Summer’s all finished now, but don’t tell that to the people over at Novel.
The guys back there somehow keep pulling out act after act of huge internationals for enormous shows – like this Saturday’s Smalltown at Caulfield Racecourse, featuring Dixon, Mano Le Tough, and Recondite. As it was such a big occasion, I decided I’d share my total top 5 tracks from all the artists.
NUMBER 5: ">The xx – Tides (Dixon Remix)
This track for me is Dixon manifest: a punchy kick, an airy breakdown, some heavy bass synths. But the thing that wins me over with this effort, is the stabs. The fucking stabs. Not only those bad-boy stabs, but the swirling voices of The xx that come back in throughout the breakdown, only to send it straight back into the main melody with some strings. God dammit Dixon.
Oooo 2 Dixon tracks in a row! Controversial! This one is perfect for those slow-burner days, the 30-something scorchers. That growing bassline does things to me, man. The soft plucks that come in at like 4:05 make this track, because you know Dixon’s drums are already gonna make the main melody fuckin tight.
NUMBER 3: ">Harbinger – Recondite
With a messy, acid-y, crazy breakdown like this one, it’s impossible for me not to put it up in my top 5. You know when a show gets announced and you get excited at the acts on it that you immediately start imagining “how good *this song* will sound live”? That was this track for me. For a slower tempo techno track, this one always bangs and will always be one of my favourites due to its subtleties – the crisp percussion, the plucking basslines, echo-y ambience, and that goddamn breakdown.
NUMBER 2: ">A Thing From Above – Mano Le Tough
This song has everything from the Irish-bred artist. From the growing chords to the weird blips and soft stabs. A day like smalltown will accommodate this almost more than anything on their Funktion One sound system – legionnaire hats, colourful button up shirts and circle-rimmed glasses aplenty.
NUMBER 1: ">Caldera – Recondite
YES. This whole article I have been waiting until I’ve been able to embed that little video of this track. Holy fuck this song is ridiculous. This is that track where it comes up in a mix and you rewind, this is the track that makes you open your eyes when your dancing, this is the track where you see like 25 punter phones go in the air with a little blue Shazam ‘S’ on it, this is that track where you grab your best mate and tell them you love them more than anything. This song is incredible. While everything I’ve listed so far is amazing (in my opinion), this will always stand out to me as one of my favourite techno tracks. The creepy melody, the empty and hollow breakdown (complete with echoes), that little pitch bend bass build up, and that ride cymbal. Timeless.
Smalltown kicks off this weekend, Saturday 19th March over at Caulfield, with tickets on their final release at $66(!). I’d really recommend copping a ticket now so you don’t miss out on the day, as it’s going to be an absolute belter if the video below from last year’s edition with Ben Klock is anything to go by.