The record is called Full Frontal, and is out on interesting-dancing-music label Berceuse Heroique, so that gives you some idea of what to expect. And Manuel Gonzales does not let us down: these tracks are legit banging and relentless. Classic influences are apparent, but all delivered with a fresh punkish edge.
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- Full Frontal by Manuel Gonzales
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When listening to Full Frontal it is difficult to distinguish between the dual meanings of the title - the music contains the sexiness and brutality of both. It’s newish label Berceuse Heroique showing it’s true colours - Black and, well, black? Maybe a bit of faded sepia and gunmetal grey. You guessed it - it’s techno time!
The first a rather rude pounder, ‘Full Frontal’ takes heavy influence from the ancient acid techno scene but not quite as OTT, all screeches of scraping metal interlaced with tiny but piercing arps, poised to pounce but hardly letting completely loose. It’s quite minimal in its makeup, with little echo or shiny ‘ear candy’ production tweaks, but it doesn’t need any of that silliness. Gravely serious E fuel.
‘Blowout’ serves as a much-needed respite from the edgy madness of the A side, bringing the tempo and mood down to dubby levels presumably due to the presence of the internet-vacant Ramon Ramirez, perhaps a muso mate of Gonzales. Other cameos come in the form of various noise sculptures, sometimes the bastard child of a fuzz box and a polysynth, at others a trebly riser stretched to the point of the unbearable. These intense moments always fade back onto the pillow of soft dub swells until the end of the 12”.
Throughout, one can’t help but feel like it’s treading stylistic water, especially compared to the label’s other recent excursion from Hodge featuring a redesigning of stale, concrete rhythm. But this’ll mostly be picked up for the breathless A side for some peak-of-the-night fistpumping.
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