Much to our chagrin, we cannot figure out the artist of this painting. If you know, please comment.
As its sub-label, Horizontal Ground, is quickly defining its own brand of stripped back, DBX-style techno, Frozen Border continues on its own trajectory north, getting colder and more restrained with each release. While its counterpart seems to have developed a coded number system to “identify” the artist behind each release, no such identifications are available for Frozen Border, and thus each release can only be contextualized in terms of previous installments. Whereas Volume 3 seemed like the summit point towards which the first two were headed, the fourth issue in the Frozen Border series diverges from its predecessors in sound but not in temperature.
The A side combines submerged dub flourishes with Studio 1-alike metallic percussion; its icy, unwavering repetitions bring some of the tracky Horizontal Ground sound into the fold. Flip the record over and while the B side is around the same BPM it moves at a seemingly glacial pace. A straight 4/4 with slicing hi-hats, deep frigid drones and hazy bleeps conjure images of a lost ship slowly navigating the frozen northern seas. Where the A side has the bite of crisp tundra air, the B is encased in a dense fog. Already deployed to exceptional effect by Function in his RA ‘cast, Frozen Border 04 deserves a spot on your shelf or in your crate whether its being spun for thousands or just yourself. 2009 may have been the year of the white label, but Frozen Border seem poised to be just as crucial, if not more, in the new year.