Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Ben Klock, "One"

If there's been a better album of hard, dark, isolationist techno released in the past couple of years, I've yet to hear it. Depending on your viewpoint (half full/half empty?), virtually every track is a mood killer (guaranteed to kill a happy buzz and turn the corners of any living room or club into a damp, murky place) or a mood maker (see previous comment). In "Check For Pulse", Klock revisits Chain Reaction-style watery dub techno, where the ambiance between the notes breathes on its own, becoming essentially the lead instrument on the track. But there's a lot more to this album than riding along with the dub techno revival. "Cargo" is dour and acerbic, recalling Aphex Twin's Polygon Window at its finest with its airy synth tones drifting in and out of the mix over a bludgeoning backbeat, "OK" is the complete and utter mindkiller, a dubstep/techno masterpiece that starts with a stomach-churning bassline and haunting, heavily filtered, looped vocal ("ain't no happiness, ain't no sadness"). It only gets better once the beat kicks in, turning the track into an irresistibly danceable piece of maudlin horror techno.

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