Head High / WK7


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René Pawlowitz is best known for his introspective, bass-heavy experimental dub-techno under the name Shed, but he has over a dozen additional monikers. Two of them, Head High and WK7, are devoted to tracks reminiscent of the early-'90s era of house and techno, featuring warm synthesizer melodies driven by loud, repetitive beats and joyous vocal samples. Both projects debuted in 2010 on a label called Power House, and released several vinyl singles and EPs, all of which are compiled in continuous mix form on 2015 CD Home.House.Hardcore. Even though the rolling breakbeats and uplifting pianos conjure up memories of rave's past, these aren't giddy ecstasy-fueled tracks packed with rave hallmarks like cartoonish Hoover synths or gleefully piled-on samples. Instead, they're informed by the sturdy structure of minimal techno and pumped up nice and loud, much like Robert Hood's pioneering work during the '90s. The easy highlight is the blissful "Megatrap [Real Mix]," but the pumping beats and E2-E4-like chords of "Power Seat" and "More Music" are thrilling as well. Closer "Hardcore" sums up this retro headrush nicely.

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