Styles: Ambient Techno, Minimal Techno
Following in the shoes of canonized dub-techno purveyor Basic Channel and the subsequent wave of Chain Reaction apostles, producer Jernej Marusic explores the deep, dark, dubby realms of minimal techno as Octex, an appropriately oblique yet affective moniker. Though not from Berlin, the Slovenian producer certainly embodies the essence of his East German predecessors. He eschews dancefloor furor and frenzy here, instead embracing a more sullen and stark style of minimal techno with a strong dub undercurrent. For instance, thunderous basslines propel much of Idei Lahesna, giving much of the album considerable forward drive. These buoying basslines and their reverberating resonance propel wavering layers of looped, crackling static and disorienting reverb. While countless bedroom producers have embraced the school of Basic Channel and tried their hand at a similar style of dub-techno taken to minimal extremes, Marusic succeeds where others fail. He doesn't just emulate the decade-old Basic Channel template; instead, he breathes new life into it, infusing it with his own style and sense of demeanor, much like the wave of artists who characterized the Chain Reaction label in the late '90s. Furthermore, he showcases a surprising degree of versatility despite his consistent template of sounds. Throughout Idei Lahesna, he moves back and forth from dizzying ambience ("Intex," "Intezo," "Agon") to stomping techno ("Deflection," "Emergon," "Liagon"). The latter certainly stand out among the more contemplative melancholia, reaching dancefloor-level intensity and lumbering on for minute after minute of wall-shaking mania. What Marusic has done here on his album debut as Octex is two things: one, put Ljubljana on the techno map as a possible hotspot to watch, assuming the Slovenian capital city breeds music like this; and two, place himself alongside similar-minded East European producers-to-watch like Fluxion over to the west in Greece, assuming Idei Lahesna is just the first sample of what this young, talented producer can offer the post-Basic Channel techno community.
- Jason Birchmeier (Allmusic Guide)