Various Artists – Replicants
Label: Inner Surface Music
Release Date: 16/11/15
Inner Surface Music is an outlet for the grittier side of techno. The tracks that you lock away in the deepest corners of your record collection lest someone find out about your dark secret. Curated by AnD, a Mancunian-based-power-techno-duo and Run Out Run label boss Tom Dicicco, the label welcomes its tenth release, which is in the hands of eight very capable artists.
The beauty of getting together a collective of like-minded yet resolved artists is that while the fabric of the compilation is designed around the same corners of the genre, each artist bringing their signature sound to the table. Sleeparchive’s ‘Plates’ bears his trademark hypno-bleep-loop-techno, a tried and tested algorithm but by no means is it breaking boundaries. Takaaki Itoh, a man who has never dropped form goes his normal route with ‘Present’, electrifying percussion conjoined with dark room filling bass lines – solid work which coincides with the strength of his recent releases. Perc combines his love for noise with the chasis of a pulsing tribal workout, ‘Hiding From Carl’ nods to early 2000 techno.
In terms of originality, Ontario Hospital aka O/H take the biscuit. The duo is formed of Rich Oddie of Orphyx fame and David Foster of Teste, and the veterans really ingrain their penchant for post-industrial and EBM into their production. The vocals in ‘All Flesh’, which can be assumed to belong to one of the two, gives the industrial cut a punk edge to very good effect. The real star of the show though comes in the form of Ontal here. The duo made an appearance on the last Inner Surface Music outing with a great remix of Eomac’s ‘Frozen Souls’, so it was no real surprise that they have be invited back. ‘Spasm’ is the sonic manifestation of a freight train commandeered by Beelzebub himself, on a crash course into an orphanage. Little can prepare you for the onslaught as the track opens with beefy kicks and sirens. Two minutes in and we are given glimpse of the synth/weapon of choice, which proceeds to grow, morph and squelch its way throughout the track. One that should be saved for the peak time for sure with guarantee of carnage.
The compilation is true value for money – originality combined with dance floor orientated cuts. If the cast of the album didn’t already predispose you to some caution, please approach with care…