5 out of 5
Label: Central Processing Unit
Produced by: Calum Gunn
Uh, what now? Another CPU artist who’s somehow rattled the confines of modern IDM and produced something can’t-stop-listening-to-it original? I offer a lot of (earned) praise upon CPUs output, for sure, and of course, I’m positive there are a ton of artists beyond their roster that are equally capable of blowing my mind, but still, the amount of talent gathered under this one label’s roof who are not only capable of crafting excellent and awesome iterations of techno but also make things I just haven’t heard the exact like of before… Like, statistically, it just seems wrong. But it keeps happening.
‘Adenda’ goes in for broken club beats, leading off with Esphony’s low-end, gritty stomp that has minimalist keys and quirks lain atop, glitching out here and there with Aphex-y affectations, but holding on to its beat. At about the two minute mark, it then gets – of all things – darkly clubby, with a more joyous undertone and reverb, and touches of turntablism. And then there’s a video game riff that jumps in the fray about 4 minutes in. This is one of the coolest tracks I have ever heard.
Moebu’s backing beat is a bit more chill, working with slightly more 90s-era Rephlex ambience as Calum works the synths in to more and more expressive layers; a haunting reflection after the opening workout.
Ternenmarz is initially constructed of the most minimal elements: one bouncing, sporadic beat, joined by a more mechanical and sparse beat a bit in. But then these two lines start to play off of one another, back and forth, beat-boxy, while other clicks and bleeps sidle their way in. The track manages to hold on to the stripped-back nature and also be busy at the same time, focusing on that initial bounce, getting more and more agitated as these other features hum along on their own time, building up to an appreciable frenzy over its six minutes.
Finally, Pins is again like a club affair – albeit one produced on the titular devices, as though Gunn is walking carefully across a group of them, afraid to let his beats disturb the precision, but then wavering… but then getting practiced at the art and just going to town. Or something. Pins is ridiculously danceable and showy, and yet restrained, a fittingly speedy blowout conclusion to an EP off all oddly booty-shakin’, blazingly unique beats.