Artist: Lastraw & Nine Collins
Title: Blue Horizon
Release Date: 16 July 2021
Supported by: Dubfire, Maceo Plex, Marco Carola, Solomun, Mind Against, Adriatique, Âme, &ME, Damian Lazarus, Paco Osuna, John Digweed, Joris Voorn, Slam, M.A.N.D.Y., Danny Tenaglia DJ, Audiojack, Kosmas Epsilon, Lonya, Nic Fanciulli, Pete Tong, Paul Oakenfold, Nohak, Sean & Dee, Wurtz, Clawz SG, Paul Anthonee, Tash, ao.
Beginning with the title selection the duo explores the depths of cosmic techno with a heady creation that's sure to get your dance floor moving. Waves of rippling bass power forward, setting the foundation, while clattering percussion and crunchy rhythms encase the framework. Adding further intrigue, a spoken word vocal narrative intertwines with the astral themes as wavy arps rise to prominence. Racing towards the main break, the groove strips down for a colourful entry, moving through striking artefacts and processed vocals, perfectly setting up an emotional bridge into an exhilarating finale.
'Blue Horizon' follows with a further lean towards astral techno territory. Driving and rhythmic in all the right ways, fiery percussion and growling electronics descend over the rippling foundation, as playful arps and placid overlays transfer energy into the main break. Expanding across a near two-minute centrepiece, textural drifts and scintillating electronics unite for spine tingling moments, before eventually getting washed away in a trail of mind bending sonics and punishing beats.
Rounding out the release is 'Breathe' which finds the duo exploring another amalgamation of progressive house and techno. A touch deeper and more laid back than its predecessors, it's bounce and drive still prove quite infectious. Luminous stabs and trailing effects offset each other nicely, as rolling rhythms build momentum across the first act. Icy overlays strike at opportune moments, adding additional depth leading into the main break. Perhaps one of the EP's most memorable moments, the centrepiece delivers feelings of reflection as clustered themes and wintry sonics rise towards a punishing drop and surreal finale. It rounds out a superb Astral Records debut for Lastraw and Nine Collins, who continue to build on their creative synergy here. Highly recommended.