9/10 Brian Staff review, 22 November 2013
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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