Marc Antona is nothing if not hard-working. The French producer has not only been running around Europe all summer like a proverbial blue-arsed fly, bringing his smooth live techno sets to Madrid, Florence, Paris, Ibiza, London and points between, he's also kept up a hectic release schedule that's made his name a near-permanent fixture on the Beatport bestsellers list.
I was lucky enough to hear his latest, Vitamin D, several months ago, when it was still bubbling around in its final production stages. Thanks to mid-summer satiation it passed by without much comment. It sounded like a perfectly nice, serviceable track, but nothing special.
Revisiting it, however, casts the whole thing in a different light. As encroaching winter gradually robs the days of warmth and sunlight the overwhelming importance of Vitamin D becomes apparent. Antona's sprightly seven-minute techno expedition is just what the doctor ordered to bring a little colour back into pale cheeks and refresh jaded ears. Light, bright and driven by decided funky percussion it is probably to frothy for a summer anthem but this time of year it is as welcome as a fizzy glass of Berocca.
The trademark slick Antona studio sound is there, but infused with considerable pep and palpable warmth. Interestingly, if you break it down the individual components are very much borrowed from minimal (that clappy percussion, those fluttering bass chords) but the effect is anything but minor-key.
On the flip is a big, fat meaty chunk of techno for those who are more in need of a swift drum tattoo than a soothing sun-bath. Again, it sounds dirt simple if you break it down but sounds like so much more. It's a bit like a really impressive skyscraper. You know it's just bits of glass and metal put together in a certain way, but it looks damn impressive. What gives Neurons its kick is how full everything sounds. The beats, the bass, the effects, everything is pumped and plumped. Rhythmically, it's lightfooted and quick, but robust enough to fill any room.It's the kind of musical muscle you only get when you remember to take your vitamins…