Vril, Vortekz

Photo by Xavier Soquet


The name Vril sounds pretty good on its own, but works brilliantly in the context of techno. Vril sounds, looks, and feels like the music credited to it: truncated, sharp like a dental procedure, onomatopoeic. It’s the sound of energy leaving a machine’s body after surging through it, like pulsing a power tool’s trigger or the overheated whine of a lawnmower’s pull cord as you try to turn the engine over. Vortekz — the producer’s first EP for Delsin after releasing records on top-ranking labels like Music Man, Semantica, and Giegling — is relentless, tiered dub techno with the internal rhythmic logic of sneakers in a dryer. The track develops with a dry proportionality, revealing a new sound every however many bars. So there’s this divergence between a Vril emphasizing an unimaginative, arithmetical structure and the increasingly wild feeling it’s conveying as it unfolds and turns into a breathless dark-techno bacchanal of whirlpooling synth stabs and rattling, irregular percussion.

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The dub replaces the original’s terraced energy zones with a flat rhythm that rolls over a featureless, muddy landscape. Lopsided, pricking synth chords gradually arrive, shining with an alien brightness, but the track doesn’t shed too much light on the original or diverge from it in a particularly impressive way. The EP concludes with “y7/10,” which pursues the same manic energy as the title track but develops more organically. The central chords — jabbing, metallic, and familiar — maintain the EP’s focus on turning dub-techno sonics to more aggressive ends. But the shape of the track develops in generous, low-gravity bounds, with the sense of space that the claustrophobic “Vortekz” lacked. It’s almost graceful in comparison, but the A-side’s dead simple conceit and implacable, measured growth are what give the EP its legs.

Dan Visel  on January 21, 2014 at 5:46 AM

“Vril” isn’t just an interesting-sounding word: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vril – though maybe this is the first time it’s appeared in techno?

Nick  on January 21, 2014 at 7:19 PM

“tiered dub techno with the internal rhythmic logic of sneakers in a dryer.”

Brilliant stuff.

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