FACT mix 168 is an extraordinary live set by consummate Dutch techno producer Conforce.
Conforce is the alter ego of one Boris Bunnik, originally from the island of Terschelling but currently based in Leeuwarden. His full-bodied, hard-grooving sound has won him props from the likes of Derrick May and Rolando, and the labels that he’s released material on – among them Rush Hour, Meanwhile, Curle and Delsin – are testament to the dancefloor potency of his productions.
Boris’s introduction to quality electronic music was early on in life and fortuitous to say the least. His father, who worked as a forester, was one day patrolling the eastern part of Terschelling when he found a discarded cassette tape on the ground. Upon returning home he handed it to his son, saying, “Perhaps you could do something with it.” The young Boris duly gave the cassette a listen on his yellow toy tape-player, and had his mind blown by the “weird and freaky noises” contained therein. It was much later that he discovered the tape was in fact a compilation of Detroit-oriented techno from producers like Orlando Voorn, Carl Craig, Speedy J and Joey Beltram.
This rich, hardware-derived dance music made a huge impression on Boris, and you can feel their influence in the tracks he makes today. Convextion is one of the only other contemporary producers we can think of who so satisfactorily evokes the golden age of techno without recourse to pastiche. There really is something vital and undeniable about Conforce’s combination of tough, electro-influenced drums, stately synthesizer melodies and – amidst all the sci-fi grandeur – serious, bass-heavy funk.
Since debuting in 2007 with the Our Concern EP for Rush Hour, Bunnik hasn’t exactly flooded the market with releases; he put out only two EPs in 2008-2009. By contrast, 2010 has already proven incredibly busy for this purveyor of ‘Terschelling Techno’: he kicked off the year with the Grace EP for Delsin, the Amsterdam-based label that’s home to the likes of Redshape, Newworldaquarium, Vince Watson and Aardvarck, released a further two EPs on Meanwhile and Modelisme, before dropping his excellent debut album, Machine Conspiracy, also for Meanwhile. Incorporating some dub influences appropriate to the aesthetic of the Manchester label without compromising his own deeply considered sound, Machine Conspiracy is undoubtedly among the best “pure” techno albums of the year, a wonderfully sustained achievement that matches microscopic attention to detail with a flair for the grand narrative.
What keeps us coming back to Conforce’s music is its sheer physicality, and nowhere is that physicality better perceived than in his FACT mix. A recording of a recent live performance, it showcases the full breadth of what he’s about: spine-tingling hook melodies, hard-hitting drum patterns, dubwise atmospherics, acid squelches and extravagantly landscaping synthesizer sequences all arranged with a genuinely sculptural elegance. The tracklist, which Boris has chosen not to reveal, is made up entirely of his own productions, most previously released, but with two new exclusives (one of which he tells us will soon out on 12″, albeit anonymously).
Quite simply, FACT mix 168 is arguably the most coherent, persuasive and impassioned techno session we’ve ever had the pleasure of presenting to you. Do not miss.