The sound of Traffic Records is both incredibly difficult yet straight forward to sum up. On one hand, the tracks released on the imprint and played by the crew span rugged electro, quirky tech-house and mind-boggling techno. On the other hand, when you hear a Traffic track it’s a sudden clear-headed moment of “That’s a Traffic Records track”.
Jacob Chenaux is at the wheel for the label’s fifteenth release with the Frankfurt-native mainly known for his DJing alongside label-mate Bodin as Bodin & Jacob.
If A1 ‘Frostnach’ came out 20 years ago and had been recently unearthed as a Discogs gem, I’m not sure anyone would be surprised. Its inspiration seems firmly taken from early tech-house with the playful and rich bassline in conjunction with the punchy, no-nonsense drums to create a track that produces a “Wait, what is this?”
There are some fantastic producers who juxtapose musical elements in their tracks well today’s world, but there’s few who seem to do it as good as the Traffic guys. On ‘Wrath’ , the seductive pads that form the bassline allude to a sense of gentleness whilst the drums and claps pound mercilessly track whilst acid notes squelch and lasers fire throughout.
On paper this combination goes against the current crop of underground electronic music. Floaty basslines belong within deep house, pounding drums belong with techno. Fortunately, these preconceptions about how music should sound are being disregarded by some producers and the best music currently is being produced by those who disregard it.