Peter Van Hoesen productions often walk an intriguing middle ground between intricate cinematic grandiosity, well suited to expensive home systems, and fulsome, bass-weighted heavyset that delivers in the club. It’s not necessarily the easiest of territories to stake out; music as fiddly and intricate as his invariably loses detail in the club while sacrificing the necessary clout at home. Time To Express, however, is a label devoted to releasing compellingly progressive techno, and has always been unwilling to pander slavishly to the floor at the expense of full musical expression. As such, Perceiver is a slow-paced and multifaceted slow-burner that represents some of his most fully realized and melodically complex work, containing a measured dose of expertly driven techno that will sate the headstrong.
“Objects From The Past” casts an ominous spell, all hissing hats and subtle drones while “Seven, Green & Black” is a quirky piece of broken rhythmic eccentricity, calling to mind an early Dave Huismans production accidentally played at 33 RPM. As ever, Van Hoesen proves an expert manipulator of warm distortion and both “Attack On The Reality Principle” and “Europa / Unlit Bonfire” feature highly satisfactory and complex interplay between white noise and neat, grounding bass.
But although Perceiver features its share of successful left-field experimentation, it is when Van Hoesen focuses on pure inventive techno that he really strikes gold. “Nefertiti / Always Beyond” is pure Berlin boom, and left me craning my ear to decipher the myriad subliminal field recordings and ghostly samples hidden deep down in the mix. “Inspection In Solitude” plays like a dark homage to Robert Hood, all-night drive atmospherics and ticking urgency. “Decoder,” meanwhile, is pure peak-time machine funk, pitch-black sorcery. With Perceiver, Peter Van Hoesen continues his journey as arch frequency manipulator apace. A convincing, multi-layered set, that further cements Time To Express as the go-to imprint for out-of-body techno expansionism.