Boomkat Product Review:
On his crazy solo debut album, EVOL’s Roc hails Eurodance x happy hardcore x acid trance as mutant folk music with a 2 hour collection of live recordings, oddities and installation works directly inspired by the contemporary Catalan dance sound of Mákina - a massive tip if yr into Pastis & Buenri, Nana Makina, The New Monkey, Acid in the Style of Peter Beardsley…
Marking 25 years since EVOL’s first record, ‘Principio’ (1999) for Mego, the prolific project’s main man, Roc Jiménez de Cisneros, deploys a distinctly personalised conception of Mákina from his Barcelona IP. After 10 years of adding to its special folder, Roc yields 28 psychoactive cuts marinaded in synthetic bath salts and sweat to wickedly skew the sound’s conventions - virulent 303 arpeggios, see-sawing melodies, and in-your-face beats - with the sort of playfully singular bloody-mindedness that has come to define his EVOL works with Stephen Sharp and others. However, the sound here is distinguished by Roc’s personalised inflections and warped nuance that locates unique vitality in the viscera of Europe’s most maligned, but equally beloved, hard dance style.
Although technically rooted in the ‘90s megaclubs of Valencia, Mákina (machine) music also became native to its Catalan neighbours, including Roc, based further up the Spanish coast. And with thanks to a bunch of entrepreneurial Mackems who were bitten by the Makina buzz in the late ‘90s, it more unusually sparked a phenomenon in North East England and Scotland, where it alloyed with happy hardcore and rhythmelodic auction-style MCs to form a whole new offshoot in its own right, heard everywhere from the estates to notorious/legendary clubs such as The Blue Monkey/The New Monkey by Charvers trotting their Rockports off in a sword-dance style hyperfolk step. Roc’s ‘Makina Trax 2013-2023’ follows with a celebration of the sound’s role as regional rave soundtrack and folk signifier, paying no concession to “taste” or normality as he isolates, gurns and exaggerates Mákina’s features to a ludicrous yet immediately functional effect as divisive and energetic as marmite-flavoured wizz.
Pinging from gibber-jawed 303 graffiti to durational 14’+ screwball pounders, and even a killer old skool 808 electro variant (‘Makina Trax 22’), Roc really gets under the hood of this sound with results unmistakably comparable to the style and pattern fascinations of his EVOL gear, yet surely tweaked out with a notably more live-wire, hands-on, accentuation. We hear it in the 50 seconds of anthemic fanfare to ‘Makina Trax 16’, the pitching, throaty yowl of ‘Makina Trax 03’, and in the scuttling briskness of ‘Makina Trax 04’, with particular standouts in the screwed, almost bloozy Makina sleaze of ‘Makina Trax 06’, the extreme flange of ‘Makina Trax 19’, and a 180bpm goblin bop ‘Makina Trax 28’. Basically some of the most potent tackle by one of the leading rave experimenters of his generation, whose uncompromising, brilliant work links everyone from the dearly departed Peter Rehberg to Florian Hecker, Mark Fell, to Lorenzo Senni.
Aweee the radgies, pasty droppers and pooter hooligans; it’s your time.