Planetary Assault Systems: Temporary Suspension
Ostgut Ton

The machines are definitely in charge on Luke Slater's latest Planetary Assault Systems album Temporary Suspension whose ten tracks constitute a harder and more uncompromising brand of techno than has been heard in these parts for a good long while. Slater, a Berghain resident who's been issuing electronic material since 1989, keeps the intensity high throughout the non-stop, hour-long collection.

Though the groove in “Open Up” is so metronomic and unrelenting it's virtually hydraulic, Slater keeps things interesting by subtly modulating the melodic patterns and punctuating the churn with bass blips, wayward chimes, and metallic whooshes. Slater slips in a number of well-timed quick and tasty synth breaks during “Whoodoo,” arresting the track's relentless charge and hammering rumble with dizzying flourishes. The album turns funky with “Om the Def,” redrawing the template by adding bongos to the tune's slinky rhythms and roasted bass lines, and adds a subtle house swing to the jacking stomper “Hold It.” Fierce bangers “Enter Action,” “X Speaks To X,” and the acidy “Attack of the Mutant Camels” follow, after which “Gateway to Minia” vanishes within a cloud of synthetic dust and percussive arrhythmia and “Sticker Men” caps the album with one final, brain-addling attack. If there's an artist analogous to Planetary Assault Systems it would have to be Audion, as both bring a similarly merciless and primal ferocity to their material. Certainly Slater's album more than makes good on its “Planetary Assault” promise.

July 2009