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This is Cue Points, a new series where DJs get granular with current tracks in their sets, giving us the low-down on what makes them work.

For Identified Patient, the journey is just as vital as the destination. The Dutch artist, based in Amsterdam, excels at smouldering, brooding soundscapes that break from structure at precisely the right time, only to drop you right back into another trance for the next leg of the adventure before you’ve even caught your breath. Dance music to get your pulse racing.

A keen producer, he has struck gold while applying this meandering mentality to his club sets most notably, having played out at clubs and festivals worldwide (with plenty of face-time at home turf hotspots like Dekmantel and De School). His summer gig schedule is chock-full with opportunities to catch him in the flesh in more locations and at other gatherings too, including Italian festival Polifonic where he’ll swing by for the Puglia chapter of its annual summertime celebrations.

Here, for the inaugural Cue Points, Identified Patient delves into some of the tracks in his current repertoire, getting into the technicalities of what makes a good opener, a perfect transition track and the details of a well-crafted tune.

Xcor – Onsterfelijkheid

Let’s start with an opening or maybe a reset track. One for the middle of the set, or right at the start; something beatless for when you want to break your genre direction or have a sense of rest. This is especially the case when it’s a long set – I think it’s nice to create more tension with getting extra tension away. After playing something like this, the next track would be more present and standout – or create a better direction. The [next track] could also have a beat, but this track sticks in my mind because I really like the atmosphere it can bring. It is not the quality of the mix from the track that sets this apart for me, but the mood.

It’s also important to see that a track doesn’t have to be insanely mixed to give you an emotional experience, or take you on a sonic journey.  The track title means “immortal” in Dutch, by the way. It does feel like that. 

Conzi – Chant

Sometimes a track can be so powerful because its elements are limited. Techno is a good example on how to execute that, but let’s go for something else this time. Imagine the ambient track from before and this tune slowly sliding in. There is still a hint from the last track, but you hear that kick drum and next atmosphere kicking in. You think it’s slow but it’s not – perfect for your next steps.

With this track, it’s perfect for warming up, setting the tone and still keeping it interesting because of the mystic around it. The tribal elements are easy and can fit well [if your] next track has a kick drum that is doubled or a faster pace. The next tune will enter double as hard, since it will give the energy people most of time are waiting for. The snare is half-time so it’s nice to mix something else on it with no snare/clap so it will not interfere – keeps it clean. A track with more rhythmic-oriented elements will fit perfectly and give that next step of energy. This tune is the perfect hand-out for that and still set the tone of your set. 

Catartsis – Rattrapé par la r​é​alité

A really well-crafted tune that at first sounds loopy or repetitive, but it’s totally not. This one bounces on that fine line of contemporary music and very good functional techno. The mix is amazing; the low end is on point, the upper rhythms or sample usages are very nice in your stereo field, and the kicks bounce is repetitive yet not boring. What I mean by that is that not every kick sounds the same, but it’s actually the same one the whole time. I, for example, have sometimes found that [when in the studio] I can’t hear the kick anymore because you get bored of it. Most of the time, this is a problem in your mix, [or the kicks] not colliding with other elements in the track. This isn’t a problem whatsoever here.

If we see this in the line with the other tracks, it is now giving you total freedom to go breakbeat or techno. Let’s do that in the next track – but before, what is also nice about this track is that you don’t really know what the drums on top of the tune are. Is it pots and scrapes? Is it some granular rhythms tied together? Who knows, but they sound clean with rich transients and really tie the track together. I’m all in for this.

Boylan – Germs ft. Trends

So many tunes to choose from here, but I just find this one so sexy. The bass has this instant gratification but it’s very classy and hints to what you hear in faster tunes across jungle, dub and so on. There’s also slower segments, of course – just that classic pitch envelope hitting. It has a really nice intro to mix in and a bad-ass middle riff. On a big sound system, this goes so hard when the elements come together. The break itself is not that complicated in terms of elements, but that is what makes it so fine to listen to. No fancy leads, just a big bass and a drum with some stabs, without getting too cheesy or gimmicky.

A lot of tunes use unlimited elements to fill up what is not there, but here you don’t need that. It oozes atmosphere yet it pounds. Perfect for your late affairs in the club. Since the track is fairly minimalistic, you can again go either way on your next track.  

Chrizpy Chriz – Mongolian Death Worm

I remember hearing this one for the first time and I was struck by how this mix sounded. I just listened to it over and over; I was going to the supermarket in the car and had to keep this beat banging.

All the elements are crisp and clear. The way they play with the reverb dropouts is insane. I guess it’s resampled and then reversed back in time with the beat. Everything sounds distorted, but still clear and not noisy. Normally when you distort the shit out of something you get these artifacts in your highs, but here you don’t hear it. It can be nice, sometimes, to have these artifacts: it’s a decision you have to make in your process. Maybe it is there though, but the other elements pick it up. Everything is nice and clean around the snare drum, so the energy keeps insane. This is cool to listen to, as normally everything is focused on the kick but here it is more around that hit on the snare. This track is really fun to play in between your sets if you are playing techno or breaks. That moment of surprise is pure bliss. 

This is for me that perfect dub tune to drop in your sets and still keep a high energy level. Please check all their other work out – this is just one track, but they are all such a pleasure to listen to on a good system.

Identified Patient plays Polifonic Puglia, Italy, on 27-30 July