The honeyed edge between jacking physicality — pure abandon — and cerebral brain chow can be pretty illusive. Releasing under the name Obsolete Music Technology since 2007, Steven Tang often builds a meaty and highly satisfactory bridge between acidic Chicago-referencing squelch and sci-fi-orientated flourish. With the Inflection Point EP for Steffi’s Dolly imprint, the Chicago native hits both targets dead center. “Metropolitan View” is a bracing and hard-edged affair, an inebriated winter night’s ride on a Chicago El train, a journey on which he taps edgy momentum with ease. The individual parts are not in and of themselves particularly special — the kick and claps are on the wrong side of brittle — but no matter; the whole is remarkably enveloping. Tang has an expert ear for dramatic and propulsive arrangement.
“Inflection Point” is a heads-down roller imbued with a cinematic sense of drama. The layered claps and immovable bass line give it something of an 80s “digital dancehall” bearing, its homemade grandeur coming up against powerful punch. “Subdue” is aptly named, and a weak point against such stellar company. A selection of brute claps joins a meandering bass refrain — a minor blip. “Swell,” by proxy, is serious and the most overtly techno piece on this EP. A marvelously understated combination of fluttering synth leads, swirly bass sweeps, and some nigh on perfect pads. Play this at 7:00am, and watch a jaded floor reignite. Andrew Weatherall once said that authenticity, when delivered with dignity and aplomb, is more satisfying than originality. Here Steven Tang has delivered an EP that simply crackles with electric soul. Have you heard it before? You bet. Will it remain in the box? Undoubtedly.