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mo' fidelity | December 16, 2018

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Aden – Tanz EP (Ultramajic, 2015)

Nevyana Boycheva

Last time we listened to Travis Stewart was after the release of his second and final Vapor City record on Ninja Tune, titled Vapor City Archives. Now it’s time to change locations, labels and monikers, take the teleport from Vapor City to the city of Berlin and check out Aden‘s second EP on Ultramajic called ‘Tanz‘.

I must make two things clear. First, I’m not even sure that Stewart still lives in Berlin, but that’s not important because this record just sounds so German. The second thing is that I was very surprised when I discovered that Travis is Aden and Aden is Travis. It happened while I was listening to Jimmy Edgar‘s mind-blowing Essential Mix from back in May 2014 and Pete Tong just blurted it out in a by-the-way fashion.

Of course it makes total sense because that’s not Stewart‘s first stylistic transformation. He’s been in the game for over a decade and the result is an abundance of material tracing the boundaries of various genres like hip-hop, trip-hop, glitch, IDM, ambient and so on to reach the point of inventing his own style of, as I like to call it, juke-flavoured jungle (in the Vapor City series).

So back to the release. His work for Ultramajic presents his techno side and is once again a bold statement of Stewart‘s craftsmanship because the guy seems to be good at everything. He even has stuff on his Soundcloud tagged ‘disco’.

His latest EP as Aden sounds intrinsically cold and mechanically correct, and engineered to perfection, just like a proper techno should (at least in my head). It’s also Ultramajic-ly banging and all four tracks just beg one to play them in a dimly-lit club full of sweaty dancing people at 3 am in the morning.

Opener ‘Lieb’ has a more mellow touch than the rest of the bunch, slightly nodding to Stewart‘s affair with Jimmy Edgar as JETS, with a never-ending buildup of emotions and tension which gets fully released in the three bangers that follow.

‘Grau’, ‘Hess’ and ‘Hell’ thump violently against a mixture of powerful synths, cold vocal samples and numerous drops which raise the energy levels through the roof. Or as the Ultramajic descrption puts it “…the Tanz EP contains a range of moods to fuel human bodies on the virtual dance floors of a digital future.” Indeed.

Get AdenTanz EP from Beatport.

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