Tony Rohr ‘Oddlantik Avenue’

Tony Rohr / ‘Oddlantik Avenue’

CD / Digital / Vinyl

H Productions / Released February 28th 2011

Brooklynite Tony Rohr makes his album’s title make sense with this ten-tracker on Swedish don Cari Lekebusch’s label. Or does he?

While it’s true the stereotypical Big Apple sound is more soulful than scary, and opts to be phat rather than pounding, times have changed quite dramatically in New York, and the metropolitan US, since the days when Twilo shone out like a dark lighthouse in a see of vocally infected grooves. That’s not to say there was never an underbelly of true grit in the city that never sleeps, more that this has risen to the surface in the last five years.

In terms of the producer in question though, there’s always been something of a more European edge to his work. Which, when coupled with the jack that all Americans seem incapable of producing dance music without, makes for a four four meld that’s stripped, powerful, and runs across tempos. Take for example the staccato accents of Oddmatik’s Theme, wherein irregular hats cap off a jerking track that offers shades of John Tejada in full stepping mode, while still finding the time to ensure DJs playing at the spectrum’s harder end will find plenty worth buying into.

Similar vibes are found in RZ-Fun, a track that marries its repetitive bleep-hook with a lunging, angsty bassline to create something of a perpetual build that stops short of the final drop- a truly awesome tool for anyone to own. When all is said and done though, the real delights here see the accelerator put closer to the floor. And after the introductory tune-up that’s exactly how things open. Meta Tripping enters the fray some minute and a half into the album, driving kicks worthy of Scandinavia abound, welcoming machine noises that (ironically) soften the blow of a sparse and desolate- though far from boring- early peak time essential.

Which means by the time Oddrangement storms out of the boxes you’re more than ready for some serious marching orders. Again those huge drums are there, topped with a frantic but subtle melody to prove that little can actually be more (as if anyone needed telling). Eden Acid may very well steal the show, with its relentless peaks and troughs of synth, lightening strike effects and progressive edginess, if that point doesn’t do a disservice to Dark Passenger‘s rumbling low end and unnerving sequences. Further proof that 2011 has got off to a flying start, here be yet another piece of techno that ticks the right boxes.