Many an artist has found their one-time side project to eventually become the vehicle for their notoriety. Such is the case with Paul Maddox and Rich Wakley, after joining forces to found Spektre. Ten years later, they’ve seen huge success, dropping releases on Drumcode, Elevate, and Kraftek, and regularly playing the likes of Space Ibiza, Exit Festival, and Pacha Buenos Aires. But they’re returning to their own label, Respekt Recordings, to release a new EP titled Gates of Dawn. It features two originals and two stellar remixes by Loco & Jam and Vinicius Honorio.
While all of the tracks are excellent in their own right, it’s the title track that gives truth to Pleasurekraft’s claim that “[Spektre] are the real deal—period.” Pounding in with bone-crushing bombast, the tectonic kick is pierced by an otherworldly howl. An equally dark and dangerous synth slices through to form the black melody, as “Gates of Dawn” begins to take its full epic emergence. Little signatures help move this track into its own lane. Beyond the heaviness, Spektre adds elements of early hardcore, including note choice, breaks samples, throwback drum rolls, and an excellent shift in kick timbre after the middle break. These elements elevate the soundscape in energy and power. But the dynamic really matches the sounds at play when the arpeggiation of the lead synth shuffles dramatically at key moments.
For a stripped-down chunk of weighty, dark techno, there’s a lot going on here—but one would have to repeatedly listen to and critique “Gates of Down” to pull all of this out. It’s nearly impossible to keep from getting carried away on the larger-than-life, cinematic journey taking place. It’s quite an achievement, and it’s sure to reap even greater rewards for Spektre.
Available March 1 via Respekt Recordings.