Hayden F explores the depths and textures of techno on his latest EP for Trapez, titled ‘Abstract Movement’, with shifting moods and tones that offer a varied palette of the different faces of the genre as interpreted by this French producer.
The fact of a Frenchman living in Barcelona, Spain, is not a rare occurrence at all, as the community of Catalunya shares a lengthy border with France, by way of the Pyrenees, and the “Ciudad Condal” (City of Counts) is a great, big, messy melting pot of culture, sound, and vision, which attracts many a global wanderer, especially if they indulge in the arts themselves. A place both for the conformist and for the non-conformist, Barcelona has become a global meeting place in the last years (or at least until COVID), playing host to numerous festivals and events where electronic dance music has taken center stage, with techno experiencing a surge in popularity in recent times. This situation has made many an international techno DJ to set up shop in Barcelona, and this includes Hayden F, who has just released his latest EP, ‘Abstract Movement’, on the Trapez label.
This DJ/producer native of Toulouse, France, seems to have absorbed some of the city’s twisted energy and plastered it all over the EP’s 5 tracks, from the anarchic title track to the shifty closer, ‘Smile When You Think About Me’. Harnessing the power of proper 4×4 techno grooves, Hayden F creates a dark and atmospheric sound that weaves itself into the pounding beats, sometimes sparse, other times reflective, but always with drive and creativity.
The opening cut ‘Abstract Movement’ relies on the distorted hyperactivity of the main synth line to create an in-your-face relentless techno track with wicked resounding kicks and coarse-as-sand hi-hats. Next comes ‘Dynamic Peace’, which combines a stomping beat with heady synth lines and effects, in an ever-shifting ride through electronic wonderlands. Techno stalwart Re:Axis does a fine job refashioning the reflective sound of the track in his remix, turning it into a funky tribal workout all throughout. The following track is ‘Decompression’, which carries a sense of urgency that gives it an edge-of-your-seat intensity, which grows as each loop and pattern unfold in layers and layers of revolving sound. Lastly, ‘Smile When You Think About Me’, the EP’s lengthy closer, starts off as an ambient track in its first half, giving little indication of the pounding kicks that take over in the second half, combining to form a spacey, disembodied vibe, held together and grounded by the solid beat.
In all, ‘Abstract Movement’ evidences Hayden F’s versatility as well as his deep appreciation of techno, a genre that is showing its tremendous staying power thanks in part to the younger generation of producers who are embracing and transforming it by pushing its boundaries further and further, while keeping its spirit and essence.
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