Three decades of classic American techno.
In 2019, the American producer John Beltran revived his Placid Angles alias with the double LP First Blue Sky—his first time revisiting the moniker in 22 years. It was proceeded by 1997's The Cry, which remains an ambient techno classic, and arrives nigh on three decades after the first Placid Angles release, a collaboration with Mark Wilson's Open House project from 1991.
While the earlier Placid Angles releases were important steps in establishing Beltran as a leading light of American techno, the Michigan born artist's output under his given name has been the driving force and remained remarkably consistent in both quality and quantity. Beltran records have been in-demand for decades now, counting releases on classic imprints like Styrax and Peacefrog alongside modern-day labels like Text and Further Electronix.
The Placid Angles revival continued in March with the the triple-vinyl LP Touch The Earth on Len Faki's label Figure. Beltran spoke with Exchange presenter Martha about the new record, talking about everything from hiking to scoring music for the Oprah Winfrey show and sustaining a love for music production across the decades.