It’s been awhile since I’ve thrown any techno in the mix, deep, progressive or otherwise. So I think it’s time to get that groove rolling again.
This one’s called “Highway No. 4” from German DJ/Producer Monika Kruse @ Voodooamt. I hope I got that right. Beatport credits this as two names with a comma – i.e. Monika Kruse, Voodooamt, which makes sense, the latter alias belonging to Patrick Lindsey. Everywhere else, it’s just her with the @ Voodooamt, which is just a little off grammatically. But what do I know? Sometimes electronic acts have the tricky names … one of its quirky charms. It’s also remixed by Ukranian DJ/Producer Skober, who steers deeply.
I think I’ve been listening to this one off and on for the better part of a year. It’s on my phone’s playlist, which is bluetoothed on the car stereo. It tends to pop up every few weeks. And I always forget to bookmark it, because I’m driving, and don’t feel like getting in an accident. I love music. But I do have limits. Anyway, that’s the backstory.
That said, “Highway No. 4” does make for some great driving beats, particularly when you’re speeding. But the slow commute works as well, making the time pass quickly. Like a lot of deep-cut, progressively-minded techno, this one soars at a cool and collected 124 bpm’s. It’s got a shuffling bristle of smooth percussive momentum, determined but not aggressive. I love this style of techno, because it brings focus, honing your mind to a hypnotic frequency, and just allowing you to tumble right into it. You can remain lucid, while still zoning out.
I think a lot of what I like about “Highway No. 4” is due to Skober’s remix/remodel of its source. Don’t get me wrong. The original is actually pretty cool. It clocks a bit faster at 127 bpm’s, skewing a little longer with a fuller rhythmic stack. It remains progressively repetitive, yet layers itself with increasing severity as it pushes ahead. Skober tends to ease the pressure slightly, widening the space, boosting the bass, and slipping some delayed synth wobbles in place. Sorry, I didn’t mean to make that a silly rhyme. Just kinda happened.
If you’re interested, Kruse owns and operates her own techno label, Terminal M Records, which also releases some of Skober’s material. The original version of “Highway No. 4” comes from one of the label’s early releases, the 2003 album “Passengers.” The LP has since been reworked and remastered, with an added selection of remixes from friends and label mates. That came out in 2016, and includes Skober’s remix.
Enough of the gory details. Here’s the Skober remix of Monika Kruse @ Voodooamt’s “Highway No. 4.” Per my usual inclinations, when it comes to electronic music, I’m gonna start with a YouTube embed that gives you the whole techno enchilada. After that, you can have your Spotify embeds, for both the remix and original version.
The Spotify embed of Skober’s remix of “Highway No. 4.”
“Highway No. 4 (Skober Remix)” from the 2016 album “Passengers 2016.”
And the original 2003 version of “Highway No. 4.”
The original 2003 version of “Highway No. 4,” remastered and reissued on the 2016 album “Passengers 2016.”