Redshape, In Trust We Space

Jasper Goodall, “Desert Mirror”


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There has been a focus on purist techno and house in recent years, but most of the resultant output is utterly derivative of white-knuckle Millsian fury, Downwards industrialisms or classic j-j-j-jacking Chicago tracks. Redshape doesn’t fit into any of these narratives, preferring to draw on the deep techno sounds of Detroit as a starting point; but unlike many of his new school purist peers, the masked one has the ability to shape and mould this influence into music that sounds uniquely his own. In a neat twist of fate, Redshape’s rise to prominence five years ago coincided with the resurgence of the Detroit artist that most influenced him, Carl Craig. However, whereas Craig was regaining his popularity on the back of a set of epic remixes that quickly led into painfully predictable “sunglasses” techno, the German producer who had closely studied the Detroit artist’s most introspective works, including Landcruising (dig it out and play it next to some of Redshape’s records) was rising to prominence thanks to some of the finest mood music to grace contemporary techno.

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As releases like the Misc Usage and Shaped World EPs attested, Craig loomed large, but Redshape could never be accused of being a skillful copyist. If that were the case, why would he have dropped the EBM/industrial-influenced “Robot” or the tribal techno of “Plonk”? Redshape also embraced the influence of other Detroit artists, Moodymann included, on his debut album, The Dance Paradox. Although we’re here to discuss how his latest release sounds, it’s necessary to address his background because In Trust We Space sees Redshape return to the sound of earlier releases like Misc Usage and tease out some of the ideas first initiated on his debut album. The title track could easily be the unwitting continuation of “Man Out of Time” or “Dead Space Mix,” as its dubbed out bongo drums and subtle, hissing percussion rasps away, providing the backdrop for brooding synths and, later on, truncated jazzy riffs.

Like much of his debut album, it’s best listened to and experienced on a rainy Monday afternoon rather than on a senses-heightened Saturday night (although its gradually unfolding arrangement could provide the warm-up). And this is the crucial difference between Redshape and his many purist techno peers — his music is made as much to be enjoyed in a variety of settings and not just as disposable club fodder. That said, “Laser!” is one of the German producer’s most full-on compositions. An evil, splurging bass line recoils and lunges across an arrangement populated by cold, metallic percussion and the austere yet undeniably human synths that have become his trademark. At a time when so many producers are just looking backwards to fire their creativity, it’s heartening to hear an artist looking in pretty much every direction possible.

AcdT  on July 13, 2011 at 3:03 PM

Yes, big respect on this one. Lovely :)

JL  on July 13, 2011 at 4:47 PM

I, for once, love Redshape-Dance Paradox on a 25ÂșC mediterranean hot summer night, it is even better than SND circa Mille Plateaux to refresh my soul. It reminds me of those wet wintry rainy afternoons. Nice review and on the mark.

Spawn_Johnson  on July 13, 2011 at 7:58 PM

Love Redshape’s uniqueness.

martyn  on July 14, 2011 at 3:28 AM


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