EQD, Equalized#004


“Capitolio” by Christopher Anderson

[Equalized]


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An already established producer as Shed, Rene Pawlowitz has utilized several different aliases as outlets for his wide-ranging urges. The Equalized series has thus far been home to ethereal breakbeat epics, less polished versions of the techno workouts on his debut album Shedding the Past. At first, no one knew for sure who was behind these mysterious Hard Wax-distributed singles that quickly took the underground techno world by storm. Of course, the cat has been out of the bag for the better part of a year and now that it’s established Pawlowitz is behind these records, is there a point to even releasing them in this manner anymore? Given the fragmented experimentalism of second album The Traveller, maybe there is, but regardless, continuing the Equalized series feels more like clever marketing than anything else.

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Those first few releases felt like events, especially with the alluring cloak of anonymity. Not only heaped with critical praise, the EQD (and WAX) releases have been utilized by many prominent techno and house DJs at some point in the past couple years. But somewhere along the line their specialness seemed to fade; the release of Equalized #004 hardly came as a surprise, and neither does the music buried in its grooves. The A-side is one of the trackiest things to come out of EQD, a hissy, barely there breakbeat floating in suspension over a defeated, lifeless thump. The B-side is marginally more interesting, where the breakbeat sounds like it’s dangling from a string. It never quite lines up with the kick, and the way it swings back and forth microscopically and seems to miss by mere milliseconds can be equally enthralling or infuriating. Pawlowitz drapes it in quivering loops and double-tracked percussion, building a sweeping atmosphere unnoticed while listeners are fixated by that slightly askew beat.

The fact remains that neither of these tracks are as exciting or structurally interesting as Equalized #002‘s heavenly B-side or the mutant funk of #003. They loop and loop and loop some more, with even the steady build on the B-side quickly turning monotonous. There’s no doubting these tracks would make fine tools to bridge between tracks during a set, but taken alone there’s something missing, a deficiency nowhere to be found in previous EQD material. This, along with the third WAX from earlier this year, are the first times Pawlowitz has ever sounded as if he were on autopilot. While it’s still decent, at this point we know he’s capable of much more than decent work.

ryan  on November 10, 2010 at 10:58 AM

agreed. felt this way about his last EQD release. not bad by any means, but not unique like EQD #2 or every track on shedding the past. i appreciate straight techno, but i love when that style is employed in a fresh way.
despite all of this, there’s no way the guy falls off my radar anytime soon.

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