Matt O’Brien/Peter Van Hoesen & Donato Dozzy, Into the Red/Talis

[Curle Recordings]

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The Belgian label Curle Recordings continues its impressive release schedule with a pan-European heavyweight techno line-up. Representing the UK is the refreshingly unorthodox Matt O’Brien. Favouring a quality over quantity approach that has not yet projected him into the limelight, O’Brien’s selectiveness is nonetheless admirable. Last year, he delivered two of 2009’s best remixes — the eerie take on The Subliminal Kid on his Offkey Industries imprint, and the insane bell chiming cacophony-led reshape of Roberto Bosco on Mowar — along with the excellent From the Periphery EP. While “Into the Red” marks a fresh departure for O’Brien, it sees him maintain the same high standards.

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As usual, Matt likes to keep the listener guessing. The intro features robust break beats and atmospheric, filtered chords, but the assumption that he’’s going for an introspective approach fades as soon as the humming, pulsing acid lines kick in. From there, Matt takes the track into a dramatic ascent, guided upwards by dramatic rave stabs yet kept grounded by that intangible grittiness that “Periphery” also boasted. The flipside to O’Brien’s complex intensity is Peter Van Hoesen and Donato Dozzy’s “Talis.” It sounds like Peter, fresh from delivering an early contender for techno album of 2010, has opted to mellow out and has taken his cues from Dozzy. The result of the collaboration is a layered chord sequence that is played out over a laid back, squelchy groove. Its understated repetition is perhaps not what one would expect from one of the main proponents of gritty warehouse techno, but clearly even they need time to relax.

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