CTRLS: Users

Users, Token's fiftieth release and first of 2015, comes to us by way of Danish producer Ctrls (real name Troels B-Knudsen). It's the sixth EP the artist has issued on the Belgian imprint (the first, Interface, initiated the Ctrls project in 2012), which has been justly celebrated for a roster that includes Inigo Kennedy and Ø [Phase]. At one time a drum'n'bass producer operating under the Pyro name, B-Knudsen has developed into a single-artist embodiment of the Token aesthetic. On this latest release, three high-intensity cuts thunder with singularly muscular might for eighteen minutes.

Anchored by a beat so sharp it could flay human flesh, “Incoming Data” lunges into position from the get-go and then proceeds to swell into a feverish, light-speed colossus. Unrelenting in its attack, the tune plays like a techno-driven war fought between wiry acid-synth patterns and the industrial grinding of some humongous mechanical beast. If “The Disparates” is a tad less frenzied by comparison, it still works itself into a heart-stopping techno lather. Despite the industrial textures that constantly batter its sides, the machine roars relentlessly forward, its locomotive pulse bolstered by ever-twitching synth stabs and rubbery bass throb. “Externalizer” caps the EP with one more high-wire leap into the void, this one animated by a thudding bass pattern and breathless mechano-techno groove.

February 2015