Shifted, Reach

[Syndrome Z]

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The second release on the label set up by Szare of Horizontal Ground fame features another mystery producer. Shifted impressed with his debut on Luke Slater’s Mote-Evolver, and led this writer to speculate that it was the work of a rising European techno producer. That educated guess turned out to be far off the mark, and without revealing the artist’s identity, it turns out that he normally operates in a different creative space. So much for educated guesses then. What is beyond doubt, however, is Shifted is fast becoming a byword for high quality dance floor techno and one who is not in danger of focusing on a highly defined sound.

Assessing this new release in tandem with the Mote-Evolver debut, it is clear Shifted’s previous distance from techno canon has imbued him with a playfulness and a willingness to try different approaches, to flirt with a broader range of influences than those who are embedded in the sound and too often marooned at the coalface. So while “Drained” was dense and drum-heavy, grounded in the austere mold created by new school producers like Samuli Kemppi and Obtane — which in turn were shaped by exposure to classic European techno — the title track is informed by a lighter and indeed lither sensibility. Steely drums and doubled up claps, coupled with a pumping rhythm provide the necessary impetus, but the insistent, Detroit-style chord riff brings a more musical feeling to the arrangement. There are no such concessions on “Subject Matter,” where a different approach is deployed. The pile-driving hats, doubled up claps and relentless rhythm are similar to the aesthetic on Luke Slater’s contemporary vision for Planetary Assault Systems, but Shifted leaves his own mark with some insistent filter action and eerie sound tapestries floating in the ether. Unsurprisingly, the remix of the title track from Szare heralds another sideways shift. Eschewing the peak time space the original material occupies, it favors a stop-start, mid-paced shanty. The mood may be more reflective and the rhythm more ponderous, but the filtered chords and warm, lapping bass line insure it doesn’t lapse into the inertia of which much dub techno is guilty. It’s a fittingly unpredictable end to an EP bristling with an energy that counterbalances much of the jaded laziness in techno’s body politic.

Blaktony  on April 13, 2011 at 11:17 AM

Shit!!!! that smacked me right in the face from the start….that’s what i want/that”s what i get.Only 4 the hard-core,straight up.

Metal Warrior  on April 13, 2011 at 2:55 PM

amazing music , from an artist to watch out for.

Vincent  on April 25, 2011 at 2:02 PM

shame it’s vinyl only.


Little White Earbuds April Charts 2011 | Little White Earbuds  on December 11, 2011 at 6:30 PM

[…] Details” [Modern Love] 03. Grouper, “Alien Observer” [Yellow Electric] 04. Shifted, “Reach” (Szare Remix) [Syndrome Z] 05. Invisible Conga People, “Can’t Feel My Knees” [DFA] 06. Blondes, […]

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