Did Ten Walls just deliver the Essential Mix of the year?
If you’re still sleeping on Ten Walls, that should change now. The enigmatic producer is on the tip of every tastemaker’s tongue, having achieved remarkable success in the past year despite releasing only a few originals. Originally shrouded in the mystery of anonymity, the man behind the curtain has finally been revealed to be Lithuanian producer, Mario Basanov. With a background in classical music deep enough to make the average EDM producer quiver, Basanov is quietly redefining house and techno music through beautiful soundscapes and canonical techniques.
On Friday, Ten Walls took over the Essential Mix for what can only be described as a legendary debut. His approach was anything but average. Channeling his affinity for video games, Basanov’s narrative opened and closed with cinematic scores from Assassin’s Creed and Mass Effect. The journey itself is a mind-warping odyssey through worlds both strange and absorbing.
Listen to it here:
The mix shoves off in experimental territory, leaving one feeling a tad anxious, yet irreversibly intrigued. Transitions blend into each other effortlessly, masked by the oddity of the percussion and irregularity of the beat. As the journey continues, one finds themselves shirking perplexity in favor of admiration. Over time, each track seems to amass greater significance, contributing to a larger work at hand. Dark techno is met with more rhythmic cuts as Basanov shows off his knack for obscure song selection. The mood fluctuates in consistent intervals, never lingering on a single setting for too long. One moment it’s the surreal head spin of fLako’s “Eclosure,” the next it’s the bangin’ minimal groove of &ME’s “After Dark.”
When the mix enters its final quarter, it’s hard not to fawn over Basanov’s talent. Yet then again, it’s quite clear that this is no ordinary musician on hand. The final twenty minutes are likely the most engrossing of the entire composition. Having steered us through lands both shadowy and peculiar, Basanov turns his attention to the transcendent. The tracks are long and drawn out, and as such, it’s near impossible to tell when we’ve moved from one to the next.
Ultimately, the intensity doesn’t ramp up to some stimulating climax; rather, it’s a steady progression of sounds, building the kind of atmosphere that has one afraid to speak for fear of ruining the moment. When all is said and done, Plastikman’s 1998 techno masterpiece “Consumed” is Basanov’s final offering: the perfect ending to what is clearly one of the top Essential Mixes of the year.
2014 has seen stellar Essential Mix duties from Deep Dish, Bonobo, Green Velvet and more. Did Ten Walls just top them? Let us know what you think in the comments.