Traversable Wormhole Volume 6-10
Label: CLRScore: 8/10
Back in 2009, Traversable Wormhole aka Adam Mitchell anonymously released Traversable Wormhole Volume 1-5 as an vinyl-only series, taking the techno scene by storm with his own brand of dark industrial techno. In 2010 Chris Liebing’s label CLR digitalised the collection and gathered a string of stellar remixes by some of the most prominent figures in the scene such as Marcel Dettmann, Function, Surgeon, and Chris himself.
A few years have passed and the series returns to the Frankfurt label as Volume 6-10 are released digitally as an artist album (and the CD is presented in the form of a continuous mix). Stylistically it doesn’t stray too far from its predecessors – it’s still got the distinct TW sound – futuristic, brooding, relentless, and dancefloor oriented; all the tracks featured here, whether straightly four-to-the-floor or intricately syncopated, are driven by precise and dynamic percussions amidst vast sci-fi atmospheres. They certainly possess an organic masculinity influenced by Mitchell’s industrial root, but at the same time when compared with other industrial techno tracks, be it the ones from the UK like Blawan or the Vault Series crew from Germany, they tend to sound more stripped and minimalist.
There are moments of suspenseful syncopated actions (Centauri Dreams, Negative Energy Density), subtle, slow-burning 4/4 hypnotism (Worldline), thunderous hard thump (Subliminal Warp Drive), and also sophisticated percussive interplays (The Wormhole Nexus, Paradoxical Consequences).
The music certainly works best in cavernous clubs like Berghain (the very place that, as the Berlin-based producer once revealed in an interview, inspires the TW sound) and raw warehouses, but the complexity and intricacy of the arrangement (especially the syncopated rhythms of the broken beat tracks) are also worth appreciating in the home listening environment. Whereas this album hasn’t developed too much from the previous installment, through it the 20-year veteran manages to reaffirm his own sonic identity, and the consistency of the 10 EPs should well be appreciated. The cutting edge concepts and deft executions of the TW series have now reached another point of completion, and it’s already an impressive body of work indeed.