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Bad Haz Techno Review 003 - Manorath - Andrea Saitta

Welcome to our third Bad Haz Techno track review by Hegstraction and new guest reviewer, producer, E1GHTH PLACE. This month we have a really nice track, Manorath, from the 6-track EP, Inner, the first release from Italian DJ/producer, Andrea Saitta. A 22-year old producer from Rome, he found in techno a way to explore his inner feelings. His goal is to inspire people with his music, take listeners on an introspective journey, and help them obtain a better understanding of their inner-selves. For this track, Manorath, he explains it as "a visceral need, strengthened by the awareness that that desire reflects our most authentic selves. We feel we have to do it; it is not objectable. This track is something special for me. I think it's the perfect union between melody and darkness, perfectly embodying my style. Powerful, restless and so sad. I love it. I like the contrast between the angry acid bass line and the distant melancholy pads. Every single sound has a voice, and the union of these voices tells us a story, that speaks of inner struggles between different aspects of ourselves, fighting to come out and finally realize the Manorath."

For this review, I'm joined by new guest reviewer, producer, E1GHTH PLACE. If you would like, you can play the track here as you read the review:

H: "E1GHTH PLACE, welcome to the blogosphere!"

EP: "Great to be here. I've been looking forward to this."

H: "Haha, awesome! Alright, let's get started. This track really gives me some great 80s' movies, sci-fi, synthwave, motivational, inspirational vibes, but packaged in a tight, modern, techno style."

EP: "Yeah, I'm really digging this fusion of synthwave, while the track is driven by that heavy, techno style we're all familiar with, which surprisingly seems to work well here."

H: "I'm hooked by those 80s' sounding synths straight away; they perk my interest from the start."

EP: "I'd have to agree. Those hints of melodic and mid-synth nuances, and that arp you hear throughout the track is what reeled me in and had me listening from start to finish. It adds an extra layer of atmospheric, yet foreboding element to the track."

H: "How about the kick?"

EP: "The kick sounds really good! It doesn't sound muddy or conflicting with other low-end frequencies. Andrea has done a really good job at picking the right kick to go with the main theme of the track."

H: "Right. The kick comes in pretty quick because it's not a long track, and it's got some meatiness to it, but could have more, however, it's balanced as it is, with the other elements in the track. There's a nice bit of bass as the kick comes in, but nothing too overpowering."

EP: "The only bass I find that is present, at least in the < 60-70Hz range, is in the kick while you can clearly hear the other bass-y frequencies in the 200Hz area. This is probably one of the more well-balanced tracks where the energy doesn't all go towards the lower end spectrum. Honestly, I like that about any music I hear: creating something that has energy and intonation on all different frequencies."

H: "Yeah, not an easy thing to do. Hmmm, percussion, pretty light throughout, which I think complements and really lets the synth work shine. There's a bit of variation before the typical techno hi-hats come in around 2:20. The subtle changes throughout show a thoughtful application."

EP: "While I do like to splash a little percussion here and there to add some flavour in my track, this one can actually get away with using some minimal percussion."

H: "OK, next. Some nice pad work filling out the sound spectrum, creating depth and atmosphere."

EP: "Were there any pads in here? I wasn't able to hear any distinctive pads honestly, haha! My apologies if I have missed it, but I think this track definitely would have sounded a lot better had there been pads."

H: "Yeah, I see your point. I think I'm referring to how some of the lead synths fade into the background, almost doing the job of pads to provide that background, ambient mood, which brings us nicely to that topic of synths. I've already touched on the synth work quite a bit, and as is often the case, they really make the track, so in addition to that, really just an overall nice variation of synths that work together well to make a complete track. Although, I will just add that I'd love to hear more of that bass synth at the four minute mark."

EP: "I also can't interpolate much more than what I've already said about the synths. I low-key have a soft spot for synthwave music, so the sound selection used for the synths sounds is great! The bass-ier section of the track at around the 4 minute mark seems to sit really well with me. No complaints on my part!"

H: "Melody?"

EP: "First of all, I'm a fervent advocate of using melodies in my music, so I appreciate there are some nuances of melodies used in the track. I think there is an appropriate use of melodies, and they fit in at the right time. Oftentimes, I'll hear something where the melody doesn't fit in with the theme of the track, but this one I do like; it's minimalistic, yet effective."

H: "The melody arp works well in the track, coming in the mix just under the shorter synth sounds. It kind of has a waxy slightly squeaky nature to me, which I'm not hugely into, but I think it adds a sense of urgency, which I appreciate. Moving on. Some nice reverb in evidence."

EP: "Heck yessss! Let me just highlight that adding in those FX and reverbs really adds a lot of space, glues everything well together and sounds good, sonically speaking."

H: "For sound design, lots of good choices here. Some great complementary decisions."

EP: "For sure. Everything seems to blend well together. Really well done!"

H: "We get quite a few layers happening fairly quickly, and throughout the track, busy at times, but it all works well."

EP: "Probably the only layering happening here are the main synths and obviously the kick drum, which stand out the most. Everything else just seems to sound natural, and there's probably some compression used on a few of the instruments."

H: "I think the choices in the sound design fill this track with a lot of atmosphere giving it a soundtrack vibe. I'm imagining a futuristic spacefaring civilisation with all the dangers that entails."

EP: "Soundtrack vibe is probably the best and only way to put this, in my opinion. This is a quintessential soundtrack mix that would pair extremely well with movies, shows, or perhaps even video games."

H: "Looking at the arrangement, it's split up into sections, but mostly I want to talk about that moment at the four minute mark, which adds some lovely seriousness and intent. This is a great move. Other than that, at a full length of 5:36, I would love to see an extended mix of this, something around 8 minutes. For me, I really love longer drawn out sequences that I can sink my teeth into and appreciate more, the aesthetics, the textures. Techno is all about repetition, and the modern streaming standards are robbing us of something special, but I'll get off my soap box, haha."

EP: "Yeah, that 4 minute mark means serious business! Although, if it were me, I'd increase the decay on that arp just to really add that level of mysticism as it reaches the climax point. While the track as a whole is impressive as is, I do tend to agree that it does feel a little short, and could benefit with another 2 or so minutes length-wise, just from a techno standpoint."

H: "As for mixing, some of the percussion is a little muted compared to some of today's modern styles, but that is not necessarily a bad thing. I'd rather the focus be more on the complex synth work than over crispy piercing hi-hats. I mean, which is more important and takes more skill?!"

EP: "After giving it a few more listens, I can hear some of the percussive elements being drowned out, and could probably benefit a 1.5-2dB of volume boost. There is also a tiny drop of gain reduction surrounding the instruments when the kick drum is introduced and once the breakdown starts, the gain is back to normal. Not the end of the world, just noticeable if you're able to pick that up. Aside from that, just a good overall track with clarity, dynamics, and lots of energy."

H: "Nice critique. Well, I had a bit of a dance to it, especially at the 4 minute mark."

EP: "Yeah, this track becomes much more danceable as the track evolves, especially around the 4 minute mark."

H: "So, final comments. I would encourage everyone to listen through the whole 6 track EP of which this is the first track. The producer is only 22 years old at time of release, so I'm very impressed with such a focused, disciplined approach, and looking forward to more from him as his style develops."

EP: "Great stuff! This was enjoyable to listen to, and incredible how Andrea is only 22 years old. He's got a lot of potential, and if he really wants to take this seriously, I can see him going far with his musical endeavours. Keep it up!"

H: "And that's a wrap. Thanks again for your insights. Great fun. Do you have any releases on the horizon?"

EP: "Thanks for having me take part in this Bad Haz Techno track review. I'm hoping to get an album out in a few months from now; creating something based off of my own experiences and expressing my own feelings through music, but making it universal, so that people feel they aren't dealing with whatever it is they're going through alone. Stay tuned for that!"

H: "Sounds interesting. Looking forward to it!"

You can check out Manorath and the whole EP on the following links:

You can also find Andrea Saitta on social media:

Thank you for supporting Bad Haz Techno, and we look forward to bringing you more in-depth techno track reviews in 2022.

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1 Comment

May 08, 2022

Another quality review! Very well described and as I can only listen to a 30 second clip from here, your description of the 4 minute mark will make me go elsewhere to listen to the full track for sure!

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