Co-Fusion: Co-Fu3.0 / #2021reviews
Co-Fusion was one of the key groups in the early days of Japanese techno, back in the late ’90s, when the producers, mostly under the legendary Sublime Records, were experimenting with the new sound, taking it into every kind of new direction and the duo of Heigo Tani and DJ Wada was doing an especially outstanding job at it. However after releasing two classic albums (Co-Fu and Co-Fu2), a series of excellent EPs and finally Final Resolution (which was more of a DJ Wada solo effort) in 2009 they disappeared for a long while. But in 2019 they suddenly reappeared, joined by Toiza71, a younger producer and picked up where they left off, doing fast, driving techno music. They started dropping EPs, some of them on Sublime and some on other labels and for Co-Fu3.0, released exactly 20 years after Co-Fu2, they returned to another classic label, Germany’s Harthouse.
And Co-Fu3.0 is a more than worthy addition to their discography, which, while slightly different, easily lives up to the quality of their classic releases. The opening iStart is a very atmospheric and old-school piece, that takes us back to the early days of techno, while the following Dimensions is also on the old-school side, but after it builds up slowly it takes us more into an electro and acid influenced direction. The acid stays with as Fourth Ray, a track that balances between house and techno and then returns later on at full force in the closing Pluck. 10 Pixel is an extremely hard-hitting stomper, Hidden Elements has a very cold and mechanical feel, while Hidden Elements is strangely groovy and, at parts, has an almost creepy vibe. Forwarding recalls the days when everything was all about electro house and the rest of the songs are all classic techno tracks, but each of them evokes a different era and different style of the genre.
While it may be less experimental than their early releases, that were all about testing the boundaries of the genre, still, it might be the best and definitely the most diverse Co-Fusion album to date, that works a hommage and a love letter to techno and its vast history and many, many different styles.
2021.12.20 / digital
A year in reviews: in 2021 I was somewhat neglecting the site due to the lack of free time, but now I try to make up for it as much as possible, reviewing several important / good / interesting albums that were released this year. One for each day throughout December, from a very wide spectrum of genres. #2021reviews