What is techno? It’s a question that might be worth considering in our current world away from the dancefloor, and that which is proposed by DJ Tennis on ‘Anthems for No State’, a new compilation commemorating ten years of music from Life and Death. A number of the label’s most trusted associates offer their sonic answer to Tennis’s query on this propulsive yet thoughtful compilation.
“Not all of the artists here are exclusively associated with ‘techno’, whatever that may be, and everyone took a different direction”, explains Manfredi, the international DJ turned-lockdown bicycle repairman. “But in producing something outside of your comfort zone, or experimenting with something you’d never thought about experimenting with, it takes you right back to when you started, and so you have nothing to lose. And it’s liberating.”
Although ‘Anthems for No State’ focuses on the potential within one particular sound, it’s the perfect anniversary accompaniment to a decade of one of electronic music’s more unpredictable institutions. As Tennis himself puts it, “sometimes we failed, sometimes we were successful without ever expecting it, but we always want to keep things interesting within the manifesto of the label.”
In this instance, techno is truly a matter of Life and Death.