Minimal techno. Once a buzzword from a couple years ago, now a lot of folks seem to think its a dirty word, with much of the transient people that got into the scene having moved away from it. Understandable, as a lot of minimal is pretty cookie cutter at this point.
But there are also some truly gifted producers who have been making standout tracks for some time, including young Irish producer from Dublin, Donnacha Costello, who has been making some truly gorgeous techno music since the late 90s. He uses both modern editing software and the original early-digital and analog master tools (an Akai MPC2000 + MPC3000, an ARP Odyssey Mk1, a Nord Modular, Roland Juno 60 and Juno MC-4, as well as the classic Roland TB-303, TR-707, TR-808, TR-909) to craft melodic, heavy grooving techno songs. He started his own label, Minimise to release his music in 1999, on which he has since put out a couple dozen records, including his latest full-length CD, Colorseries.
The album collects ten tracks which Donnacha hand picked from his 2004 series of twelve-inches, to include his favorite tracks, as well as a couple of unreleased versions of songs. Considering the fact that the CD is compiled from a number of singles, it is extremely cohesive and does work as a sit-down-and-listen album (though I personally enjoy walking around the city with these songs playing), but most of the tracks would be pretty banging on a good club system as well. The tracks remind me, in the best ways, of Underworld's second album Second Toughest In The Infants - loopy, rich in melody, emotional (emotional techno? Yes, it is possible) - particularly "Grape A". Much of the album has a great slippery, live feel to it as well, which is a supremely satisfying feeling to get from your techno music, especially in this day and age of lifeless minimal. There are also a pair of gorgeous ambient tracks on there worth spending some time with too. Check out the interview with Donnacha over at Resident Advisor.
You'll find the Colorseries CD at your favorite dance-music retailer, and downloadable at Beatport, sometime in the next week or so. Enjoy.