Track Talk: Driving techno from Balthazar & JackRock on VOLTA

Bulgarian pair Balthazar & BlackRock are back with a new EP on Victor Ruiz’s revered techno label ‘Volta’. The DJ and producer duo have made a colossal impact with their records, with releases on the likes of Drumcode, Terminal M, Plus 8, Suara, Kneaded Pains, Filth on Acid, and more. Starting their project back in 1996 in the heart of Bulgaria, Sofia, they’ve taken their signature sound around the globe over the last 27 years, having run their own venue and festival to boot.

Launched in the tail-end of 2022, Victor Ruiz’s VOLTA imprint is already making strides in the techno scene through a relentless schedule of high-energy releases from a mixture of some of the genre’s biggest names and most promising talents. The ‘Solar Deity’ EP from Balthazar & JackRock marks the 6th release for VOLTA, and it’s clear that the Bulgaria duo are firing on all cylinders.

Speaking on the EP, Balthazar and JackRock said:

During the first lockdown, a massive creative block kicked in. As people were not able to even go out of their homes, let alone dance to our music, the reason for creating it slowly disappeared. We were still trying to make new ideas, though the furthest we got were some sketches and abandoned 2-minute cuts. Fast forward to 2022, and we found the leading melody of “Solar Deity” in one of these forgotten projects, made with the lovely Deckard’s Dream by Black Corporation.

Like in a “dream”, something triggered inside, and we started creating layer after layer (the project ended up with more than 70 channels). At some point we needed more edge and power, thus came the legendary Sub 37 by Moog, to give us the sound design for that crazy rave basses.

Asked about how they overcome creative blocks, they said:

Creative blocks are not always bad. During this period, the mind is reshaping, looking for new inspiration, generating subtle ideas and directions and eventually it explodes into creativity. So, if you are there – just step back and give it some time!

The opening groove of the A side, Solar Deity, instantly captures your attention. As the stunning melody grows and grows, you’re lulled into a false sense of security as the gritty and raw bass on the drop throws you into overdrive. This is a warehouse dance floor destroyer.

On the B side, ‘Princess Of The Sun’ is an infectious, rough and ready record, with glistening synths contrasting with the thumping drums. Hands in the air during this one! On the C side is ‘Vibrant’, keeping the pace with the rest of the EP with an unnerving melody destined for those late hour raves. A melodic cosmic explosion takes place in the breakdown, before you kick straight back into that driving rhythm, bravo.

Speaking on the EP, Victor Ruiz said:

Before I started VOLTA, I asked a few producers to be part of it and to send me music. Of course, I asked Balthazar & JackRock for some tunes. First, they sent me “Vibrant” and “Princess of the Sun” and I signed them immediately. But we still needed a strong A-side. That’s when they sent “Solar Deity” and I couldn’t believe the precious gem they gave me. It’s a massive track that I played in all my sets and will keep playing for a long time.

To listen and buy Solar Deity EP head here!

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