One of England’s premier techno outfits of the nineties, Colin McBean and Cisco Ferreira are best known as The Advent. Their discography as The Advent reaches back to 1994, though Ferreira scored early releases in 1988 on R & S and in 1989 on Fragile, while the two collaborated as early as 1990 in the group K.C.C. As The Advent they crafted hard-nosed looped techno tracks and occasionally indulged in a spot of electro. When the feeling took them they would divert towards something a bit more melodic under the name Man Made (as on their brilliant Space Wreck 12″ for Fragile) or as The Subjective, even dabbling in filtered disco house as G-Flame & Mr G. Arguably one of their finest releases was “Tremmer/Critical” as The Subjective on Dave Angel’s Rotation label in 1997. It was a notable release at the time for fusing together the hard, fast techno they were known for with shimmering, ethereal melodies that lay in direct contrast to their uncompromising, near industrial sound.
“Tremmer” wastes no time in setting the mood, as off-beat bass hits sound off like another kick drum through spiraling, ascendant pads and a sharp melange of snares, claps and a plethora of hi-hats. The 140 plus bpm helps to add to the tension and sheer propulsive verve of the track, but this is heightened by the punishing, ferric percussion that doesn’t relent for a second. The pads ebb and flow throughout the track, and as the sole piece of melody present they contrast even more against the drums. On the flip side “Critical” takes a slightly softer approach, though the bpm’s stay in the same vicinity and the drums are only marginally more subdued. The drum track is almost identical in its style to “Tremmer” with the main difference arising from the use of more detailed melodies. Again though, this equates to little more than a rhythmic pad being drawn out and toyed with via its delay and release. Both sides of this release were very prolific in harder techno sets around the time of its release, often used to bridge from a harder section of a DJ’s set into a more euphonious one. Its peak time rush may not quite fit into the generally slower rate of harder techno releases these days but it has lost none of its vitality over the years.