As they reach their sixteenth release, Frankfurt-based label and collective Traffic Records are still constantly ducking and dodging people’s efforts to label their music as a singular genre or sound. Yet despite these efforts, there does feel to be a Traffic sound albeit it’s hard or even impossible to define. It’s the label’s diversity and fresh approach to already-defined genres which have become the key distinction for music released by them.
The most distinctive music that’s released on Traffic are the tracks which meld a plethora of key features in which you’d normally associate with house, techno or any musical genre, to create something entirely new and fresh-sounding.Co-founder Martyné’s newly released TP Project EP might be the collective’s flagship offering of what the Traffic sound could be.
It’s best showcased on the EP with the emphatic peak-time track “King Lui”. The kick drums and claps are thumping yet playful and are wonderfully brought to life by Martyné’s sprinkling of the quirky chord progressions inspired straight from the creative golden era of ’90s tech-house.
The breakdown is what gives it a Traffic feel though, a rumbling and face-scrunching bassline which wouldn’t be out of place in a straight-forward techno track disrupts what could’ve previously been considered a house track to emphatically bring King Lui to life and produce a feeling that’s sure to light up dancefloors.
Such combinations of rough yet playful, rumbling yet fun, are what enables music released on the label to be so memorable and ensure a longer play life than a lot of other music being released. Fellow A-sider “Lution” is an absurdly fun and rattling acid track that’s defined by it’s bizarre chords and blissful breakdown melody following in similar fashion to King Lui by transitioning into a pounding acid track.
Switching over to the B-side, “Tobacco” illustrates the collective’s love affair with bass and lots of it. It’s a no-nonsense, heads down, freaky techno track, spiced up more than your average techno track, of course, thanks to an electrifying bassline and grin-inducing drum rolls. It’s oozing with the sort of weirdness and oddball features that jolts your legs back into life during a marathon session at Robert Johnson.
Closing off the EP is title track “TP project”, a playful tech-house track that champions soothing vocals flanked with peculiar keys and a bassline that’s sure to be stuck in your head for hours after.