As the name suggests, In Drum Play is an album which sees Pangaea experiment with a multitude of drum sounds and patterns. One third of the Hessle Audio trio, this level of skill should not be surprising, each member holding a level of respect for the music they create in a way which can only be envied by other DJs of the moment. With this full-length debut, Pangaea shows why this is a deserved reputation, presenting a dark and enticing album which demonstrates techno's reach and compatibility with other genres. 

As a house and techno fan, nothing takes my attention more than genuine party bangers; songs that kill the floor when spun at any moment - beginning, middle or end of a set. Rotor Soap is such a tune. Its steady techno beat flourishes with pitch changes that add a playful element with Ghetto House nuances. We see Panagea’s sonic origins in this album too, as with all his other releases to date. The album opener, Mutual Exchange, broods with a dubstep and grimey feel, a sound which reflects Pangaea’s early years as a producer. Bold in Zinc and Send It also combine this dark dub tone with a techno punch to make industrial, churning beats. One By One has striking stings that add a sense of intensity to the track, creating a level of beautiful unease in its depths. Lofty Can is a homage to the dance floor beverages that will rise. It’s nothing more than a two steppa with a 120 degree arm raised holding that aforementioned can, maybe a slight pout of the lips in recognition of the infectious drum pattern.

What Pangaea really succeeds with on In Drum Play is to find the right balance of textures and rhythms on each track. There’s an intrigue in all pieces that loops and bops so infectiously that the subtlety of what’s produced can be so easily overlooked for its complexity. It’s a quick 10 song album that sees itself out with a return to the party feel in DNS. This finish may be to hide the fact that there aren’t more scorchers like this on the album, yet his use of his previous work mixed with the vibrancy of the current techno scene combines for a commendable piece of work.


Words; Tai Kolade

AuthorDuncan Harrison