White Keys Vol. 1
24th February 2020
vinyl & digital
Trouble in Tahiti
La Donna Del Lago
After delivering his highly acclaimed ‘Contract Labour’ EP on Blue Hour last year, Alpha Tracks returns to base with his debut solo album, ”White Keys”, on Morbid Records. Many amateur musicians and bedroom musicians who have built dance music know that sticking to the white keys affords them the possibility to create melodies without professional knowledge. In this context, the album title ”White Keys”, along with the release artwork of amateur piano models, lays in stark contrast to the track titles that steal their names from famous Opera.
Benedikt, indicates a sense of humour here that highlights “monstrous and over-exaggerated arrangements” against “repetitive music, and the ‘bedroom producer’ mindset”. Despite these descriptions, Benedikt takes us on an immersive path, showing us how classic dance music genres translate into the present by transmitting a multidimensional investigatory experience with cinematic qualities and spanning a wide arc from the world of fast techno through to the otherwordly realms of ambient with masterful artistry.
Few producers bring the mindfulness and vision like Benedikt does, this is evident across his already stacking output and well respected contribution to electronic music. His debut LP ”White Keys”, which will be released in two parts in February and March, is no exception.
Felix Benedikt’s mature sound has often had him mistaken as a veteran producer. In fact, Benedikt is actually a talented young artist with a wealth of music already under his belt. At the beginning of the millennium he received his basic musical education working at Cheap Records and started to DJ at the age of 14. From 2012 on, Benedikt worked at TONGUES, a Viennese record store with an in-house studio where in 2015 the project Alpha Tracks was born. The first release on the reactivated label Morbid had strong international resonance and Alpha Tracks has continued with highly acclaimed records since. Tone setting record store, HARDWAX, distributes the project exclusively as Benedikt continues to perform internationally. The music of Alpha Tracks is mainlyproduced live on analogue machines with different guest musicians, focussing less on technical fetishism than on the live dynamics of studio collaborations. The result is a sound that refers to the Rave era of the early nineties. Alpha Tracks blithely ignores tempo limits or taste doctrines. Aesthetic taboos or even fragments of ten maligned genres, are not treated as a retro fetish, but are folded into the contemporary oeuvre with playful Viennese charm.
Morbid Records was originally setup by Erdem Tunakan in 1993 as a ‘free spirited platform’ and sub-label to the more internationally renowned Cheap Records from Vienna. While Cheap Records gained international success and released records by artists like Sluts n’ Strings&909, Robert Hood, Mika Vainio and Tin Man, Morbid kept to focussing on releasing more obscure maladjusted music. In 2015, Felix Benedikt, a long time companion of the Cheap Records family, decided to breath new life into the forgotten side project, and since then has been releasing music by himself and other young artists from Vienna.
Full Track Streaming:
“HATE Podcast 165”
“White Keys Vol. 2”
Alpha Tracks’ “Contract Labour EP” on Blue Hour
Gentle Riot for Alpha Tracks