Label: Stroboscopic Artefacts
Release Date: 19/08/13
It’s easy to forget between the Summer months what a furious rate Stroboscopic Artefacts churn out each edition of their Monad series. The previews for XV are now online already, with only a couple of weeks or so since Lakker’s XIV.
That being said, the rate at which the series comes out certainly doesn’t reflect negatively on its quality - each offering striking mediation between no-frills dancefloor techno, and the mechanical sounding experimentations the label has become perhaps best known for. The fifteenth edition comes from Italian duo Plaster, contributing four deeply textured warehouse cuts.
‘Quasar’ kicks off proceedings at full intensity - grinding bass-work undulating beneath rugged percussion and drawn out choral samples buried at the back of the mix. The stripped-down kick-heavy groove throughout brings to mind the music of Tobias - albeit a more twisted and darker sound. This is the sort of track that feels sonically ‘full’ enough to fill almost any space, without losing anything in intricacy.
The same can be said of following track, ‘Uret’. Adopting an equally frantic pace, distorted kicks pound between tribal percussion and pulses of static, without a cigarette paper’s width of space between them. The texture of the track is also somewhat unique - maintaining an undeniably clean sound but at the same time playing around with grainy and hoarse timbres.
The closing two tracks, ‘Tangle’, and ‘Libra’ share similarities with the work of Dadub (incidentally another Italian duo and Stroboscopic mainstay), both tracks exploring the dubbier end of the techno spectrum whilst maintaining a firm grim on the rich, industrial-indebted sonic palette of the former two tracks. In particular, ‘Tangle’ has a refreshingly down-tempo groove to it, and it’s interesting to hear how Plaster can move around the rhythm, manipulating the meter and making it their own. ‘Libra’ is arguably the most interesting track of them all, introducing some more organic sounds to the mix, akin to Shackleton or Demdike Stare, but keeping it grounded within their own style. All in all, this EP has tonnes to offer, and with such a varied mix of styles, puts it near the top of my personal favorites from the Monad series.