Frozen Border, Frozen Border 06

[Frozen Border]

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The Frozen Border/Horizontal Ground ethos is pretty well established by now: bassy, swung techno cloaked in austere anonymity. Yet Frozen Border’s sixth 12″ presents two relatively straightforward tracks compared to the brokenness of some of the label’s older material. These are, for the most part, tools, devoid of the offbeat catchiness of tracks on the second and fourth editions, but they have their own appeal that’s easier to appreciate with repeated spins.

The first half of the A-side melds a garage shuffle with some abrasive, groaning stabs, lending an industrial vibe that swells as a few other tones are added to the mix. Midway through, stealthy, dubbed-out chords break into the foreground and propel the track until its conclusion. It’s nothing entirely new, but it’s a fine choice to add a bit of darkness to a set. The B side is similarly gloomy, spacing out an industrial groan (similar to the one on the A-side) and bringing it to the forefront, atop a straight 4/4 beat and a thick, driving bass line. A vaguely Eastern string sample weaves in and out of the mix, along with something resembling a reverberating vocal “ooooh,” though it’s difficult to make them out — the track largely sounds smothered and cloudy. It’s these spectral flourishes that really make this a compelling composition. Both sides stand up to anything in the label’s catalog, but they’re definitely growers, a little denser than one might expect from Frozen Border. There are a lot of producers trying to make this kind of menacing techno, but few have the chops to make their menace this trippy.

Blaktony  on September 14, 2010 at 12:01 PM

Dark, ugly, menacing, dense (4 sure)…. and i got my money out. Loving fact that some of the new releases these days remind me of when we used to take over abandon warehouses.

boe  on September 20, 2010 at 6:03 PM

this is mint. really nice shuffley warehouse grooves. won’t ever break any boundaries but itll get a lot of plays from me.

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