8/10 Ant Staff review, 07 February 2018
Simon Haydo (DEM, Studio Barnhus, Avian, Balans) gets the maximum from the minimum on this LP for Peder Mannerfelt’s label. Using a solitary Korg MS-20 as his sole construction tool, he coaxes varying shades of techno and beyond from the circuits of his semi-modular monophonic analog synthesizer. A machine as old as myself, and one he clearly knows inside out. Every drum sound, texture etc. is coming from the thing and to his credit, he does a damn sight more with that single unit than a lot of producers are able to achieve with modular synth setups the size of a small house.
Some of the more straight up bangin’ tracks slightly remind me of some classic 90s techno; bits of Joey Beltram’s ‘Places’ (‘Epicenter of Cool’ and ‘Parade of Unhappy) and Surgeon’s ‘Communications’ (The Go!) for example, but with a more free and less rigid structure - no doubt due to live/on the fly twiddling. Throughout the album there’s a real continuity in texture where Haydo really embraces the natural voice of the machine rather than relying on effects etc. Aside from the more upbeat tracks, generally speaking there’s a dark atmosphere to this record, but it’s never overly bleak or foreboding like a lot of greyscale techno. It’s more of a mysterious sorta vibe and kinda what I’d imagine a fantasy Ilpo Väisänen and Blawan collaboration may well sound like, but even more zoned and weird. There were a few moments where I felt like I was inside some pulsating, squelching alien cocoon covered in an abnormal crystalline fluid.
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