DJ Spacebear is one of Oslo’s hidden treasures. As a DJ he played a fundamental role in Oslo’s Trance and Techno’s heyday in the late nineties. Today, he continues to be a significant figure in the city’s more underground affiliations, where Techno, Acid, House and Electro continue to enjoy a dedicated and intimate scene.
While he’s been constantly active as a DJ however his music and his label has remained dormant since 2008, and after releasing three records in that one year, it’s taken him another decade and some change to release the fourth in the Retrace records catalogue. Vintage Acid Files (Part 1) finds DJ Spacebear digging through the archives with two tracks that have a timeless quality to them.
Big, squelching 303 acid lines drip with analogue warmth across two tracks that relay nothing of their age. While the rich melodic textures of the A-side might nod to Spacebear’s more trance-like tendencies, the B-side yields no such clues. But this isn’t Techno as some bland monotonous predilection for perfunctory demands and from the way the melodies develop on the A-side to the sudden change in key of the 303 bass-line on the B-side, there’s development, intrigue and drama to this record.
Almost progressive in nature at times, Vintage Acid Files harks back to a more innovative time for Techno, without succumbing to blatant nostalgia. DJ Spacebear breaks step with the vast mind-numbing drone on modern Techno to breathe some life back to the diluted genre, with a record that expounds in melody and development rather than just reinforcing the loop.
There’s something charismatic to this record, in a genre that usually defies originality for conformity lately, and listening to this record in the context of his 2008 series of releases, there’s something consistent about the artist that defies being restricted to its time.