VA – IMF10 Part 3 [IMF10.3]

A project 18 months in the making, Marcel Fengler presents a IMF10, a three part compilation series detailing the past, present and future of his label Index Marcel Fengler. Part 3 focuses on the other end of the techno spectrum and features Marcel Fengler’s first original production in two years, a rare offering from Sebastian Kramer (aka Redshape), A prized Luke Slater re-work of Thomas Hessler, while Belgian shapeshifter Peter Van Hoesen crafts a powerful production to add to the pot. Avion makes a return alongside emerging Columbian talent Gotshell.

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VA – IMF10 Part 3 [IMF10.3]

Redshape – The Gate / Voyager [PRESENT016]

Redshape stars in another deep tripping, sci-fi odyssey on his imprint for Present 16. Opening ‘The Gate’ reveals a slow but surely building burner that is classic Redshape, ripping the space-time continuum fabric apart at it’s spoken word climax narrating of solar winds, cosmic ray particles and the speed of light. Heed the track’s unmistakable call and take flight on an interplanetary elevator with parched, bone-dry percussion, twisting lines with propulsive bass and growls that rumble underneath, enveloping you in an air cabin of Jedi-level sound design prowess. The ride truly begins next with ‘Voyager’. It’s all aboard a throbbing deep low end countered by floating, melancholic sustained chords with twinkling bleeps and fading bloops that light up like the star-studded Milky Way. Frantic hi hats and modulated percussion work keep riders on the edge of their seat through this fantasy space-age joyride at warp speed.

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Redshape – The Gate / Voyager [PRESENT016]

Redshape – Shift [PRESENT015]

Redshape returns to his own label with a retrovisionist release that looks back in time as much as it looks forward to the future. Revving up on the A side is ‘Shift’, a propulsive hurtle to the final frontiers. Starting off ominously with just drums, bass and a Pollock splatter of toms, the track is soon overrun by an army of relentlessly running basslines, let loose to steer in and out like searching headlights on a dark and endless highway. With a heavier kick, the track shifts into top gear with pensive pads soaring overhead, mesmerising squeaks and his signature attention to percussive detail. On the flip is ‘Drive’, which switches gears down a notch as an astrospace cruise along intergalactic coastlines – from summery California to shiny Coruscant. A rounded pounding beat with heavy sub bass bounces along to a breezy tropical melody and spacious percussive work, before riding off into a cinematic sunset that is as nostalgic as it is hopeful of the coming dawn. Once again on the edge of spatial sound but grounded in analog warmth, Redshape has presented a revision of classic record productions that truly punches as it is meant to be felt and heard – on wax.

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Redshape – Shift [PRESENT015]

Redshape – Bleep Repeat [PRESENT014]

The ever-enigmatic Redshape returns to his own label Present with this propulsive and decidedly unearthly release. Bleep Repeat makes for a potent first track. Here, a thumping step gives way to synth lines that sting and swell across solar systems. Things get headier, grittier, reaching a furious and frightening rush with spectral soundbites to match. A homage to UK rave sounds, this track perfectly captures the uncanny pairing of aggression and rapture at the heart of 90s bleep. Paper Blades follows, a celestial soundscape punctuated with hissing breakbeats and a sinewy bassline. Rippling acid lines beam along the astral plane, and a hallucinatory, near-liturgical melody meanders all the while. Spaced-out yet inexplicably driving, this track is elevating, enveloping definitely one for transcending.

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Redshape – Bleep Repeat [PRESENT014]

Redshape – Made Of Steel [PRESENT011]

Redshape returns to his own label with a new two tracker! Always a bit special to have a new Present release… and this is no exception. Playful Detroit inspired techno from the Man with the Red face that’s slowly building and gently seducing the floor.

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Redshape – Made Of Steel [PRESENT011]

Redshape – Red Pack II [101DSR/PRESENT010]

Red Pack II

Almost exactly three years after the first, Redshape has readied his second Red Pack, due for co release by his own Present imprint alongside his frequent Dutch home, Delsin. Whilst the world is still enjoying the German’s latest album “Square”, the man himself has typically moved on once more. On Red Pack II he offers up six tracks new of hugely atmospheric and romantically industrial techno across two pieces of vinyl. First up, ‘Disco Marauder’ has raw, jangling beats, traumatised vocal cries and plenty of sci-fi ambiance all coalescing into a filmic techno tapestry, before ‘Path Dub’ goes deeper and more streamlined with rattling claps peeling off taught synth cables in hypnotic fashion. ‘The Source’ is a track slowed to a crawl that almost seems to want to collapse under its own weight. Machines gurgle and gargle, the beats march on with a heavy heart and widescreen synths all that ever present sense of cinematism that makes Redshape such a unique producer. Standout track ‘Daft Mode’ features a beautiful Reese bassline and rich layers of classic Detroit chords of the sort Inner City once championed. Redshape then pairs them with slicing percussion and loose limbed but tough edged beats and lets them roll on to a blissfully emotive oblivion. Last track ‘Bulp Head’ is one of Redshape’s more euphoric tracks thanks to the glistening and pixelated melodies which rise up and up through choppy, metallic percussion. It closes out another release from Redshape that offers six more classic pieces that are as idiosyncratic as they innovative.

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Redshape – Red Pack II [101DSR/PRESENT010]

Redshape – Square [RBLP05]

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“Square” is the follow up to Redshape’s album debut “The Dance Paradox” (Delsin, 2009) – that is if you don’t want to count the double impact 12-inch “Red Pack” as a long player. And indeed, it is a long player in the truest sense of the term. Pamphlets, theories and opinions about the dubious role of “the album” in techno are dime a dozen, i.e. squaring the circle, but the man with the mask makes an effort to prove all of them wrong. “Square” doesn’t care for styles, genres or expectations, it can hold its own. Spread across twelve tracks you are as likely to meet vintage Redshape on tracks like “It’s In The Rain” or “The Playground (Square Version)” as you will encounter new facets of him with the Hyperdub affiliated Space Ape featuring “Until We Burn” and “Moods And Mice” or with a cluster of ambience pieces (“Orange Clouds”, “Landing”, Departing”). Working its way through all these states and moments on and off the dance floor, through melancholy and industrial romanticism alike, “Square” leaves you with the feeling of having experienced an electronic music album with identity that trusts in itself and wants you to trust in it. No matter if your perspective comes from a classic album like Kenny Larkin’s “Metaphor” (R&S, 1995) or is informed by the recent retro futuristic developments in the United Kingdom, if techno means more than a desperately compressed kick drum to you, Redshape with all his idiosyncrasy finds his way into your heart.

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Redshape – Square [RBLP05]

Redshape – Throw In Dirty / The Land [3024017]

Redshape with two tracks on 3024. A-Side ‘Throw In Dirt’ opens with vintage drum machines locked into a stooped groove as hi-hats spark off the top while a heavily filtered and pitched vocal loop offers dead eyed encouragement. After such an oppressive opener, ‘The Land’ is a noticeable change of pace. A horizon spanning kick underpins gospel’ish vocal snatches as the familiar hissing of synthesized cymbals shifts and builds on top of bass that’s more shudder than line.

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Redshape – Throw In Dirty / The Land [3024017]

Redshape – On Da Floor [RB029]

The man with the mask has the ability to maneuver between true school techno, malicious house, break beat bombs and Motor City romanticism – all ornamented with Redshape’s very own mark. For Running Back, he delivers something like a cross sum of his work. “On Da Floor” is subterranean haunted house with a broken heart, while Goom features a take-your-shirt-off Reese-bass-line.

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Redshape – On Da Floor [RB029]

Redshape – Son Of A… [PRESENT09]

Son Of A...

Redshape delivers two more top quality techno tracks on his own label Present. ‘Son Of A…’ brings back the freestyle craziness of the masked one. Going acid in the Redshape-way! ‘Kracken’s Game’ is more of a synthy slow builder – setting a densed atmosphere.

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Redshape – Son Of A… [PRESENT09]