It’s been seven years since Derek Plaslaiko put out his first record on The Bunker NY. Now with the label’s latest release, he returns from Exile on Sesame Straße with his newest EP, “Month of May”—a stomping collection of bass-laden, hardware-driven cuts guaranteed to send the dancefloor into a frenzy. Across four tracks written in May 2021, the OG Bunker resident wields his carefully honed understanding of raw techno mechanics. Fusing snappy electro, ebullient acid and jacking rhythms, these songs ooze, as Plaslaiko puts it, “a sort of beautiful sloppiness,” buoyed by raucous, wild basslines.
The EP begins with “For Play (Day One),” a track anchored by a bassline that threatens to tear the fabric of reality into complete disarray. As with the other tracks, there are no punches pulled here—it’s just six minutes and 41 seconds of sheer, menacing bass worming its way beneath a functional, funky 808 loop and pushed over the edge by a nasty, squirming synth lead. That’s followed by “My Fire Alarm,” cranking the energy with a deranged wind-up bassline seesawing up and down, a high pitched whistle searing through the top of the mix like a crazed bird call, a clap and cowbell playing call and response throughout and a undulating synthline that imbues the piece with its utmost tension. That’s followed by “Breakin the Lotto,” in which the EP’s lone vocal sample states matter-of-factly, “You cannot hit the lotto without breakin’ some eggs. So let’s break them motherfuckers.” It’s a cheeky, delay-fueled vocal line that harks back to 90s Detroit techno, reinforced by classically squelching acid and a punchy, skittering electro beat. Finally, with “Computer Sagt Nein,” Plaslaiko takes a slight turn from four to the floor, with a glitched out, snippy top line and broken booming sub rhythm punctuated by laser-sharp zip zaps, intermittent sprays of rough static noise, terse belly-deep synth stabs and a skin-crawling three-step arpeggio. The ingredients may be simple, but the result is an unsurprisingly stanky track on a characteristically stanky record.
All in all, this is Plaslaiko at the top of his game. A prolific DJ and elusive producer, the now Bellingham, Washington-based artist continues to flex his techno muscles with these four tracks of rough, raw dancefloor weaponry. As he puts it, “I’ve never made music quite as bass-heavy like this, and I felt like, had I heard these tracks out in the wild, I would be freaking out about them.”
Produced by Derek Plaslaiko
Mastered by Neel at Enisslab
Artwork by Andrew Charles Edman
Liner Notes by Zoey Shopmaker