ANF – Mauna Kea EP (Pacific Rhythm, 2019)

Another energetic workout from Canada’s premium rave unit.

Something appears to be in the water in Canada. In the past few years, so much incredible, ground breaking and thought provoking music has been mastered and then ventured out of the country, to dancers around the world who delight in its sheer brilliance. The variety, the sunshine vibes, the depth, I could go on, all provide listeners with an almost complete spectrum to enjoy, from the 90s dance revival to jazz house to disco edits.

For the techno rave trippy lovers out there though, Pacific Rhythm is one of the jewels of the bunch. The label has released a whole spectrum of music, covering all the bases on what makes the Canadian electronic music landscape so special and distinctive of late. ANF – Dust-e-I and Priori – have spearheaded the label, with stellar releases from both individually. Their collective efforts, beginning with the Visions EP on NAFF recordings last year, showcased their love and affection for the broad and never-ending view of the 90s, with an emphasis on the high tempo energy and tribal rhythms. Their collective duo minds come together once more to create the Manua Kea EP, an album dripping in 90s nostalgia, but enough of an emphasis is placed on the contemporary vibe rather than the drums and the fills, to bring the future into the mix.

The title track builds slow to reveal a slamming, heart clutching rhythm that pulsates with a deep synth line over the top of a driving beat. The acid line squeaks in and out, only adding to the intrigue, with the drums moving away at al the right moments The track is such a burst of energy, and for sure will illuminate dance floors all around the world (tried and tested in sneaky pete’s). the energy that radiates when the drums kick in is simply spine chilling, and the groundwork is there for this to be a frontrunner for tune of the year, no doubt. A2, ‘Chi-motion’, is a much more chilled affair, with its feel very much a Future Sound of London/The Orb inspired. Its downtempo breakbeat flow creates a nice downer to the high octane energy of the opener, but again the elements of the song blend in and out at all the right moments. A perfect Balearic time of the night kind of tune; the twilight hour, the sunrise, kind of feel and emotion.

With the rush then the chilling gone, the duo bring it right back in again. B2, ‘State/function’ is a dark and slightly twisted thudding rave-tech machine, that complements the more melodic elements of the title track perfectly. its intensity and rawness hit the core, uncomfortable in its targeted feel, but so overpowering that you simply cannot close your eyes and immerse in its soundscape. Finally, the energy comes way down for the finale, ‘Mary Lynne’, a downtempo emotive trip that provides a wonderful end to a journey full of rave inspired in-your-face techno. It is as beautiful as a Galaxy 2 Galaxy or Derrick May melodic beatless track, providing the listener with a sonic soundscape to dive into and be immersed one more time.

It is such a perfect continuation of their first releases sound, which was more consistently uptempo and melodic, to display a darker and eerier musical experience. It is testament to the pair in their constant exploration of musical boundaries, whilst again showing that for the energy lovers, Canada is producing the goods right now. This is a fine example of taking from the past to inspire the present, and alongside the latest Dust-E-i release, there shows no signs of stopping for these producers anytime soon. Long may the energy trip continue.

Support the troops here: https://pacificrhythm.bandcamp.com

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