Egbert van der Gugten, a producer and DJ from the Netherlands, just released his album titled “Warm” on Gem Records this past week. After listening, it’s safe to say that the twenty-six year old is well on his way to becoming one of the more respected talents in the techno field. With scores of releases and chart-topping tracks such as “Haasten” and “Straktrekken,” Egbert has become a household name in the underground scene in recent years. Now on Cocoon‘s roster, Egbert is up there playing across the globe alongside Sven Vath, Ricardo Villalobos, Secret Cinema, Josh Wink, and Carl Cox.
“Warm” takes off with smooth, soaring synths, and an eerie but gentle reverie in “Fonkel,” which translates to “sparkling” in English. This track is just that; sparkling and full of flair. When you put it on you feel like you’re steering a spaceship effortlessly through another galaxy. The second track, Magic Night, features some cool vocal samples and boasts a strong progressive melody but retains a sort of minimal charm. Third on the album is Shulgin, presumably dedicated to the great Dr. Alexander “Sasha” Shulgin. This intricately percussive track shoves you into the driver seat and onto the highway with its driving beat and wandering ditties.
Hemelpoort, which means gates of heaven in English, is next. Euphoric harps travel far and wide accompanied by a soothing, sturdy drum beat. Picture you and all of your best friends in a party bus or limousine going to or from a festival, club, or afterhours spot. It’s just got that sultry and seductive aura about it that begs to be enjoyed in the company of loved ones. Fifth on the ticket is Gevoel, the interlude, which actually translates to “feeling.” Gevoel has a nice exaggerated dub kick to it and features a hypnotic buzz that transforms into a beautifully mesmerizing melody. If the job of the interlude is to make it seem like the listener has just scaled a steep mountain and trudged through a valley, then Egbert has certainly succeeded.
Naar De Ruimte Enterug, the sixth track, starts off a little top heavy but then balances itself off very elegantly with its sauntering bass line and straightforward percussion. Its gravity comes out later on through a repeated four note phrase of F#, D#, B, and G#. Seventh on the album is Ondergronds: the translation of which even the most callow of hipsters could deduce. This piece has a sinister and spastic nature with its scattered and distorted vocal samples, atonal bleeps, and stammering keys. It touts a complex but cohesive clamor that few producers successfully replicate. The eighth track, called Tegno, feels faster right off the bat, with its “every sixteenth note counts” attitude and driving 4×4 beat. Once you listen, you’ll feel as if you’ve boarded a train that goes 0-60 before you can even find a seat. This number has techno written all over it. Whether it’s the DJ’s last track of the night or it’s the first one you play when you get to the gym, Tegno will burrow its way into your ears one way or another.
The ninth ballad on the album is called Leven or “Life.” This one is silky, elaborate, and secure like the web of a secluded spider: it roams freely but never has trouble finding its way home, plus, the listener is sure to become glued to its dexterous lacework. Number ten, “Machtig,” showcases its strength with a symmetrical sound evocative of the progressive or electro house of years past with a more mature spin on it. Lastly, “Trip,” sounds just like the titles looks: dreamy. Imagine floating in the clouds, rising, until you are face to face with what looks like an angel, and suddenly this angel takes a deep breath and exhales, making you one with the waves of meandering clouds.
In short, “Warm” is a tour de force of musicianship and certifies that Egbert van der Gugten will be a fixture of the techno scene for some time to come. Preview the album for yourself here, ‘like’ Egbert on Facebook, and be sure to download “Warm” on iTunes, Beatport, or Juno to enjoy with all of your favorite people!