Neon Daze EP Out Now Via OWSLA/Bitclap
Etnik, born in 1992, is known as the Wunderkind of the new German techno scene; it only took him several gigs in Hamburg’s Baalsaal to land him a record deal. But the most fascinating and refreshing thing about Etnik isn’t his young age, it’s his uncompromising and incredibly individual style.
Etnik (incidentally also his real name) grew up in Hamburg to Albanian parents who supported him greatly on his road to musical discovery. Whilst his classmates were out grinding to r’n’b and hip-hop, Etnik stayed in and experimented with beats and bleeps to create his very own definitiv sound. His aim: to invent an new, elegant form of techno.
Instead of piling his music with layers and layers of synths and noises, Etnik does away with surplus sounds and concentrates on the core. His music is to the point and avoids gimmicks so often employed by his contemporaries. He dresses dapper in suits to perform. Simple and stylish. Shaken, not stirred. Musically he found inspiration in the songs of modern artists such as Boys Noize, Tiga, D.I.M. and Kraftwerk, but also in the compositions of classical composers like Johann Sebastian Bach. Maybe that’s how a few bars of violon solo found it’s way into one of his tracks?
Etnik surprises with a collection of concentrated beats and home-made sawtooth synths; no matter how hard they get, the tracks maintain a charming analogue fragility and most importantly, soul. Etnik’s trademarks are his huge drops, which often come by surprise and sweep you off your feet. Etnik is a perfectionist – he worked on his tracks for two years before he judged them worthy enough to upload to Soundcloud.
Quality matters more than quantity. And this quality brought him immediate acclaim from Zombie Nation and TWR72 to name but a few. He became friends with SCNTST from Boyz Noize Records and together they released a few tracks on a New York label.
Etnik doesn’t just impress as a produce, but also as a DJ. He, however, doesn’t classify himself as either, rather as an entertainer with a concept. And by the way, the backwards N in his logo is actually a piece of a visualised version of a sawtooth-wave, just like the ones he uses in his music.