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Premiere: Raxon – Journey Mode [Kompakt]

Written by on 23/06/2021

Raxon has produced a long-awaited debut album that’s ready and aching both for the dancefloor and the boudoir, traversing the heat of the club and the warmth of the home. 

Over the past decade, Egyptian-born, Barcelona-based DJ and techno producer Raxon, known to friends and family as Ahmed Raxon, has popped out a steady stream of twelve-inch singles, precision-tooled, for labels like Cocoon, Drumcode, Diynamic, Truesoul, and Ellum Audio. An alumni of Kompakt’s Speicher series – check the insistent, vibrating pulses of “The Ancient” and “Dark Light” on 2019’s Speicher 107 – with Sound Of Mind, Raxon has produced a long-awaited debut album that’s ready and aching both for the dancefloor and the boudoir, traversing the heat of the club and the warmth of the home.

“The idea of an album has always floated around in my head for the past few years,” Raxon confirms, “but it was never the right moment in my mind.” Instead, he’s been insistently pursuing his vision of deep, elegant techno, taking him from early DJ gigs in Dubai, including the legendary audio tonic night, then relocating to Europe on the recommendation of Herman Cattaneo, all the while allowing his experiences to inform and transmute his producer’s thumbprint. He’s an architect by training (though he gave architecture up for electronic music), which might explain
why Raxon productions are so sturdy and well-designed; but remember also that architecture is a field filled with brave experimentation, something Raxon definitely draws on throughout Sound Of Mind.

Like many albums from the past twelve months, Raxon’s debut developed partly thanks to the unique social situation the planet has found itself caught within. “In the beginning of 2020 I started working on a few tracks with the album in mind,” he recalls, “with no idea of what’s to come in the next few months. As catastrophic as the situation was/is, I found myself in the studio; in a way the lockdown gave me that creative freedom in the studio, to] try to tell my story through sound.” And indeed, there is something in the way of ‘life writing’ about Sound Of Mind, particularly in the way Raxon’s productions pay subtle homage, perhaps, to his formative listening experiences in the late nineties.

It’s no retro trip, but there’s plenty of variety here, and a few moments that’ll tickle the collective memory – see the prowling pulsations of the opening “Majestic”, the alien breakbeat action of “Vice” and “Journey Mode”, where the interstellar tones feel like Foul Play or Steve Gurley, the leaking gas and woozy keys that make “Droid Solo” so subtly destabilising, or the strobelight drones that sputter and flare throughout “El Multiverse”, where dappled organ tones fight it out with interdimensional transmissions, all sucked into the vortex of a late-night techno mantra.
Beautifully sculpted, Sound Of Mind feels consummate, an elegant set that pulls Raxon’s vision into its sharpest focus. Alive with possibilities, it’s a fever dream of creativity.

Raxon – Sound Of Mind LP [Kompakt]
A1] Majestic
A2] Flyby
A3] Phantom Report
B1] Droid Solo
B2] Vice
B3] Atmost Human
C1] Exit Station
C2] Journey Mode
D1] El Multiverse
D2] Outworld
Release Date 25-06-2021 // Get here now

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