Troy Pierce: Gone Astray

Troy Pierce's hour-long Gone Astray (available in CD and double-vinyl formats) largely eschews Minus's customary minimal sound for a more extroverted and left-field attack. Composed almost entirely on the road, the set includes a smattering of club-ready cuts (check out the irrepressibly jacking “Word” and squiggly acid workout “Golden”) but Pierce's black heart seemingly lies in stranger places. He typically brings his material to life by slathering tracks with warped touches that alter them into bizarre shape, and consequently the unpredictable material takes startling detours at every moment. Slithering bass, hellish noises, and plummeting tones push “Go Without Me (Stay Away),” for example, as far afield of conventional techno as one might think possible—at least, that is, until the demented snare rolls, psychotic synth interplay, and voice fragments of “Even If It's Alone (Black Acid)” come into view (if anything, Louderbach's heavily-reverbed remix ups the psychotic ante). After “Lost on the Way to DC 10” carves a gleefully jaunty path through a winding electro field of percussive splashes and incessantly chattering burble, Konrad Black pursues a slightly more straight-ahead though no less picturesque route on his “Konrad Gets Lost on the Way to DC 10” mix. Tiny hi-hat accents bleed into splashes, spacey keyboard riffs fleetingly surface, and owly stabs swerve into position throughout this generously-stuffed ‘EP.'

August 2007