Ben Gibson: In A Realized Luck Of Immanence
Perc Trax

In A Realized Luck Of Immanence is both the debut artist album from UK techno producer and current Japan resident Ben Gibson and the first album release from Ali Wells' Perc Trax imprint. The full-length's title is as unusual as the material itself, which pushes beyond minimal techno into a spacey realm where dubstep, house, techno, and electronica collide. There's a bit of an aggressive, even teutonic character about Gibson's music which generally exudes the relentlessness of an Ostgut Ton recording.

There's a bold experimental edge to the material, with Gibson smearing a barrage of distorted voice samples and machine whirrs over insistently throbbing pulses in “Wirklichkeit” and the other six pieces. The tracks are also distinguished by the producer's distinctive sound design. Gibson mutates the aforementioned styles into barrel-house grooves that anchor flurries of electronic noises and textures that are as unpredictable as next week's weather forecast. In a given track, a crisp hi-hat pattern ticks in metronomic time while a booming bass pulsates below and a clangorous snare hit strikes on the off-beat. Though the hard-hitting groove—a heady tech-house combination punctuated by offbeat snare thwacks—powering “Blah Blah Relations” isn't all that unusual, the bleeps and noise flurries that roll alongside it are. Representative of the album's style, “Vanished Between” showers a furious house pulse with chiming bell-like smears whose repetition induces psychotropic unease.

If there's a downside, it's Gibson's obsessive fixation on one particular beat pattern. By the time the fifth cut, “Same Symptoms, Same Combat—Scene 1,” arrives, one realizes that one is hearing another variation on a basic pattern already heard a number of times. Even so, there's no denying the ear-catching character of the album, and when a shotgun snare fires during the central section of “My Ethics Are Crucial” one can't help but sit up and take notice. And at forty-two minutes, the album's over fast—a rarity in “techno” circles where albums commonly run anywhere from sixty to seventy-five minutes in duration. As a result, In a Realized Luck of Immanence leaves the listener wanting more, not less—all things considered, not a bad thing in these parts.

September 2009