Greek producer duo Jokasti & Nek’s latest release, Emmanuel, marks their third release on the legendary Mord Records, and as a touching tribute is dedicated to and named after their son, with the album artwork even depicting his chromosomes. The contents of the album are not what one would call sentimental, though, blending both the roughshod sounds that you’d expect from a Mord release with more hypnotic, deeper grooves, being ready for the dancefloor at all times. The six-track digital release is split roughly in half where the first three tracks focus on rawer, heavier sounds and the latter three take a more atmospheric and at times even melodic approach.
Beads is the album at its heaviest, with relentless distorted kicks barrelling out of the gate. A short reprieve about halfway through the track makes it hit even harder once the punishment returns, now accompanied by militaristic drum rolls. The title track, Emmanuel, softens the blow, but the atmosphere is still an aggressive one, with the echoing heartbeat in the center of the track surrounded by whirring mechanical sounds and mysterious bleeps and warbles, evoking the medical themes of the album art.
While Sleep Spindels treads similar ground, Summer Drama is where the deeper side of the album really comes to play. More focused on the low-end, ghostly bells and phased hisses fill out the track, creating an atmospheric roller perfectly suited for smoke-filled club basements. Blue Bleep is most aptly named, sporting a dizzying array of bleeps layered on top of each other. A complex, progressive track where new details appear on every listen, it is the highlight of the release and a great example of how tasteful melodicism can elevate techno.
Emmanuel is Jokasti & Nek’s sound at its best. Impeccably produced, dynamic and varied, it’s an excellent addition to the Mord catalog, and worth a listen for any fan of techno’s deeper or heavier sounds. Emmanuel is out now on Mord‘s Bandcamp in both vinyl and digital formats.