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|22 February 2017||
Stingrays - Relocked 10
It's hard to put into words how much appreciation we have for Stingrays. This Singapore-based producer has been around long enough to contribute to the now-defunct, legendary vinyl-only imprint Sheep Records in the early 2000s, release two dozen singles on his own Fluid-Mix, put out numerous works through both commercial and non-commercial digital labels and finally... publish 10 unparalleled, ingenious EPs through Relocked - a label he started in 2013, with every release accompanied by a striking artwork of a grim urban nature. Not all of the material on Relocked is techno in its classic sense and not all of it is intended for dancefloor, but every last track on the label is industrial to the very essence. Inarguably, Stingrays has a true gift of utilizing his profound perception of anthropogenic creations such as clamorous factories, large machineries in motion and anything that is associated with mechanical, unnatural and often anti-environmental, and turning it into a painfully tangible and abrasive music that creates dystopian visions and turns a room it is played in to a gloomy, lightless facility where there is no place for man, but only for mindless, tireless machines that keep pressurizing, melting, welding, performing their pre-programmed functions, emanating steam and smoke, and do so seemingly ad infinitum.
A distant horn signals the beginning, and 131 BPM-paced Bare kicks off the EP: sharply-cut, syncopated kicks, supported by stressful low bass and textured noise ornaments abruptly interrupt the ambiance, and 2 distinct layers of scattering additional percussion aid them in making this track a meditative, brooding, yet electrifying opener; while a grounded horn blow that stretches-out through the whole duration of the piece provides the faint source of tonality, the rest of the elements remain tonally dry which allows to create a barren, deserted atmosphere. With one BPM slower continuation Crooked Axle, expect just a notch softer two-by-two kicks surrounded by heavily distorted droning fields and even more oppressing, unyielding low bass, as well as subtle whining of ungreased wheels which greatly enhances a sense of unease along with looming, windy background ambiance which occasionally drowns in washes of white noise. Running at the same pace, closer Wide Circle introduces a vocal loop—en element that is met infrequently in Stingrays productions; a plain, slightly echoing male voice will keep repeating the 5-syllable phrase and together with the substantially pitched-down siren will cautiously fluctuate in loudness, while the low-seated, expansive kicks that unevenly strike 4 times a bar and grinding, noise-shaped 4/4 shakers that intersect with arrays of revolving, sizzling and subtly clonking percussive arrangements will unite in attempt to form a perforation in the speakers.
After a prolonged listen, one might raise a fair question—is this atonal, harsh, inhumane music truly intended for ears? The answer to that depends on how far you've stepped away from the conventional sound and towards the kind that does not, can not, and knows not how to bend to common preferences and established norms. The Relocked music is the kind for muting out the reality and develop asocial tendencies to. A distorted soundart for the restless.
Words by rhetor.
Release Type: EP
Release Date: 22 February 2017
Release Format: Digital
Record Label • Catalog: Relocked • RELOCKED10
Purchase Links: Junodownload