Music Reviews

Artist: Timmo
Title: Starlight
Format: CD & Vinyl
Label: Terminal M
Despite being on the scene for over a decade, with a strong track record of 12”s and EP’s to his name, this is Bulgarian techno artist Timmo’s first full album. For the most part though, it doesn’t have that “ambitious artist” approach you sometimes get, where artists use the ‘album’ label as an opportunity to experiment in genres, tempos and styles that they’re not already known for, with variable results. Inside Timmo sticks to what he knows and afters up 10 tracks (plus an intro) of reliable, steady, spacious techno. Each slab is around the six- to seven-minute mark, it’s generally all DJ friendly, and it sticks to what it knows best. It’s exemplified by tracks like “Solar”, with its ambitious synth-symphonic melody and long breakdown bookended by chunky, high quality but bread-and-butter 4/4 beats rolling under dark electro noises.

“New Beginning” makes deft use of some acid 303 sounds to give it a bit of a squelchier character that plays nicely against some epic but muted orchestral-hit-style noises, while “Belle Epoque” surprises you slightly with a “Kernkraft 400”-throwback melody drop that, if given a cheesier treatment, has the potential to be a crossover hit. “Sonic Voyage” takes its melody in a trancier, more hands-in-the-air direction, and final track “Interspace” recalls an earlier 90’s mode of trance in a way, while tracks like the chant-driven “Spacefreaks” harden things up a bit.

In an hour of melodic techno, there are some tracks which fail to leave a big impact. The title track, surprisingly, ends up being one of the more forgettable numbers, while “Rhythm X” with its “I feel the rhythm” mantra and Hardfloor-ish 303’s does sound a little bit corny and dated. But there’s certainly nothing bad on here, for sure.

Melodic techno feels like it hasn’t progressed much, sonically, in the last couple of decades here, and while the production here is top quality, it doesn’t challenge that notion too hard. Nevertheless it’s still a really solid and enjoyable techno hour, great for dancing, working, walking, and more.

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