It’s been a long time coming, but we finally have a full-length from Blawan. Techno’s Prince of Darkness delivers Wet Will Always Dry, an eight-track LP, via his own TERNESC imprint. Probably the most noteworthy artistic development here is that Blawan has started singing, with his eerie vocals cropping up on ‘Stell’ and ‘Careless’. But don’t fret, he’s not abandoning his principles - many of the tracks here still sound like they have been designed to be dropped at Cthulhu’s birthday party.
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Blawan’s productions have always stood out in the ultra-saturated world of generic banging techno tracks. Since he launched his Ternsec label and started fully embracing modular gear, he’s been relentlessly forging a very distinctive sound that’s truly his own. Of course, machines/computers/synths are just a means to an end - what comes out of the speakers, not how it was created is what is ultimately important. Blawan is one of very few artists to switch tools and take the quality up a few notches in the process. He’s taken his time to put out an album - constantly tweaking and refining his sound, and finally, he’s made one - he’s clearly at one with his machines at this point in time and it shows.
As expected from the four preceding 12”s on the label, it’s a belter. His roots as a drummer mean his rhythms that are the motor are always solid - this record thumps, clangs, clunks, crunches, thunks and jacks in all the right places. What really shines across the album though is the texture of his sounds - he coaxes some really sizzling and fizzing and occasionally quite pretty sounds from his machines that set these productions apart from the type of sound palette often deployed on your average "big room" techno cuts. The standard techno framework is there of course, but there’s just something more explorative and unconventional to these tracks - they have a depth and a subtlety to them that can be easily missed initially. Volume yields rewards.
I was pulled in from the off with the hypnotising ‘Klade’ and locked in all the way through. He adds some hallucinogenic vocal flourishes as heard in ‘Careless’ that add an extra dimension and depth. It’s as though there’s some alien life force communicating through the jackin’ ‘Tasser’, and similarly with ‘Vented’ i.e you get the sense something is living inside there, the tracks feel as though they’re alive or some form of interstellar communication - not unlike Surgeon's ‘From The Farthest Known Objects’. ‘Stell’ is just groovy as hell, again with a very subtle vocal submerged in there that gently rises to the surface in a spectral manner. ‘Kalosi’ gallops along with a slightly demented, humorous menace - like being chased by mutants. The last tune ‘Nims’ gets pretty psychoactive with its trippy malfunctioning music box-like motif. All solid gear throughout - lean, mean dancefloor weapons.
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- Wet Will Always Dry by Blawan
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