13th January 2020
vinyl & digital
Rise Of The Machines
Our Wounds Are Opposite
Rory St John returns to Voitax with »Excommunication«, a hyper-deep, futurist take on classic dub techno. Skillfully assembled, each of the four tracks hypnotically morph and evolve, forgoing the cheap tropes of today’s ‘rise and drop’ techno for a more immersive listen – one gets the feeling that each and every sound is wielded with precision, and exists exactly where and for as long as it should.
Reacting to the increasingly harder-edge sound that proliferates today’s techno, Rory St John strove to push his sound in the opposite direction. The result is sombre and introspective – a slick, reverberating antidote to mainstream anthems.
This release is markedly different to the abrasive stylings of his previous »Run Your Mouth« EP and reveals yet another side to the producer’s sonic palette.
It opens with »Castle«, a deft nod to the legendary dub techno sound that originated in early 90’s Berlin. Drifting weightlessly in lavish reverb and modulated delay, a grainy dub organ echoes over a thundering half step. As it evolves, the track blossoms into haunting melodies and lush pad swells.
The tempo climbs for »Commune«, a grimey, jungle-influenced technoid lurker. Lean and stripped back, it is propelled through its sparse microcosm by a rolling sub and tricky kick pattern. Chopped into polyrhythms, the heavily-processed breaks and fluttering hi-hats are the main focus as vocal snippets and abstract synth cuts ebb and flow, as though floating in zero gravity.
Turning the record over, »Chapel« opens the B-side. A modulated bass arpeggio reinforces a soft, yet chunky reverberated kick pattern. Subtle melodic phrases and grinding noisy textures mark the passage of the track as it steadily morphs and evolves, opening up with each passing bar. Though the core groove pounds consistently, even monotonously, the track constantly shifts and twists as it plays out an underlying narrative.
»Dream Sequence« winds things down nicely with clanging FM percussion and broken beats. Filtered-down pads, swells of reverb and delay and subtle drones all give the track a sense of existing in that moment between sleep and wakefulness, drifting peacefully in hazy warmth.
A reaction to the permeation of the ‘banging’ sound in today’s techno, this is as much a record for headphones on a midnight stroll through the city, as it is for those deeper, dancewith-your-eyes-shut moments on the main floor.
Full Track Streaming:
“Rise Of The Machines”
“Lost In Ether | Podcast #145”