Fostered by the hungry eclecticism of The I-F’s legendary Cybernetic Broadcasting System and the music communities that have gathered in its wake, Bas roR has been DJing around Rotterdam for some time (in clubs and on the radio) and has already notched a memorable EP with Kubra’s “Control Issues,” a collaboration with DJ Tim for Arne Weinberg’s AW Recordings. Like much of the Kubra record, Bas roR’s solo debut recalls the deep and the weird of 90’s techno — Dan Curtin, Ultradyne and Stasis all come to mind, as well as some Rephlex sounds. The brushed percussion, bright melodic squiggles and brooding chord patterns of the title track, for example, are pure zero-gravity, practically describing a slow drift through a meteor shower.
That’s about as dreamy as this record gets, though. “Syringed” opts for more of a wriggly, off-key funk, rolling out a bullfrog bass line and a host of creaks, whirs and bleeps to freak up the light clamor of handclaps and sighing UFO pads. The record’s longest and certainly “biggest” track, “Reload” keeps the science fiction dressings, but takes a more aggressive approach. Echoing, Levon Vincent-sized keyboard stabs dominate the track, while layers of synth collide and accumulate in a dissonant hum that disorients and elates in equal measure. Reprising the space-man sonics of “Syringed,” “Grief” embeds a rubbery bass groove in what sounds for all the world like a swarm of insects. Sounding a bit like a sleazy cousin to MLZ’s “One Cycle,” it’s easy to see why it’s being charted by the likes of Marcel Dettmann, and safe to say that Bas roR won’t be a Rotterdam secret for long.