Duncan Macdonald‘s next creation ignites the upcoming solo EPs series on the release schedule of LowEnd. The Apples EP which will be officially released on December 2nd has compositions that span from the recent isolation era almost until now, and we, in turn, are happy to host the premiere of its B2 track. Its title might seem strange at first, but it refers to the coordinates of an important geographical location. Production-wise, it is mainly based on previously untried practices and has an easily perceivable aim. This bold mixture of tense, tight-grip techno can drive us deliberately into motion, as it employs fast-paced, redemptive percussion and crunchy cuts. Something that is, also, found throughout the EP as a whole. Uninterruptedly, its sparking tempo waves over a sense-distorting soundscape, messily spraying dense bits of clubbing-flavoured hues on this subtly hypnotic habitat. In his way, Duncan packs serious dancefloor-oriented material making us curious about his future.

Release Q&A

Starting from the beginning, what was the EP’s aim and focus?

As the second release on LowEnd, Johannes and I decided to release a solo EP of mine. I wanted to get something out there that’s dance floor ready, with tracks that have an impact but are also effective as DJ tools! I really enjoy producing techno with no real breakdowns and this EP was kind of a testament to that. Moreover, I wanted to blend my love for driving techno with something a bit more hypnotic. It’s also LowEnd’s first step into solo EPs of which Johannes’s will follow. We want to show what each of our preferred styles really are.

Would you like to share something about its inspiration and aesthetic?

The first 2 tracks were written at the start of the first lockdown, and I think they reflect the feeling I had since losing clubbing as an outlet. The tracks are a bit different to what I’d been trying normally. I think the isolation was actually great for helping me get out the box I was in and try something new! The B1 was actually written in 2019 or so. I’ve always wanted to get it out there but have just been waiting for the moment when it really felt right to do so. The premiering B2 track was the most recent addition to the Apples EP. I wanted to produce something gritty and quite distorted, while mostly using untried methods and instruments.

The premiere track has a number as its title. What is this about and what made you compose a track for it?

To be honest I really struggle naming tracks. Every time I finish something and go to name it my mind goes totally blank! The numbers are from a time when I was just naming tracks with part of the geographical coordinates of important places in my life. So, this one is a reference to the hospital I was born at in Edinburgh. The first 2 track titles on the EP I’m sure some people will recognise as Peep Show references!

Was there something that made you comfortable during its production? Did you reach any of your personal limits?

This track is actually full of things that were new to me at the time of production! It was the first time I really dabbled with wavetable synthesis, as in general I tend to favour the classic analogue sounds of my hardware. So it was great to try out something different and really learn and push my knowledge and capabilities with abletons built in plugins. I was also using my trusty SYO.5 in a bit of a different way from usual to give the shifting bell tone that comes in. 

Where do you find yourself after this release and what are your plans?

I really want to get LowEnd up on its feet with the release of Johannes’s solo EP. I can honestly say is one of the best I’ve heard in a long long time! I’ll most definitely continue to produce new music. After having had only a few gigs this year, I’d also love to play more frequently. I just did a closing set at Renate a few weeks back and it was an absolute pleasure. So nice receiving such a positive response and in such a lovely club! My next gig will be November 12 at a daytime showcase for the French label Affûte, which I’m really excited about. Apart from that I’m also working on an exciting, scientific project with Alison Sperling at the Technische Universitäten Berlin. It’s based around sounds exploring Black Holes and, although it’s a challenge, it’s something totally new that I’m really enjoying!

The EP is available for pre-order on LowEnd Bandcamp.