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I've not really had the pleasure of checking Shifted's material in the past. Myriad 12"s have appeared and vanished as quickly from our shelves. His last album on Luke Slater's back-to-basics Mote-Evolver stable is highly regarded yet now out of print so I have no frame of reference to hand. I love this new collection though...
It gets going for me (after a scorched eerie industrial opener) with 'Chrome, Canpoy & Bursting Heart' which stomps along with a muffled rubbery, rolling echo-kick and ricocheting furls of static. Various frayed metallic rhythms phase in and out of the mix, inducing hypnosis, whilst some sweet flickering hi-hats join the party from time to time. This is highly rhythmic yet ultimately calming techno.
'Suspended Inside' has a beautiful "dried peas in a tin" cycle vying with a brooding techno judder backdrop, the rattle reduces to a dry clink, the tune throbs and pulses with the enveloping hiss and synthetic cymbal flicker intensity metered out with ultimate restraint. Fucking smart-ass.
One track of note, 'Burning Tyres', revisits that old jackhammer warehouse techno of yore, like a muddied distant hark-back to the style adopted by AFX on his AB4 blurting elephants mindfuck. You all know the one. Shifted doesn't go down that hellish route however, preferring to layer dark-ambient noise-scapery, disembodied whispers and apocalyptic atmospheres as a backdrop to the relentless and thrilling drum rhythm.
Another key number, 'Pulse Incomplete', recalls prime Plastikman. The submerged marching kick on here is a wonderful meaty thing that guarantees a floor-full. I also adore the android minimalism of 'Story Of Aurea', a piece more in line with the Eleh/Radiqe/Alva Noto school of thought and a timely reprieve from the insistent predominant beat-work displayed throughout...
The closer, 'Wash Over Me', could do just that all day, a considered piece of dark, atmospheric backroom stealth that introduces a quite divine sensual synth-line two minutes in giving a quietly kicking track a really peaceable ambient facade.
One to stick on before OR after the club, or if you just like sitting at home enjoying intelligent atmosphere-drenched techno like most people, this is most probably your long-playing pick-of-the-week...
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