To say that we are fans of Cio D'or and Prologue here at the Department would be a slight understatement. Prologue's dedication to that very deep style of techno is second to none, and the producers who release on the label are of the highest quality. Cio D'Or is no exception. Having been introduced to her by the always excellent mnml ssgs a number of years ago, we have been avid followers ever since, with both her production work and various DJ sets (studio and live) only further endearing her to our hearts. Cio's mastery of hypnotic grooves, coupled with tense atmospheres and natural sounds, puts her at the forefront of a select group of producers. Her latest EP, the first solo work since her 2009 album Die Faser, is no exception, and now that we've had a chance to really digest it, we want to give some thoughts.
The lead and title track is best described as ethereal. There is no discernible beat for the first minute and a bit, only a slowly building random collection of subaquatic kicks and echoing clicks. With the correct feeling set, Cio then treats us to a restrained broken beat, made up of the earlier elements. These, coupled with just the right amount of stress and swirling mechanical sound in the background, indicate that this EP will be a descent into something special.
Wirbelkraft runs with the previous theme, although delivers it in a more straight-forward manner. A steady beat with a repetitive sonar-esque ping is the order of the day on this one, with the same atmospheric sounds in the background of the mix as featured in Magnetfluss, with some more elements added through the second half of the track, almost out of hearing but not quite.
Things take a slight turn with Wasserkraft. The kick is more prominent on this track, and at 70 BPM it feels quite different to the techno and house that we might be accustomed to from Cio and Prologue. Sonically it is reminiscent of Limone, the B-side to the absolute stormer that is Menta, produced with Donato Dozzy in 2009 on Time To Express, with a fast paced and repetitious rhythm. Rising and falling synth undertones help to instill some natural beauty to what could otherwise be a cold song.
Magnetkreis is a beautiful piece of modern techno. Deep space textures, a shuffling beat and mechanical echoes combine to make a superb track, if a little short. Cio's ability to merge a number of styles and sounds and make them work so well is testament to her vision for techno, and incredible talent in the execution.
This is a great EP, and we can't wait for more.