Though he’s a master of house and techno, Loco Dice’s origins are in hip-hop. That sense of rhythm and rhyme carriers over for some added edge to the lyrics and basslines of his productions. The Düsseldorf native is the kind of DJ your favorite house DJ likes to go see in their off time and work into their sets. Get a taste of his grooves with a whopping 15 new tracks on his album Underground Sound Suicide, one of the best releases we’ve heard all year.
The deep, driving, permeating drums hit right in the chest from inception to lure in the listener. Percussive nuances pair with a slow build as additional elements are subtly introduced, countered with a supernatural, spacy hint that shimmers with curiosity for what may come next as the track progresses.
“You Shine” ft. Pulshar
First comes the build of a synth, then a super deep combination of a drum/bass hybrid with an intriguing, slightly broken beat for a more complex groove. The vocals are warm and subtle and complement in delicate layers to soften the impact of the bass and create a sonic balance.
“Burn Ca$h Ash” ft. Miss Kittin
A punchy synth line gives way to a subtle build into a retro techno vibe with staccato rhymes. A bit of electro sneaks in to a few segments of the amorphous elements, which have surprises every second.
“Back In Flingern”
Just like a proper DJ set, the tracks on the album are arranged with perfection, and the energy and heart rate rises as it progresses. The classic house hi-hat gives way to an extended drop, which cleverly oscillates a few times amidst the dark vibe.
“Metaphors” ft. Neneh Cherry
The track starts with another cool bassline, but the nature of the lyrics is a bit amiss, confusing, cheesy, and distracting: “Pulling me in every way / Plug it in / Stick it in a socket/ In the wall / Push the boundaries ‘till they fall.” The chorus isn’t much better, though the underlying beat would be cool on its own for a dub. This is probably the only track I’d skip next time on the album.
“Do U Really Wanna Ride!?”
Multifaceted synths guide you along the more progressive path punctuated by vocal snippets. Things get fun with a bit of breakbeats in the middle, followed by a warming sub layer, which feels like a nice sunrise.
“Negative II Positive”
Distorted vocal samples draw to mind a bit of hip-hop into this fun and funky jam. Horn elements sneak in for some added flavor, followed by straight booty-shaking bass. Additional snippets of pitch-shifted vocals round out the track.
“Party Angels” ft. JAW
Things get pure house-y, complete with hi-hat perfection and even an “Oh yeah” sprinkled throughout for good measure. The elevated BPMs should induce some hands-in-the-air vibes, as a saxophone sneaks in for a subtle build. Try not to tap your toes on this one.
A shorter transition track more on the ambient tip, this one provides a little breather for your heartbeat after being worked into a frenzy on the previous tracks.
“Keep It Low” ft. Chris Liebing
The irony of the track first touts a “Fun-free zone / You know why? / We don’t like laughing” in a little alien voice. What sounds like wind chimes is a surprising yet welcome small element. The brooding drums and lower-than-low voice will surely get a resounding cheer during club play when it says, “Are you smoking weed out there? Blaze it up!”
“Get Comfy (Underground Sound Suicide)” ft. Giggs
Giggs’ flow is wicked sick, and we’ve had this single on repeat since its release. The low synth will sway your hips, while the rat-a-tat of the speedy hi-hat morphs along as the track speeds and slows like a roller coaster ride teasing and racing.
“Like in the Movies… Yeah I Want Sum!”
The bassline carefully dips up and down ever so subtly as the track chugs toward a sustained extended climax of the musical variety sure to work up a sweat. Coming in at just over eight minutes, the tech-y underground offering is a work in vibe-creating perfection.
“Sending This One Out” ft. Just Blaze
Fluctuating, jittery notes vacillate while the bass kicks in, followed by a switch in gears to push the track forward. More and more elements join the track before revealing a call of “sending this one out.” The track continues to rev up in energy with every passing second, perfect for an afterhours frenzy that is more diverse in one track than many mainstream DJ sets are all night.
“The Ninja (Showtime!)”
There’s something so evil about a toy piano. The intro sets the vibe for this wonky and sinister downtempo offering with a dash of Español. “I’m just getting way high from this beat” rings true, and you’ll wanna slowly skank along to the genre-blurring track.
“Badazz Dream (Outro)”
Winding up the multi-dimensional album, this last track slows it way down to let you recover. Bass-heads will delight in the beats, which only add to Loco Dice’s diverse repertoire and skill set.
Underground Sound Suicide from Loco Dice is available now via Ultra Music.
Deanna Rilling is a diehard techno head for life. Follow her on Twitter.
Originally published on Insomniac.com