reads about in magazines. It is though, the kind of scene you can quite easily find yourself falling into unknowingly, as the layers peel away and a group of dedicated, talented people begin to emerge from basement clubs all over the country. Mostly hidden away deep in the wilds of County Carlow, TR-One are one of the Irish club scene’s most talented and dedicated acts of recent times. Making a name for themselves with knowledgeable and deeply entertaining DJ sets and then cementing their reputation with a series of must-be-seen-to-be-believed live shows, Eddie Reynolds and Dean Feeney’s studio productions thankfully maintain all the energy, vitality and skill of their performances.
Living In, Now on POGO is the three-song follow up to the Drum Dance single released on Apartment Records earlier this year and sees the pair continue to explore the balance between soulful house textures and the room-shaking beats of warehouse techno. The title track here is a playful start. Cut up vocal samples become part of the rolling percussion, congas and all, and the snare dominates whenever it is dropped into the mix. It’s bare and basic, nothing but that beat for the most part, but the development keeps things interesting as elements come and go, building and falling away over the course of five minutes.
‘Head Of Trains‘ is exactly what it says on the tin. Big room techno of the highest calibre, it sounds just as industrial, damaged and epic as you could hope for. There’s a special part of the brain that only this kind of music can access and hearing this on a really fucking loud system in a room full of people going nuts (because they will be going nuts), is a thought to salivate over. Not for the faint of heart.
Extending itself over nine minutes, ‘Love Letter‘ is a serpentine blend of deep house and the kind of melancholic, soulful techno that was born and raised in Detroit. The repeating synth lines are back again, winding and burbling through the beats over and over and over. Low chords hint at a warm underbelly, despite the harshness of the hats, and they gradually take over the whole spectrum. The final few minutes sees those chords lose their edge, becoming almost serene before the end. The closing title is apt as, throughout the three tracks, TR-One show off their intense connection with the classic sounds of house and techno, reveling in their tropes and feeding blissfully off their energy. There’s a mature understanding that sees them shun newness for its own sake, disregarding posturing hype and concentrating on the vital energy that transcends influence or age. Welcome to the house that Jack built.