Planetary Assault Systems, Remixes

[Ostgut Ton]

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If Luke Slater’s Temporary Suspension reminded us anything, it’s that the rough techno waves being made by your Dettmanns and Levons are not without precedent, and that techno veterans are keen to be still be part of the sound they, in many ways, defined. For every Delta Funktionen or Frozen Border looking to offer their new take on techno there’s a Regis, Robert Hood or James Ruskin picking up the 909 again and getting back to work. Ostgut Ton chose Hood and Kenny Larkin to remix Ben Klock; and so, in a sort of antisymmetry, they choose some of the most influential producers of the past couple years to remix one of the 90’s more influential figures.

Time passes pretty quickly in techno and the names on Ostgut’s latest Remixes reach across multiple generations, offering disparate perspectives on Slater’s accomplished return to form. “X Speaks To X” was originally a blizzard of a track, arguably the most ferocious and 90s of the album. Appleblim and Al Tourettes both come from stepping backgrounds but certainly love their techno, and their re-imagining of “X Speaks To X” combines these influences while sounding unlike any of the dubstep-techno that we’ve become familiar with. Twisting, contracting square waves and Orchestra of Bubbles-like synth gurgles contort above harsh electric whirs and lightly syncopated but implied 4/4 rhythms. Flip the record and Marcel Dettmann and Shed offer their version of album high-point “Hold It” under their Deuce moniker. A slowly-attacking signal sits atop a straightforward bass line and rough clatter, each tightly reigned and simply deployed. Both duos on duty here maintain the coarse aesthetics of the Planetary Assault Systems originals, but each in their own way. Neither track sounds much like anything else out there at the moment, something each of the producers involved have made a career out of. Luckily for us the results are as enjoyable as they are hard-hitting. Labels of Ostgut Ton’s current stature often settle into a rhythm of churning out the same thing over and over again, but we can remain content in the knowledge that Ostgut Ton has hardly proven to be that kind of label.

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