Photo: Cecilia Corsano-Leopizzi
It’s safe to say the essence of the underground warehouse party has stood the test of time and will likely never die — even though we’re years beyond the golden era of raving, cities such as Los Angeles, New York, and Chicago still possess thriving underground scenes. The sound of the underground is best created by those who helped shape a scene of their own: enter Minimal Violence.
The duo of Ashlee Luk and Lida P formed back in 2015 with a penchant for heavy techno and deep roots within the DIY punk community in Vancouver. Minimal Violence make up two parts of Sacred Sound Club, an artist collective, label, and event series linked to the punk corners of Vancouver’s underground scene. With their experience in the punk scene, the signature sound of Minimal Violence draws heavily on their upbringing — you can hear the raw, ruthless energy within the production of their discography. Minimal Violence utilize equipment such as hardware sequencers, drum machines, and synths to craft their sound, and it makes for a genuinely mind-numbing listening experience in the best way imaginable.
“Mercury In Retrograde” is the debut single from Minimal Violence, a moody, ominous window into a cold-blooded techno soundscape. Released in 2015 on JUNGLE GYM RECORDS’ Black Summer Tape compilation, this tune set the tone for the future of Minimal Violence, introducing the duo as a pair of no-nonsense artists fueled by the dark side of electronic music. The duo went on to release more music through JUNGLE GYM RECORDS, like their collaborative MV x ML EP with Marco Lazovic. One of the standout tracks on this release is the dramatic single “Hibernation,” which draws on acid house and raw, unapologetic techno. It’s delightfully fucked up — there’s nothing like hearing that clashing, distorted kick against a slew of hits crafted by a drum machine throughout this five-and-a-half-minute ride.
In 2016, Sacred Sound Club dropped its first release as a label, which features singles from Usd, Derivatives, and Minimal Violence themselves. From this drop, Minimal Violence’s “David” stands out as one of their best works — there’s an inherent groove embedded in the production of this track, but it’s so subtle that you really have to focus on the moving parts of this composition to really let it take control of your body. Simultaneously gentle and throbbing, Minimal Violence prove their mettle as meticulous producers with an ear for what’s fresh in techno. If you’re looking for a full-fledged release from the duo, look no further than their Untitled EP via First Second Label. This release includes four Minimal Violence warehouse-friendly tunes that’ll make you want to seek the nearest after-hours party — fast.
One of the many reasons we’re highlighting the music of Minimal Violence today is because we’re eagerly awaiting their forthcoming debut record, InDreams. The duo revealed the album’s lead single last week in conjunction with the album announcement, and they included a smashing remix from Cardopusher, too. “InDreams” is fast-paced warehouse techno at its finest: thumping kicks, a no-frills melody, and underground rave inspiration are the three main ingredients in this heavy title track. The record comes out on April 26th on Ninja Tune’s Technicolour imprint, and we’re eager to hear what’s in store on this project.
Before you get your hands on InDreams next month, get familiar with Minimal Violence in the playlist below.