Captivating twists on the techno template pepper this Berlin producer’s third LP.
Matthew Bennett 2012
Wander the misty graveyard of musical genres and you’ll likely stumble over the mossy tombstones of deceased giants acid jazz, glam rock and intelligent drum’n’bass.
Yet there’s one plot over in the corner that remains empty: techno. This sepulchre will never be fulfilled. It’s a genre too singular to ever die.
Look no further than the animated hands of René Pawlowitz for evidence of this. His third LP as Shed sees him celebrate this immortal style, then decorate it with his own obsessive minutiae.
His debut, Shedding the Past, was voted the best album of 2008 by dance e-bible Resident Advisor, whilst his follow up The Traveller kept his booking agent in happy financial climes.
And here producer keeps his motifs in the classic mould. Repetition and texture are his weapons as he marches primal sounds into a format that displaces air and compresses thought.
SPT3/The Killer takes the form of a fuzzy, textured slab of red noise. It belies the clinical approach of the next two tracks, Silent Witness and I Come by Night. These are pure warehouse funk, bristling with compulsive surfaces and livid with recurrence.
Sonic fragments seethe. Tarnished acid bubbles oscillate. Snatches of melody are confused and irregular, the awkward interior facets glowing with longevity.
Ride On suffocates with its bulk. An uneasy vocal fragment swings back and forth over yet more scorched terrain as blistered, uncouth and jagged ideas protrude from Shed's minimal landscapes.
V10MF!/The Filler and Follow the Leader appear a complicit pair heralding the sunrise. Their halcyon breakbeats tug us towards dawn, and the end of the cycle.
With The Killer, Shed hasn’t reinvented the wheel, but he has captivated us with his sonic mottle, daubed onto the classic edifice of techno’s irresistible structures. Techno can appear one of purest genres, and we’ll thrive here in its warm breath forever.