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29 May 2017
Raven - Entei / Hive


    Michael Johnson aka Raven is something of an enigmatic and illusive character. For several years now, he's been cultivating a very unique style, all of his own, whilst navigating the murky waters of the techno scene and beyond. His output to date has been infrequent but there's certainly no shortage of quality. Self-released EP 'Fossil' on Archean, as well as contributions to the always impressive Reaktivate—Hrokr/Skavs, Several Reasons—Transcendent, and Mesheland (split with Peder)—Introduction/Vulke EP—are his only solo offerings to date apart from a couple of compilation tracks: one on Several Reasons' Vanadium and the other one under his new alias "Meta", released on Fog Mountain Records' compilation 010. So when two unreleased 2014 productions were posted on his Soundcloud page recently, they were a most welcome gift.

    A gravely kick drum thumps along through the broken beat framework on Entei, its eerie cold drones lap over the layers of micro-percussive detail as sharpened hats—every bit as textured as the kicks—pierce this coarse soundscape, bringing to mind the cold isolation of a space craft drifting through space. Rumbling sub bass kicks Hive into life again: medium paced, but this time the kicks are rougher still and have a real instability; the heavy, but clipped reverb almost crumbles them into dust. More reverb treatment this time for the drones as well: echoing through this cold, heavy-duty piece of interstellar hardware, industrial pneumatics do manage to breath some life into this desolate place nonetheless.

    Loneliness and isolation seem to be a recurrent theme through Johnson's work, they give it a real haunting and deeply emotive quality. If you are unfamiliar with his productions, you can download these from his Soundcloud page. It's not often you can pick up such quality for free, then head on over to Several Reasons, Mesheland and Reaktivate Bandcamp pages for more original works. The remainder of Johnson's discography is made up of an impressive 13 remixes for 12 artists across 8 labels (7 of them on the aforementioned labels)—clear evidence that he garners great respect amongst his pears. With new project "Meta", also in the works, Johnson is definitely one to keep your eye on.

Words by b.yond.


Release Type: EP

Release Date: 29 May 2017

Release Format: Digital

Record LabelCatalog: None

Download Link: Soundcloud


Category: Reviews
| Added by: rhetor
| Tags: free download, raven, 2017, Techno, IDM, EP