Mechanist: Manifestos
Black String Records

Given titles such as “Existence is Elsewhere” and “Recognition Means Nothing,” it would appear that Mechanist must have been in an especially philosophical frame of mind when creating the three tracks on Manifestos. It's not the first outing on Black String Records for the UK producer as his 2014 Dysphoria EP helped define the label's sound at its outset.

The material blends in luscious manner aspects of experimental techno and atmospheric ambient. Techno beats are present, but Mechanist wraps them in layers of blurry washes that turn the typical EP production into a transporting moodpiece as opposed to raw club banger. The windswept opener, “Existence is Elsewhere,” is emblematic of the release's ‘listening techno' style: while there's no lack of bass-thudding propulsion, the track devotes itself as much to atmospheric soundsculpting, making Mechanist's tracks adaptable to both the club floor and the chill-out room. The focus on textural detail grows even more pronounced in the second cut “It Has Forgotten its Existence,” with the producer smearing an insistent, stripped-down pulse with ample swirls of haze, crackle, and dust, while the closing “Recognition Means Nothing” perpetuates the EP's overall character in an entrancing presentation heavy on hi-hats, synths, and kick drums. Interestingly, there are moments on Manifestos where one could be forgiven for thinking that what's playing is a newly exhumed Gas production as opposed to one by Mechanist.

May 2015