Review: Derailleur – Hydraulic Performer (Decade Box)

For a producer, 10 years accumulates to an awful lot of plugging sequences into drum machines, twisting knobs and flicking switches on effects pedals, and gliding fingers across synth keys. Countless melodies and infinite rhythms will pass through studio speakers as sonic experimentation fills the room with frequencies from across the spectrum. Looking back over a decade of music making must be extremely affirming and fulfilling, a timeline of emotions, messages and reactions that extend beyond sound.

Derailleur has unlocked this time-travelling portal of kicks, snares and everything in between with his Hydraulic Performer EP, the first release on his purpose-curated imprint Decade Box. Every artist is bound to twist and turn through styles, moods and sounds across a decade of production, something quite evident on this first instalment. Featuring a remix from the wizardly Radioactive Man, the 3-tracker showcases the bulky capacities of high-voltage electro alongside vitalising, funked-out techno.

The opening track, which shares its name with the EP, is an intense concoction of slapping snares, cosmic synth stabs and demonic bass. The tune’s sinister, vocoded vocals interject the rumbling percussion, helping create a powerfully fierce tone. Frantic strikes of tom drums adds old-school flavour amongst the futuristic frequencies that dominate the airwaves. Expect to hear this one amongst the smoke and lasers at 3am.

Radioactive Man’s remix is a more playful take on the original, yet still seems primed for the ‘floor. Strung-out synths woosh above resonant bass stabs, whilst energetic shimmering keys add a euphoric buzz to the track. The breakdown introduces a wickeder side, complete with pummelling, fuzzy bass and a snare that slaps you round the chops with each strike.

Rounding off the EP, Device One is a shuffly techno number oozing in verve. Wonky, bass-heavy chords bounce atop rounded kick drums, driving the track along with serious rhythm and warmth. Lively synths climb and fall, but the beat keeps on bounding. This seems like a more overtly celebratory track to commemorate the French-based producer’s past decade of hardware manipulation and sonic sorcery.

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