Conforce, Grace EP


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Conforce is one of those undeniably talented producers who has the unfortunate problem of not quite being able to set himself apart from the pack. Recently associated with dub techno, anchored by his Machine Conspiracy LP which expertly mixed funky electro with spiritual dub, his Grace EP for Delsin Records does much to disassociate from that tag but finds he still has work to do to establish his own original voice. As ever, the three tracks Boris Bunnik presents on Grace are meaty and satisfying, old-school-leaning techno tracks that fit right alongside similar-minded work on Delsin. Opening track “Shade” is arguably the most triumphant and fist-pumping thing he’s done yet, a three-minute sprint that sounds like the hangover from the loose electro of Machine Conspiracy, dub chords compressed into poison darts thrown relentlessly with a laser-sharp focus. The track’s intense motion is focused and studied, as if moving in a perfectly straight line as far away from familiar land as possible.

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And that’s where we end up: far far away. The remaining two tracks feel far removed from anything that could be called “dub techno.” “Grace” is a stunning piece of ambient techno that feels like someone took a piece of Aphex Twin’s Selected Ambient Works 85-92 and polished off all of the cassette-tape residue, a lovely melange of warped synths and trebly drums with a dash of acid thrown in for good measure. Taking a similar set of sounds and applying it to something less IDM and more Detroit, “Insecure” plays with funky keys and sci-fi synths that float on the track’s boogying bassline. Conforce still has a ways to go towards fashioning his own sound, but Grace is a step in the right direction, finding a new context for his dub techno leanings and synthesizing inspiration out of reinterpretations of past trends.

Chris Miller  on September 8, 2010 at 5:28 PM

For me, this is one of the best EPs of the year. Delsin has just been hitting it out of the park, as they always do.

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