Monday, February 20, 2012

Deh-Noizer "Unconscious Reactions" (Nightmare Factory)

Oh, and the *other* thing about the best techno (picking up from here, I guess) is that it can give the lie to those lazy assumptions that music can't merit adjectives like "textured" or "atmospheric"or "thoughtful" or "subtle" unless it's slow, sedate, even slightly boring. The kind of mindset that decrees that every third single should be a ballad, or that you should "let the music breathe" once in a while, and that ends up being taken as gospel to the extent that all you have to do is come up with a fairly dull, witless and ponderous record and there's a danger it'll be automatically hailed as a work of brooding genius. Luckily, "Unconscious Reactions" is a slamming little album from 24-year old Treviso producer Deh-Noizer which hacks those preconceptions into the proverbial cocked hat with all the pent-up ferocity of a truly riled Claudio Gentile.

"Introvert" opens proceedings, but eschews techno stylings entirely, providing little clue as to what is to come. Instead, it's a scene-setter, drizzling bruising dubstep bass over planks of vaguely forbidding drums. It's "Feelings Selection", the first of four full-length club tunes, which marks where the record comes alive, starting with CS gas and alarm memes but constantly evolving over eight minutes into a dazzling pick-me-up, managing to sound both atmospheric *and* textured (man), but remain a certified floor-botherer into the bargain. The blinding "Charged" builds on "Feelings Selection" but adds a new veneer of malevolence, its dark trills and rushes surely coming from the same secret underground bunker that yielded Ryuji Takeuchi's *massive* "Vital". It's possibly the best thing here.

"Extinction" and "Face To The Ground" can't match the brilliance of the two tracks that precede them but do manage to maintain the momentum, the former sliced through with choral howl and eerie swoosh, the latter keeping up a clinical locomotive chatter before the album changes mood once again, with a distinct drop in temperature. Spread over two tracks, "Broken Atmos" is two halves of an icy whole (like "Winter" and "Hostel-Maxi"): the first mix hangs on fractured beats over which effects patterns from "Extinction" seemingly re-emerge, before the second dispenses with drums entirely, the sun refracting light patterns across frozen ground as ghosts of Blueboy's "Nimbus" dance obligingly across the frost.

"Wormhole" is the final flourish, a far-too short wrap-up in which burbling, warm synths cradle flitting, fleeting wisps of percussive chatter until they escape upward into a dark but forgiving sky. As you know, we have a contractual obligation to shoehorn-in mention of Kryptic Minds as often as possible (yes, similar arrangements exist for I, Ludicrous and Napalm Death amongst others) and just as "Unconscious Reactions", however different it may be sonically, exudes the same thoughtful grace as Kryptic Minds' "One Of Us", "Wormhole" shares the rare, mottled comedown beauty of "One Of Us" album closer "Distant Dawn". Truly, such moments are precious.

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