Vril, Vortekz

Xavier_Soquet
Photo by Xavier Soquet

[Delsin]

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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