Monday, 2 November 2009

2562 – Unbalance [Tectonic]

Dave Huismans’ debut album under the 2562 name Aerial won me over completely, the techno-infused dubstep sound really stood out. Tracks like ‘Kameleon’, ‘Channel Two’ and ‘Techno Dread’ to name but a few light up dance floors with a full on propulsive sound. Aerial to some was a little cold and greyscale, you could see where those where coming from but that was part of the charm for me. But since them the ever-prolific producer has been working on his other project A Made Up Sound, with plenty of 12”s and a whole album sneaked out at the end of last year called Shortcuts under the name he explored his sound and created something altogether more fluid plus he strayed into different tempo’s and got a warmer sound going. This seems to be an important move that’s rubbed off onto his 2562 project, as his second album Unbalance takes on a lot of these qualities.

An unnamed intro melts into a deep bumping techno groove that is ‘Flashback’, 2562 uses the techno/house pallet of sounds and twists them into bass addled variants that can sound so intense on a big club soundsystem. If you want techno with a bigger kick and a low end to die for you get it here, but its more than that there are subtle melodies and loops all over this record along with off-kilter rhythms to get you bumping on the dace floor. If you heard the Shortcuts project you know that 2562 can bring a more organic edge to his work than that on show on Aerial but where Shortcuts was really just a bag of sketches with plenty of ideas and snapshots of grooves and beats and Aerial was a huge almost compilation of well tested floor shaking 12”s morphed into an album, which worked damn well if you ask me… Well Unbalance kind of bridges the two by taking some ideas worked out in Shortcuts, the flowing off-kilter rhythms and techno pallet and marrying it to the fully formed dance tracks of Aerial to make pretty much the perfect combination of both.

‘Lost’ and ‘Dinosaur’ take subtle loops and paint quite beautiful pictures with them. ‘Lost’ drops soulful vocal samples and the mesmerising string loops on ‘Dinosaur’ make for one of the many highlights, when they play off the serious sub bass, broken techno drum patterns and playful bleeps you get a really joyous track.

The title track ‘Unbalance’ melts out of some field recordings and crackles into some subtle droning loops that create an uneasy atmosphere which builds before its cut through with some deep dubbed out keys and bass pressure before a lilting drum pattern gets the head nodding. He takes some deep house or techno sounds and moves them through dubstep into new territories with each track. There are other producers doing similar things but with very different results, Untold’s recent experiments marry eski grime beats with these techno/house sounds and makes an insane combination as does Ramadanman often resulting in a minimal stripped back sound. But 2562 has a sound of his own here.

The acid bubbles of ‘Superflight’, ‘Flashback’ and the closing track ‘Escape Velocity’ sound like a combination of A Made Up Sound’s Clone Basement Series 12” and the new sweeping human sounding version of 2562, the latter being an almost retro sounding Detroit number with a futurist vibe about it and a highlight for sure. I keep wanting to put this in with techno but in reality next to a lot of the genre this is just to intense, fast and bass riddled its all the best bits of techno but wrapped up with the added bonuses of dubstep.

The mournful synth tones of ‘Yes/No’ even sound more joyful and humane compared to the debut’s glassy eyed stare. This track is like the dark side of the kind of euphoric ‘Love in Outer Space’, which was a single not so long ago and features smeared glowing synth lines that flow into strange melodies. But ‘Yes/No’ does it in a subtle almost sad way and the latter makes you want to throw your hands in the air and shake one to the electro pulse.

Disjointed subtle clicks and rumbles kick off ‘Who Are You Fooling?’ with some droning soulful organ tones and sidestepping spaced out broken grooves, the track really builds tension. ‘Like A Dream’ also comes on like a twisting building tension fuelled broken acid track. ‘Narita’ is on a similar tip to ‘Yes/No’ but with a bumping bass groove and dub ascents along with a subtle yet driving bongo workout.

2562 is as consistent as ever but then Tectonic don’t do it any other way, Unbalance is a fantastic singular vision that can be enjoyed at home as a swirling broken techno infused dubstep record or in the dance with its relentless bass pressure and skipping rhythms. The deep dub techno sound is one that really made me fall for dubstep and dig deeper and this is probably the most fully formed dub-tech infused full length yet come in close with his debut Aerial and Martyn’s fantastic Great Lengths from earlier in the year. Plus with Shackleton just releasing three EPs at once for Perlon and Peverelist soon to release his full-length collection on us things are looking mighty healthy. Unbalance hits the spot and always gets a reload.

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