Label: Arts Collective
Release Date: 08/12/2014
For someone with only three records under their belt, Roman Poncet’s introductory output has already been pretty formidable. His ‘Route of Pain’ EP on Len Faki’s legendary ‘Figure’ imprint reflected the power and strength of some of Shed’s early releases, and caught the attention of techno guru Truncate, who has since remixed the entire EP. It’s perhaps important not to overstate Poncet’s output as something trying to be particularly conceptual or boundary pushing, rather, his work focuses on exacting the art of the perfect tool - a task left to the reserve of only the most talented techno technicians out there.
The record opens with ‘Walfisch’, which holds a markedly straighter groove than his previous broken-beat efforts. Again, you can hear Shed’s gravitational influence on Poncet, as the dub stabs echo and shimmer around the stereo field, creating a dazzling hall-of-mirrors effect. However, for me it’s ‘Afterglow’ that really steals the show on this release; an eery and frantic pulsator reminiscent of some of the more obtuse output from Tobias or Tom Dicicco.
There can be few things less daunting than having producers like Robert Hood or Psyk contribute to your EP - afterall, the sheer titanic fame that they possess and their years of presence in the scene has every possibility of eclipsing the original tracks that are meant to be the focal point of the release. This can be a real problem, I think, with early releases, as there is a sense in which underground music is unlikely to be recognised until it’s standing, not on, but alongside the shoulders of giants. Thankfully I don’t think this is true in the case of Poncet. Despite his impressive affiliations with some of the world’s best - Truncate, Len Faki, Robert Hood, Psyk… Poncet’s work can stand tall on it’s own merits, and in the case of this EP, can even overshadow the giants.