It’s tough releasing a techno album right now, when there’s a distinct lack of sweaty basements and jacked-up sound rigs to test it out live — but Irish producer Will Kinsella aka Hybrasil hasn’t held back on his latest mission statement.
Kinsella’s second album as Hybrasil is out today, called TEN, to mark the 10th release of his eponymous vinyl and digital record label. The 10-track album was mainly written in his adopted home city of Berlin, and follows his 2019 debut album Embers on Radio Slave and James Masters’ label Rekids. The concept behind it is compiling the typical sounds and themes of the label into a condensed package, while leaving a standalone artefact.
It’ll give you itchy feet and long for a speaker-rattling night out, but it’s not a one-dimensional take. There’s a classic Detroit techno vibe immediately from the first track ‘Divano’, with an epic church organ synth chime that nods to Robert Hood’s joyous Floorplan alias. Kinsella had been playing Divano in his last big gigs before the pandemic hit — notably at District 8 and Berlin’s Panorama Bar, so if anyone can remember being there, it might be a nice memory jolt.
Further on, he goes in hard on the certified bangers ‘Quantum’ and ‘Bridge48’, which channel Jeff Mills’ iconic take-no-prisoners Purpose Maker series in the mid-90s, or the acid-rinsed banger ‘DE03’. Overall, it’s thumping techno with abstract vocal snippets, intricate sound design and well-placed classic techno signifiers like 909 handclaps that’ll have you struggling to contain an air-punch at home, or pick up the pace if you’re on headphones in the middle of your State-sanctioned 5k run.
Last month, Kinsella went on a frankly insane 24-hour live stream marathon from his studio, so you know he’s dying to get back out there and connect. He also shared a post on December 30 recalling that exactly a year before, he was closing out 2019 in Jam Park in District 8 with Amelie Lens, and he’ll be gutted he can’t take TEN on tour for a weapons-grade tour of duty around Europe’s clubs.
In TEN, he has a ready-made arsenal in his record bag, with plenty of time for it to sink in over the next few months, and when we all get the vaccine these tunes will be just the jab.
Hybrasil’s TEN is out today on vinyl and streaming platforms. Find out more at hybrasil-music.com.