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|27 January 2017||
VA - Decon / Recon #2
Let us start by saying that we're sincerely glad to see the ever so charming, Germany-based techno enforcer Paula Temple expanding the catalog of her imprint Noise Manifesto; it doesn't see a lot of releases, but you're safe to spend your money on the ones published, which points to "quality over quantity" being the Temple's assumed credo in regards to this project, although it is fair to say that it applies to everything that she's involved with. Now, the fifth release on the label is a second installment of a conceptual Decon / Recon series, claimed to expand the borders of productional collaboration, wherein, instead of simple remixing, each of the four artists utilizes the other's proposed set of elements in order to create a piece that can be fully regarded as a work which could be justly credited to all four participants - and that's exactly the case with Decon / Recon #2. Moreover, we're left wondering about who exactly put each track together. Despite that, those that have been following the electronic music scene closely and are acquainted, at least generally, with the output of the artists presented to us on this record will have no difficulty identifying just who was the culprit that was last to put his hands on either composition. To think of it, we could even make this task easier and hint at certain nuances, such as Paula Temple's predilection towards dramatic, yet dancefloor-stimulating sound, Denmark's ex stunt artist SØS Gunver Ryberg's renownedness for fast-paced, challenging and abrasive electronics, mystery-wrapped American act Rrose's reluctance to explore tempos above 125 BPM or Switzerland's wildcard Aïsha Devi's fondness of irregularly arranged percussion and usage of oddly filtered lyrical segments... Yes, we could hint, but no, we will not. We will, however, take a close look at production.
Solid, sharply-cut 4/4 kicks supported by additional drums that are doubling every second hit, syncopated shakers and purring, mid-range sweeps alternately reverberating in the channels, is how we're greeted in 128 BPM opener DR2-1; a gradual appearance of a majestic ambient field breathes life into the piece, as its percussion elements' toll keeps rising with incorporation of supplementing shakers and tonal 16/16 bands, before the action stops for a moment to intensify the suspense and present a transient half-time arrangement of softened yet overpowering 16/16 kicks that continually change places with clicking, high-passed bands at mid-air, before everything gets back on track and the barely audible, ethereal voices from the other world lead the way towards the inevitable end. With tribalistic, 135 BPM-paced tour de force DR2-2, arrays of resonantly reverberating, doubled 2/4 kicks, unsuppressed strikes against ceremonial drums, and noise-shaped, intense 16/16 bands cross with periodically arising fields of ambiance and noise, exhaling soundscapes and horizons of panning drones, and all of which signal nothing but doom for unprepared downtempo enthusiast; perhaps not so much a dancefloor destroyer as an accompaniment to a video game fighting sequence or a cinematic montage wherein a parkour-savvy protagonist makes an acrobatics-infused run for his life—either of these two scenarios would certainly benefit in achieving the desired tension from being scored with this exceptional work. Decreasing in tempo to 123 BPM, DR2-3 still boasts the kind of dark energy which won't leave the listener motionless; it's low-seated, paired bells, heavy-duty 4/4 kicks with additional hits of syncopating drums and unyielding bass reliably contribute to the stressful low range while the higher ups are little-by-little become occupied by metallic, panning shakers, ghostly ambiances and a roaring, segmented sheet of impervious, electricity-enriched tonal noise which makes this track a jam that it is. DR2-4 returns to 135 BPM, making use of speeding, ever-shifting kicks, clicks, and noise bands that never quite lock into a loop or form a pattern, yet manage to maintain a coherent rhythmic whole; the second half of this piece takes on a whole different approach, bringing on more stable rhythms of resonant gongs, textured claps and lively hand drums, and this substantial change of pace gives a sensation of two separate compositions being brought together into one, even though the vocals are present all throughout the length, be it the subtle chirps and whispers that contribute to the backdrop or trembling, substantially filtered and pitched-up, unintelligible female singing, certain words of which could be made out every now and then; yes, it isn't techno by any stretch of imagination, but rather a bright representative of vocal IDM.
Whoever the ultimate producers behind each of the tracks are, it is abundantly evident that all of them applied a sincere effort upon the production of their respective work, and the result is certainly worthy of appreciation from contemporary electronic music admirers.
Words by rhetor.
Release Type: EP
Release Date: 27 January 2017
Release Format: Digital • Vinyl
Record Label • Catalog: Noise Manifesto • NM005