Today’s premiere comes from Detroit’s John Beltran, one of the most respected figures in electronic music, with a catalogue of key releases spreading across three decades.
The past 3 decades or so have seen many electronic music artists come and go, but one name who has certainly established many spaces within this endless spectrum is Detroit producer John Beltran, and his accomplishments as a music maker and sonic visionary are there for all to see. Beltran’s journey and audial narrative read out beautifully through the records he released, whilsy chapter 1 seeped in the traditions of Detroit Techno, chapter 2 and beyond have seen him operate in a wide variety of musical circles. His sound is one of constant evolution, one that has seen him experiment constantly within differing genres over the years, with his peers and audiences always left dazzled by the sheer scale and intricacies of his works. Alongside this, there is a distinctive harmony between man, machine and instrumentalism within his music, with the soul at the core of it all laid bare as it enriches the minds and hearts of those who come across it – an enchanting embrace that pairs raw undulating rhythm with tear jerking melodies.Support on Bandcamp
Beltran’s musical outputs have come about via a handful of aliases, with his most significant being Placid Angles, the group Indio (which also includes Sam McQueen) and of course, the music released under his own name. The Placid Angles name has seen some extraordinary releases, such as 1997’s iconic ‘The Cry’; 2019’s ‘First Blue Sky’; and 2021’s ‘Touch The Earth’, all of which encapsulate his wide reaching style, with the music touching on Techno, Ambient, Drum’N’Bass, Breakbeat and everything in-between. His work with McQueen as Indio oversaw the release of the timeless 1999 self-titled LP, an Ambient Techno record that has since gone on to be heralded as a classic within the genre. However, his work as John Beltran has seen the most investment and shifts in direction. From the early days releasing on seminal imprints such as R&S, Peacefrog and Apollo (check his first three LPs for reference), through to future jazz and funky leaning efforts on Ubiquity and MotorCity Wine, and some future classics on Delsin, Furthr Electronix and Seventh Sign, there’s so much there to invest and immerse yourself within.
What comes next is always a beautiful surprise within the story of John Beltran, and with his new EP, ‘Para Viajeros’, we are greeted with vibrations that soothe the soul and transport the mind to some very special places. As always there’s a profound deepness to the music, with Beltran’s love for instrumentation laid bare for all to experience here, with flourishing sequences and airy, dreamlike atmospheres found throughout. Striking the perfect balance between sultry and quietly euphoric grooves and equally emphatic yet rhythmically intricate House leaning numbers, there’s something for everyone here and for all times of the day/night. “A Dança da Manhã” turns the EP towards the hazy mornings of summertime, where the chordal flow reminds us of the sea breeze and the uplifting horn work points towards the world unravelling all around, a fresh tune to begin a new day.
The full EP, ‘Para Viajeros’ will see release on June 10 on Oath.