Currently enjoying “Concentricity” by Stewart Walker

Did you know that most dance music is written in a minor key? Musical theory dictates that it’s the major keys that are supposed to be bright and uplifting, while the minor keys should be reserved for more dramatic or “sad” music. But if you were to make a list of your favourite dance tracks, you’d probably find that all or least most of them were written in a minor key. Even when it comes to upbeat classics like “Big Fun,” “Everybody Dance Now,” and even “Barbie Girl,” it’s the minor keys that drive the tune.

Berlin-based American producer Stewart Walker admittedly doesn’t have a whole lot in common with poppier groups like C+C Music Factory or Aqua. But in addition to being one the world’s leading minimal techno producers, his body of work is a fine example of soaring minor key music. 2007′s Concentricity, a continuous mix spanning ten tracks, is a great introduction to one of the more innovative and underrated producers out there.

Working economically with little more than a few beats, blips and synths, Walker sets a steady and compelling beat in motion with the first track and doesn’t relent until the last. Tracks glide in and out of each other like points on a highway, galleries in a museum, or any number of admittedly hackneyed but nonetheless appropriate music critic similes. And fans of Walker’s work who haven’t yet heard this album will be glad to know that his recurring water theme is well represented in track titles like “Water Wings” and “Madness Like Schools of Fish.”

Fans of minimal electronic music are going to want to check this one out. I mean, Richie Hawtin likes him, and I’m pretty sure we’re all supposed to do what he says, so there you go. But even people who hate the genre can probably still find a lot to like about this deceptively deep record.

Also, and this is totally beside the point, but when did Richie Hawtin start looking like Anthony Kiedis?

Posted in Currently Enjoying