Placing vintage techno stunners alongside fresh material from Russia and Iceland, the six-track ‘concept album’ When I Was 14 kicks off with Bjarki, an Icelandic artist who’s already become synonymous with Trip thanks to last year’s club obliterating ‘I Wanna Go Bang’, and has just announced a triptych of LPs on the label. He’s got two tracks on TRP006 – a heady IDM-meets-drum’n’bass hybrid that sounds like it’s just crawled out of the Siberian taiga (‘Bæpolar’) and a basement bludgeoner (‘Naked Naked’) that picks up where ‘I Wanna Go Bang’ left off.
Kraviz’s contribution to is ‘Dont Mind Wrong Keys’, a low-key groove taken from a live recording that’s as abstract as it is delicately pretty, underlining the label’s anti-perfectionist approach.
Squeezed between that and ‘Naked Naked’ is arguably the record’s highlight, ‘P-String’, a vintage Aphex Twin cut last heard among the legendary producer’s SoundCloud dump tracks. The AFX-credited track first appeared on his second Peel Session in 1995, and with its collision of horror-movie synths and coarse, thundering percussion, fits in neatly with the chilly forest-techno vibe of the compilation.
The second half includes the bruising sleigh ride ‘Temple Head’, a previously unreleased live cut from little-known ‘90s outfit Barcode Population, whose archive has been tapped by Trip before, and Russian duo PTU’s vertigo-inducing breaks-heavy wind-down ‘Taorak’.
On the final side, meanwhile, is an unreleased, unedited cut recorded in the ‘90s by the late Icelandic producer Biogen. “I was blessed to have found it on one of my visits to Iceland and to it really feel like it was just sent to me,” says Kraviz of the knotty and introverted track with an Autechre feel.
￼￼￼“The idea behind the album was born the other night from a very broad conversation Tombo and I had on the way people form their opinions and criticisms,” Kraviz explained to FACT. “That opinions are reflecting the inner world of the people who criticise, and an opinion should be based on something… what it depends on and how this process [happens] has to do with growth, knowledge, self assurance and self improvement.
“All things are relative and all eyes are different. In the end it’s important to grow and shape your opinion, make up your own mind. This was the point of inspiration for Tombo – his artwork representing two worlds and two young boys who are affected by the ‘outside’, controlled and manipulated. One manages to escape by shaping his own desires – growth being a matter of choice. Learning that what enables one to see and understand more is the freedom from anyone’s opinion but your own.”
When I Was 14 drops on Trip on May 20 as double vinyl and digital download – pre-order here you’re keen. The label will follow its current releases with a second Trip party in Iceland in July.
Nina Kraviz plays Junction 2 festival in west London on June 4 alongside Carl Craig, Marcel Dettmann, Mr. G, Mano Le Tough, and a host of other techno dons – get more information and tickets from their website.