Houndstooth, a new label curated by Fabric and Electronic Explorations’ Rob Booth, launches interestingly with a versatile clutch of modern techno from the Berlin-based JR Seaton. Within a cavernous and overheated hangar, “Threshing Floor” deploys motor-driven bass, as vapor trails of synth stream overhead. A lithe, sinewy kick drum raps out a blood-rushing pulse against the arsenal of rhythmic machinery noise and post-punk atmosphere. Palpably expressing an angsty connection between man and machine, Seaton creates a subdued and unsettling architecture with shining melodic moments that nod to Carl Craig’s early creations. “Leosengor” traverses a severely deconstructed 2-step rhythm and softly chiming, writhing harmonies, more in the vein of Four Tet, Floating Points, and newer FaltyDL material. It’s pleasingly wispy; an intricate, delicate work in an EP that is largely hefty and powerful.
“Siglo Gray Vision” is a deep machine ritual; mantras of ringing digital tones angle within a shell of alien material: a diversely textured and filtered beat that seems to strain against its own uniformity. Finally, “No City Of Choice,” with a surface-smashing collision noise, rolls in a beautifully, dangerously stepped and thudding electro breakbeat — the EP’s first deviation from 4/4 — against glinting dystopian wreckage, as delayed, decayed melodies glisten with the sheen of burnt, broken glass. With a challenging blend of expertly produced sounds, Seaton has produced a unusually vivid presence and depth of field. This is confidently and cleverly built techno with originality and self-awareness.