PAN-POT - FORTE
In the ever-evolving realm of techno, there are few names as venerable and as influential as PAN-POT. Celebrating a monumental 20 years in the industry, the German duo – comprising Thomas Benedix and Tassilo Ippenberger – has once again proven why they are considered the stalwarts of the techno scene with their latest album release, 'FORTE', on their esteemed Second State imprint.
A Legacy of Innovation
Since their fateful meeting at Berlin’s School of Audio Engineering, where their mutual love for techno forged a bond, PAN-POT has been synonymous with groundbreaking electronic music. From their early days, where they melded electronic experimentation with minimal sounds, to the ominous, murky tones that have since become their signature, the duo has consistently pushed boundaries. Over two decades, they've graced stages at iconic venues and festivals like Time Warp, Awakenings, and Tomorrowland, establishing a reputation that few can rival.
FORTE: A Retrospective and a Vision
'FORTE' isn't just another album; it's a reflection of PAN-POT's illustrious journey. With tracks released bi-weekly leading up to its full unveiling in November 2023, the album is a testament to the duo's evolution. Each song in the collection offers a unique narrative, capturing the essence of PAN-POT's ever-changing sound. From the resounding beats of 'PROTO', which echoes their 2007 hit 'Charly', to the groovier tones of 'BOND', the album is a sonic journey that encapsulates the duo's past, present, and future.
"The tracks emulate the past, present, and future," PAN-POT shares, "but most importantly, they are all tracks that we love and enjoy playing."
A Trip Down Memory Lane with 'PROTO'
As part of the 'FORTE' rollout, PAN-POT revisits 'PROTO', a track that harkens back to their roots. Collaborating once again with Hugh Betcha, who was instrumental in their early success with 'Charly', the duo delivers a track that encapsulates the raw energy and fervor that has defined their career. The original mix, along with the 'Stripped' version, offers listeners a dynamic experience, while Mike Shannon's remix delves deep into the underground, reimagining the track with a fresh perspective.
The Sonic Landscape of 'FORTE'
Beyond the reimagined 'PROTO', 'FORTE' unfolds as a mosaic of sonic brilliance. 'BOND' emerges as a standout, with swinging drums and shuffled percussion juxtaposed against a resonant arpeggiated lead organ. Its climactic peaks, punctuated by a looping vocal hook, encapsulate PAN-POT's ability to craft tracks that are both dance-floor ready and deeply emotive.
'FUTURA' takes listeners on a vampiric odyssey, characterized by thudding kicks, piercing hat grooves, and lucid harmonies. This track, with its racy undertones, stands as a testament to PAN-POT's ability to continually innovate while staying true to their unique sound.
'EVOLUTION' serves as a forward-looking techno masterpiece. As its title suggests, the track is in a constant state of flux, introducing new elements seamlessly, ensuring that listeners remain enraptured throughout.
'NOVA', with its fusion of punk-rave elements and prodigy-esque vibes, is a sonic whirlwind. The track's harsh grooves and eerie harmonies create an atmosphere that is undeniably unique, reinforcing PAN-POT's penchant for pushing boundaries.
'Diving Deeper into 'FORTE''
Delving further into the album, 'CORE' stands as a homage to the purists. Its drum machine shots lay the foundation, while synth melodies, pulled through continuously modulating envelopes, weave a sonic tapestry that is both intricate and compelling.
'ARC', on the other hand, embraces the minimalist ethos of techno. Its robustly rippling bassline chord progression is a masterclass in restraint, proving that sometimes, less truly is more.
'EON' offers a departure from the norm. With its swinging grooves and industrial percussion, the track exudes a 'spooky' ambiance, showcasing PAN-POT's ability to craft tracks that are both enigmatic and infectious.
'UTOPIA' provides a serene respite amidst the album's techno onslaught. Its ethereal sonics and sentient lyrics, nestled amidst trancey rhythms, offer listeners a moment of introspection before the album's penultimate track.
Closing out the collection, 'CODA' serves as a fitting finale. Its gritty electronic essence, punctuated by weighty drum work and rattling percussive drive, encapsulates the essence of 'FORTE' – a celebration of PAN-POT's unparalleled legacy in techno.
'FORTE' is more than just an album; it's a celebration. A celebration of two decades of groundbreaking music, of relentless innovation, and of a duo that has consistently redefined the techno landscape. With this release, PAN-POT reaffirms their status as techno's luminary duo, and 'FORTE' stands as a testament to their enduring legacy.
For those seeking a sonic journey that traverses the vast landscape of techno, 'FORTE' is an essential listen. It's not just music; it's a masterclass from the maestros of techno themselves.