reviewed by Ben Hogwood
What’s the story?
The music of Ahmed Raxon has been a familiar feature on house and techno dancefloors for at least five years now, and he has previous with Kompakt as part of their Speicher series in 2019. The Egyptian DJ, now based in Barcelona, has label-hopped with a number of successful releases, but now turns to the longer playing format with his debut album.
What’s the music like?
Raxon’s versatility makes him the ideal producer for an electronic album. Sound Of Mind has plenty of variety, moving between slow and fast tempos, four to the floor and broken beat, but always with a surety of hand. The range of speeds and beats is impressively mastered, assembled in an order that makes the album more like a DJ set.
Raxon has a healthy penchant for music of the recent past, too, which helps him pull a couple of surprises out of the hat. Almost Human is one of these, a curveball with widescreen riffing and breaks that look more in the direction of Brighton than Barcelona. Flyby is an appealing slower jam with rich keyboards, while the sharp edges of El Multiverse are part of a really strong floor filler. Phantom Report has darkly coloured, solid beats – an examples of Raxon’s techno with depth – while Vice puts its bruising break beat to good use.
Does it all work?
It does. Raxon’s previous endeavours for a wide variety of labels helps enormously, as does his sense of structure – there are no fillers here, and a strong set of grooves in the locker.
Is it recommended?
Yes. An excellent debut long player from a producer whose versatility and confidence stand him good stead, Sound Of Mind is an album that avoids cliche and presents freshly made grooves with some style.