Horizontal Ground, Horizontal Ground 02

[Horizontal Ground]

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It’s heartening to see that over the past couple of years there has been a resurgence of anonymous techno white labels surfacing. The hand stamped imprints recall a time when techno was still mysterious, when you could spend months hounding after a track and feel unabated joy if you got to play it out, only to have hapless trainspotters become derailed when they approached a blank label. These days techno (and for that matter all music) is nowhere near as mysterious or as hard to track down as it used to be, but the steady filter of white labels emerging of late inject some element of surprise and curiosity back into the medium. Horizontal Ground, the companion label to Frozen Border, which itself has been responsible for three quick bursts of fearless techno, is now up to its second release of tracky tool time techno, the latest edition being even more bare and desolate than the first. Its incognito producer will keep the guessing game going and while some may argue that the anonymity of the minimal info tactic is geared toward building hype, the reality is that it manufactures a lot more focus on the music itself.

Side A, for all its gruff, gristly chord stabs and bleaker than Cormac McCarthy’s post-apocalyptic road feel, is in fact the more musical of the two cuts. I couldn’t quite manage to say it’s more melodic as that would impart a human quality that feels notably absent on these two gruelling sides, but A is possessed of a more welcoming groove, its corrugate layers peeling back to show fine details buried beneath the coarse textures and earth moving bass. If side A carries about it an air of barren, unforgiving landscapes then Side B is geared for a horror soundtrack. So industrial are the sounds, it becomes hard not to imagine inquisitive teens investigating dank, long forgotten factories, a bloodbath awaiting just around the next corner. The densely packed, Thomas Heckman style kick drums hark back to older techno cuts from the early nineties which were fashioned to fill cavernous warehouses, which this particular track would have no trouble in doing itself. Horizontal Ground continue their excellent no-name assault with these two raw, red, peak time weapons which will appeal to fans of Frozen Border, MDR, Ancient Methods et al. Side A flies the hard, tracky flag while Side B is best left to those with a disposition for punishing, iron wrought techno.

Chris Burkhalter  on October 23, 2009 at 2:38 AM

Like it!

ike velez  on October 23, 2009 at 10:32 AM

great cuts!

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