Obscuur Records is a label that has been systematically pushing harsh, industrial techno for 5 years now. Based in Utrecht, the Netherlands, they’ve been putting out releases at an unbelievably prolific rate. Mainly focussing on digital EPs aided by their Ōtomo Trax sublabel, they boast a roster including the large majority of artists that dominate the scene they promote. Via I Hate Models and Dentis to Keepsakes and Ike Dusk, they have modelled themselves into acute proponents of the neo-industrial techno craze.
The roots of this scene are undoubtedly digitally based, however Obscuur have decided to take the plunge and attempt a foray into vinyl releases. For their second 12”, they’ve turned to a young Irish lad from out in the sticks known as ‘Ceili’. Oh and by the way, his name is genuinely Dylan Moran, which I’m just ecstatic about. The EP is called Rough N Ready, and it contains a rip-roaring selection of tracks exhibiting many of the elements that classic UK warehouse techno had to offer. A lot of the ‘industrial’ stuff that comes out these days I genuinely struggle to get down to, mainly because there’s almost no funk and it usually lacks singularity. It’s full of over-powering kicks and zero substance. This release did however catch my eye and my aged ears, so let’s delve in.
The title track is warehouse techno bread and butter, minimal elements but exceptional detail and poise. The rawness is perfectly delineated by the crisp level of production. Track 2 is called ‘Not A Fear Of It’ and it exudes rave warfare nostalgia. Dribs and drabs of X-101 aligned components are complimented by a funk-filled bassline arpeggiated within the neat realms of warehouse-based technicality. Big boy ‘Hadone’ is recruited next, for a remix of the previous track. The Frenchman imbues it with his own formidable force, doubling the funkometer and adding those heralded steppy elements reminiscent of the Birmingham techno days. Closing out the EP with another remix of the A2 track is Rommek. For this one, he switches up the drum programming, forcing thudding kicks through a warped prism of crunchy proportions.
Top class work across the board for this release. As mentioned, I was super sceptical before first listen. After finishing this review, I’m sold. Keep an eye out for Ceili in London, he’s always there or thereabouts.