Atmogat: Trigger Event
Impulsive Art

Very much in the ‘hard electronica' tradition associated with imprints like Tympanik Audio is Trigger Event by the German electronic duo Atmogat. Capped by remixes from Access to Arasaka and NIKKA, the seventy-three-minute is the first full-length outing by mates Toni Polkowski and Danny Prusseit. The template's not an unfamiliar one—early Autechre would seem to be the well from which producers of Atmogat's ilk perennially drink—but there's no denying the pair make a well-crafted contribution to the genre with eleven tracks they've polished to the ultimate degree. Throughout the disc, sombre keyboard melodies (piano and otherwise) and synthetic washes intone against razor-sharp programmed beats of varying hip-hop, IDM, and funk colour. “Battery's Low” establishes an appropriately dark mood—call it dystopic, ominous, or brooding according to your preference—and rolls out a ten-ton throb in its rhythm attack that would rival anyone other producer in the genre. The relatively more restrained “Berlin 4 AM” sculpts a seductive atmosphere in its merging of head-nodding rhythmic sway and futuristic synthetic themes, while “Melophase” accomplishes much the same in wedding a slow-mo, bass-heavy funk pulse to astral ambient design. In contrast to the album's spacier fare, “Indian Summer” injects a primal earthiness into the proceedings in its inclusion of tribal drumming and electronically simulated native wails. Other tracks all exemplify a similar attention to detail and craft in their crisp whirr-and-click (“All the Hope,” “Next Riot,” “HWEN”), as do Access to Arasaka's cinematic rendering of “Berlin 4 AM” and NIKKA's hammering treatment of “Melophase.” From the fractured cover imagery to the recording's dark set-pieces, you pretty much know what you're in for before the needle drops but those with an insatiable appetite for the genre probably won't mind.

April 2010