Sleeparchive, Ronan Point


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It is testament to Roger Semsroth’s integrity that as soon as purist-inspired techno started to get more popular, his output waned and he faded from view. Whether this was done on purpose is doubtful, but it does illustrate the point that the Berlin producer had no intention on cashing in on the music’s popularity. Semsroth had been making and releasing music as Sleeparchive for years prior to this development — he also releases more experimental music under a range of other aliases — and had put out a series of benchmark records that gave an austere yet captivating update of Sähkö’s bleepy techno minimalism. (If you’re looking for an introduction, Hospital Tracks comes highly recommended).

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Since the tendency towards re-enacting purist techno was pushed center stage, Semsroth has been quiet, and the last dance floor release was 2008’s Hadron. As such, Ronan Point marks his return to the dance floor world. In the interim however, he has had a number of experimental releases and he brings this influence to beat on his comeback. “Ronan Point One” acts like a prelude for the inevitable rush, its heavy drums and swinging groove underpinned by a wall of abstract noise. Indeed, the second take is the one that’ll cause mayhem in the club. An insistent rhythm quickly introduces white noise bursts and the kind of cold yet spine tingle-inducing bleeps coupled with reverberated, doubled-up claps that became Sleeparchive’s stock in trade — and which was subsequently and quite successfully co-opted by some of his peers into a more accessible format. The key difference this time is the grainy bass that pushes its way towards the edge of distortion and which gives Roger’s music a new-found sense of ferocity.

“Three” is just as intense but is informed by a more wiry, jacking rhythm that sounds more like Minimal Nation Hood than Sähkö, while the fourth and final installment sees Semsroth retreat to abstract territories again. There, a breeze block weight bass line drones away as steely drums mount attempt after attempt to propel the arrangement to the floor. Rather than rush headlong into the melee once it looked like the winds were changing in his favor, Sleeparchive made the right decision and did the opposite. Having been the awkward one who embraced noise and experimentation when it would have been far easier and more lucrative to play to the crowd, he is now back with a vengeance with arguably his finest release yet.

petesrdic  on May 11, 2011 at 2:50 PM

A great EP. Tension ! The only regret is the tracks aren’t a tad longer.

Chris M  on May 11, 2011 at 2:58 PM

a fine “comeback” and on the legendary, no less. need two of these.

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