Wax, Dub Shed Sessions I

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It’s easy to gloss Rene Pawlowitz’s essential Shedding the Past album for Ostgut Ton last year as an exercise in purity through genre affiliation (in that instance, industrial-strength techno). Yet I suspect the man — recording variably as Shed, EQD, Wax, STP, and Deuce (with Marcel Dettmann) — believes less in adherence to a particular beat structure and compositional strategy than in finding club music’s future in a raw envisioning of its past. How else can Pawlowitz’s instantly recognizable sound (bass boom + sharp synth burst = swift Armani Exchange model genocide) wend its way through steely retro house (Wax’s “20002B”) and soulful dubstep (his Shed remix of Peverelist’s “Junktion”), all the while keeping the fire of true techno music better than any of his more clear-cut classicist Hard Wax associates?

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In the case of Pawlowitz’s dubstep-compatible productions, chalk it up to his willingness to forge deeper connections than merely fitting of Berlin soundscapes to Bristol BPMs. His latest in this succulent vain features his most elemental moniker reworked for his most subs-driven and funky-fresh imprint, and what results is at least half transcendent. Wax’s “Dub Shed” (STP Remix), in its name alone, brings together three sides of Pawlowitz’s utopian rave vision, and the track truly sounds like a producer collaborating with himself three ways. Wax’s wiggly synths soar eagle-like over STP’s immense low-end, and Shed slips his recent fascination with the breakbeaty side of Detroit right in between. More than anyone, Pawlowitz seems in dialogue with Peverelist, the excellent Bristol record store jerk whose own productions and Punch Drunk sides rumble hard while giving dancer’s raised hands something to run their fingers through. In other words, this multifaceted technophile has once again put Britain on notice, producing some of the best music at this tempo on the shelves. I’m less enthusiastic about the flip, wherein Panamax (Pawlowitz’s latest guise, as best as I can tell) sucks the air out of Wax’s “10001B” and potentially clears the floor in the process. Re-imagined as electronic dub, this half-stepped “10001B” comes up just a touch too icy for skanking (even a rewind won’t save it) and too subtle for your headphones, though that big synth break halfway through has its charms. For the A-side alone, these “Dub Shed Sessions” have obviously gotten off to a fortuitous start. Whatever your DJ style or listening preference, you’d be a fool to let Rene Pawlowitz — under one nom de guerre or another — fly off your radar.

harpomarx42  on October 6, 2009 at 1:34 PM

Funny you should mention Peverelist, because I heard a similarity in rhythm between WAX’s ‘10001B Panamax’ and Peverelist’s ‘Gather’.

braden  on October 6, 2009 at 3:02 PM

agree with the transcendent remark. side A is gorgeous. i love the textures that Pawlowitz pulls from his synths. they just sound so tangible, like big bolts of fabric.

kuri  on October 6, 2009 at 4:24 PM

i’m with you. that A-side is delectable.

jonnyp  on October 6, 2009 at 5:16 PM

this review has just solved all of my weekend confusion….i saw shed play at corsica studios in london on friday evening for 2562’s new album launch party. i’m pretty sure it was wax 10001 which he mixed into the b-side of this release (which i didnt realise existed until now) and i was scratching my head as to what the hell he had just done to that track. all makes perfect sense now! he was on for an hour and it took me to a whole new world of bass music like i have never heard before. you sum it up perfectly in your review mr rothlein:

” all the while keeping the fire of true techno music”

All his releases really are essential. I remember seeing prosumer at corsica with a skull disco t-shirt on too :o) nice review, cheers lwe.

Scott  on October 6, 2009 at 11:16 PM

Is it just me or is there, texturally and melodically, a hint of Kompakt’s former glory?

Anton  on November 28, 2009 at 3:51 PM

I keep coming back to the STP remix over and over again. It might end up my track of the year!

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