Pastiche – Interstellar

Rating: 4/5
Distributor/label: N/A
Released: 2020
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Pastiche (Alex Lytvyn)

1. Interstellar
2. Time
3. Sunset In Paradise
4. Adrenaline


The art of reviewing is, at its core, a pretty sweet gig. Your job is to espouse your opinion articulately (though in some circles this is entirely optional) and rationalise your thoughts to a public who are very different from you. Your answer to “what makes this good or bad?” can differ wildly from others, so it pays (!) to be able to detail your reasons with confidence.

With that in mind, there are numerous factors which can make up techno, and all have cases to argue for which is chief in making it good. The beat, the bass, synths, arps, etc. – are all fine examples. But taken as a whole, good techno should be something that you can become engaged and lost in; lose yourself to the beat and synthesisers as they pulse around you. Happily, this is where PASTICHE excels, and particularly so on his latest release: ‘Interstellar’.

Consisting of four tracks, this EP is a finely-balanced mix of trance, tech-house, and progressive, and all wrapped up in a techno bundle. Also, isn’t it funny how song titles mixed with the music can paint pictures in your head? Listen to “Interstellar” with its driving bass and jumpy staccato leads and what do you see? If it is anything other than warping through the cosmos in your cruiser, or zipping through a futuristic neon-lit city then you may be a dangerous subversive (or someone with decent imagination). The same could almost be said for “Time”, though the title is less picture-conjuring than the above – throaty bass swells and tine-like bleeping melodies swirl throughout, sounding at once urgent with its driving four-on-the-floor kick, and laid-back with gentle melodic hooks.

It’s particularly with “Time” and follow-up “Sunset In Paradise” where PASTICHE deserves special praise for bringing things down and pausing for breath. In the former, the beat drops away to leave a simple key progression that gently builds back up with those melodic synthesisers; with the latter following a similar pattern. The unrelenting energy of techno in a club setting is all very well and good to keep dancers going, but a break or drop does wonders for both the music and the listener. Mindless repetition or thumping beats will only get you so far before it simply becomes white noise in the background, so full marks for the effort here.

“Adrenaline” rounds out the EP and, as to be expected, returns proceedings to something with a little more urgency. The brighter sound, with insistent arpeggiated lines and a lead that almost approaches an electric guitar-like sound lends itself to the track’s title, screams “future” and would likely be the most club-orientated piece out of the four here. There is still time for a mellower section to worm its way in, much like the other three on display here, but this time it is a little more understated (when the adrenaline’s pumping, there’s little time to relax, right?)

Overall? Yeah, ‘Interstellar’ is a pretty damn good EP of techno fun. Its minimalism and futurism combines neatly together to create four fun tracks that are easily listened to, whether in the depths of a basement club in Ibiza or going about your day-to-day meanderings. It is very easy to just lose oneself to it all and simply vibe away the half-an-hour it totals. Enjoy the ride, space cowboy.