Album Review: Techno Victim | Christopher Rapkin
Multi-talented Christopher Rapkin has built his own legacy of musical artworks throughout the years as an award winning producer, singer/songwriter, score composer and multi-intrumentalist. In 2021 he offered a remarkable addition to his kingdom called ‘Techno Victim’. Listening to this album, as the electopop audience that I mainly represent, I confess I’d kill to attend a beach party and lose myself over each piece of this collection of night bangers.
The album starts streaming and ‘Berlin Move’ is exactly what I expected to listen after having a close look at the album cover. Typical opener for a techno party starting at midnight, promising to conquer every living thing existing in the late 80’s, where else? Berlin. The center of Techno. Its club elements and pop-ish quality reminded me of Beth Ditto’s collaboration with Cerrone in ‘Supernature’ for some reason. So here we get best of both worlds. The music stops and, like drops of a med entering the bloodstream, the melody of ‘Chasing Da Beat’ is just pushing all the buttons kick by kick and key by key. Night-time turns into a beautiful sunset with me wishing for eternal summer.
Sharp and robotic comes ‘Bullet Train’ to launch us into a futuristic circuit like the Large Hadron Collider (the world’s largest and most powerful particle accelerator). This one gets a ‘French Mix’ later on. The heat is rising, the heart beats fast and ‘Funk It’ is testing how the darkness of a ‘bass down low’ can marry a playful, groovy guitar melody. Not sure how much of the Techno material out there does this but the combo is more than intriguing and totally unexpected from a record of this kind. Cheers to that! Now, slowly burning in the background of every techno party of every movie, we have tracks like ‘Bullfight’. During this piece, the spirits calm down only to return with even greater power. It’s a transition to the cyberspace hit titled ‘Cosmic Blip’ where, for the first time, we witness mesmerizing, spacey synths adding some hope to an unknown future. A delightful treat in the middle of the album. Right place at the right time.
‘Extra Or’ will have you bouncing up and down, not knowing what is coming in the next few seconds. The melody is an actual rollercoaster from start to finish and we are riding on an intergalactic rail made of neon lights with our eyes closed. Next up we have the ‘Fuzz’ which, just like ‘Bullet Train’ is a safe bet, an ongoing noise to lose your mind over. A -5-minute long- drug looping itself until it becomes a second skin. And when it does, the heavily Electronic anthem ‘Effects’ is taking over, transforming itself at will, changing its substance from digital to earthly by, once more, adding the cool, jamming guitar. In the end ‘Effects’ is undeniably a midnight banger, maybe the most powerful until now and my personal favourite for sure. Announcing the end of the party, ‘Lollie With My Mollie’ sounds as sassy as suggested by the title. This feels like a battle between two languages. One of them edgy, like arguing machines and the other, smooth like winged, angelic synthesizers.
Will this album make you its victim under the right circumstances? No doubt about it. Is it a perfect introduction to Techno for unaware audience? Absolutely. Rapkin’s ‘Techno Victim’ is an ode to the 80's - 90's underground music scene. A confident piece of Techno, with unique, calculated details that only a pro like Christopher could pull off without spoiling the atmosphere!
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