Mark Reeve is a familiar name to anyone truly serious about techno. With a career spanning nearly two decades and championed by techno heavyweights like Adam Beyer and Sven Väth, Mark’s groundbreaking productions can be found on Drumcode, Cocoon, Bedrock. Truesoul, Terminal M, Soma, Second State, ELEVATE, Intec, Bek Audio and of course his own label, SubVision.
Mark is an artist that wears his heart on his sleeve. You can feel rawness and emotion in his music, attributes fully harnessed in his new LP. ‘Raw Mind’ is forged in a spirit of the techno underground taking back some control. ‘Raw Mind’ sates an appetite for techno purists searching out vibrant techno with its roots in dark cavernous clubs with pummelling sound systems and bass that hits you hard in the chest, shaking the foundations you stand on.
Released on his mighty SubVision, ‘Raw Mind’ captures where Mark is a producer, artist, DJ and label owner. As always, Mark’s projects are delivered with passion and integrity. The result of many hours in the studio getting the right sounds, making little sonic adjustments to ensure the final results deliver where it matters the most - pumped out of the speakers and onto the dance- floor to give the crowd something truly special to get lost in.
Opener ‘Asia Worlds’ hits a dubbed out early night vibe - the sort of track seasoned DJs play as the club is filling, setting the mood and creating the right vibe in a venue. Melodic, chiming, echoey and with a slight edge - Asia Worlds gives a sense of anticipation for what is to follow.
‘Decisions’ kicks things up a few degrees with Mark summoning his Detroit influences. A hip motor city house groove is fused with modern techno aesthetics as lush chords and beats create a gentle swaying hypnotic flow. Subtle intermittent stuttered kicks add just enough tension to give the crowd an unexpected nudge.
‘Anticipation’ is pure underground Berlin and captures the real mood of a scene. ‘Anticipation’ is the soundtrack to a lost weekend at techno temples like Berghain and Tresor - crashing discordant chaos and shuffled industrial percussives meet classy composition and arrangement, yet with a freedom in structure that’s independent of time constraints.
For ‘Run Down’ Mark teams up with Swedish techno sensation and legend Samuel L Session. Two techno minds creating an uncompromising punchy focused techno gem that is upbeat and aimed at maintaining energy in the room. As the title alludes to, ’Don’t Stop’ is a thumping 4/4 beast, with its relentless and ruthless attack tempered slightly by the cool retro Chicago house MC sample.
Title track ’Raw Mind’ continues the onslaught and encapsulates what Mark is all about. Driving pounding kinetic uncompromising techno. The classy breakdown shows a true understanding of how to work a dark room. The beats are removed so the melody can get inside your mind, ensuring a sense of elation when they kick back in. Techno from the heart filled with genuine passion.
‘Concentrate’ sees Mark call upon regular partner in crime KLØSET. This is minimalistic stripped back thumping techno with serious emphasis on its tense sound architecture. So intense that a hypnotic dystopian voice brings warmth. ‘Shadow’ hits that part of a set where the night is in full swing, the crowd lost in its journey, demanding the DJ inspires them. Crisp beats and hissing cymbals set a platform for Mark to add more off-kilter elements into its freeform structure.
With LP in full flow ‘Burning Up’ maintains the momentum and is techno perfect for any sort of night. The narrative is aimed totally at the dance-floor, and lets the crowd know that they are there to enjoy themselves. Alway passionate about embracing new talent, ‘Future’ introduces NaDeen for in intense pared back ride brimming with energy and excitement.
‘Madness’ was the first in the raw series on SubVision, seeing Mark work alongside new talent KLØSET. Here Mark delivers a special Raw Edit which amps up all the key elements of the original while still maintaining the edginess people loved earlier this year.
‘Refraction’ is text book Mark Reeve with its relentless driving intensity, swirling resonating arps and throbbing bass. In contrast ‘Prism’ sees Mark stretch out, flexing his production muscles to deliver rich layers, deep lush synths and and sumptuous pads. A true techno artisan at work.
All of this lulls you into a false sense of security as ‘Obliterate’ lives up to its title - a techno juggernaut sweeping everything out of the way, but with a groove and low rumble perfect for the early hours.
The LP closes out on style as ‘Romantic Place’ shows another string to Mark’s bow. Here he creates a hauntingly beautiful and imaginative piece of electronica. The ringing piano keys go straight for the heart, as Mark provides a soundtrack to score the perfect sunrise or most scenic of winter mornings. A stunning way to end.
In summary, ‘Raw Mind’ captures a techno artist at the top of their game. Someone that is passionate and protective of the underground scene and a spirit dating all the way back to those early days in Germany, Detroit and clusters across Europe. Yet someone that embraces and supports new talent in the sense of community. Long may that continue.