High 5 - Patlac

by Dorian Goldman

Hamburg based DJ and producer Patlac has been featured often on FictionLab. Whether from his DJ selections or his own productions, Patlac always manages to carefully navigate a dark and melancholic terrain, which is nonetheless balanced by strong, energetic melodies. 

There is some very exciting news coming from Patlac in next month or so. In a few weeks the remix package of Patlac's Rodeon EP, released earlier this year via Moodmusic will see the light of the day, including remixes by 'In Their feelings' and ODD mastermind Davis, Upon.You co-founder Marco Resmann, DJ Le Roi and Foreign Guest. Even more exciting at the end of January 2018, Patlac's very first LP named 'Blinded' will come out on Offenbach based Connaisseur Records.

Patlac continues to rise as a star and earn respect as both a producer and a DJ. We were excited to see what five tracks were on Patalc’s mind recently, and we were not disappointed.


True to Chicago, Ob Ignitt introduces us to the track with a gentle jazzy piano melody that primes our ears for A# major. Subsequently, we are presented to the beat with the entrance of a lone kick drum followed by a stab and layered percussion elements. As if to quickly warn us that this track is not going to be predictable, after only a couple of seconds, the piano melody disappears and sci-fi sounding arpeggios roll over the stabs. Curiosity ensues as the rhythm builds and we feel we are slowly but surely leaving the stratosphere.  Just as the anticipation is reaching a maximum, we are hit with a chord, signifying that things are about to get interesting. At this opportune moment, Ignitt introduces us to the second melody of the track, a gritty bass tune, while still staying true to the sci-fi theme, continuously ambient in the background. Over the next couple minutes, some variations on the bass melody within the established framework occur, keeping the listener attentive. Ignitt never takes us back to where we started and the track ends with us still on that spaceship ready for more intergalactic adventures.



In Final Landing, San Laurentino achieves a paradoxically unique and nostalgic sound by layering emotive synths within a basic compositional framework. He builds momentum in the first two minutes with a simple clap and lead followed by the introduction of a second syncopated clap. Somewhat unexpectedly, the melody drops out followed by stabs and a reintroduction of the lead. Midway through the track, a descending counter-point melody is introduced amidst the optimistic ascending melodies that result in a richer and more complex sound. Symmetry of the track is completed when it closes the way it began.

Although the track is entitled Final Landing which portends the story of an ending, the uplifting sentiment conveyed in this track could certainly be a beginning, albeit not just a simple happy beginning, but one that also reflects some kind of sacrifice. Perhaps, this is the kind of beginning that happens after the ‘Final Landing.’ Therefore the symmetry and structured composition of the track fit perfectly with this circular notion of beginnings and endings. Even the uplifting vibe of vintage 80s synths is still mixed with nostalgia, a complex sensation of affection tinged with the unsettling feeling of longing. The track wonderfully expresses a realistic sense of happiness, one that is not pure.



Number three on the list is from Reedale Rise, aka Simon Keat, a UK based producer known for his eclectic, experimental sounds. This track, from his 12" release on Frustrated Funk.  Lorelei, a gloomy, ambient track , gently warms up to you via gritt, gentle stabs. While the bassline riff adds an initial funk to the track, rich dreamy vocal pad adds in a dose of melancholy. A gentle retro-infused stab adds enough light to the pad that it reaches a remarkable equilibrium in emotion by balancing three things - being funky, gloomy and optimistic at the same time. 



Interstellar Funk, made by the Netherlands based producer, EFX Harmonixas, and released on the Dekmantel label, provides us with, as the name may suggest, a funkier vibe than the previous selections. This track is a heavy synthed detroit-style sound with a 80s sci-fi-like atmosphere. The track expresses the kind of excitement and optimism you may have if you were traveling to the Netherlands for a night out on a spaceship with all of your friends.



One of the most influential producers in electronic music, Roman Flugel has been producing music under many different monikers. Arguably one of the most popular ones alongside Roman Flugel of course, is his Alter Ego moniker which he used when producing music together with Jorn Elling Wuttke. Their Blitz/Blank EP from 2007 released via Klang Electronik is one of those tracks that surely beat the test of time. Produced in golden age of minimal techno, this fast paced track is still great late night/afterparty weapon. 


Patlac’s top choices once again show the intellectual nature of his selections. The astute listener will see that they somehow manage make very bold decisions - combining complex emotions in subtle ways that can often result in cacophony. However, when executed effectively, the harmonic equilibrium that it reaches is incredibly powerful.