VA: Anomalie 003 Series

Anyone new to the Paris, France-based Gravite Records imprint and its dark underground techno could do a whole lot worse than initiate the relationship with Anomalie 003, a fifty-two-minute compilation featuring tracks by six label associates. Ostgut Ton might be cited as a kindred spirit to Gravite, even if the latter's material exudes a slightly more pronounced industrial quality. Certainly the new release provides a solid overview of the Gravite sound.

Franck Valat eases the listener into the set with “Deep Thoughts,” a prototypically atmospheric number heavy on subterranean noisemaking and snappy rhythmning. The intensity level rises markedly during Coal's “Omega,” which powers insectoid chirps and crackle with an insistently pounding microhouse swing, and “Clones,” which sees Gravite founder Bruno Sacco artfully smothering locomotive tribal-techno with windsmears and starbursts. Up next, Gandalf (Stereo) perpetuates Sacco's hard-hitting attack with “Slatten,” a quintessential Gravite affair in its melding of buzzing industrial swirl and hammering techno groove.

The release's undeniable coup de grace, however, is Danilo Rispoli's “Landing,” a sixteen-minute dynamo that often sounds as if it was recorded in the middle of the factory room floor. Rispoli first sets the scene with a hailstorm of metallic rumblings before threading a bass-thudding pulse in amongst the cryptic goings-on and then gradually adding to the track's density with layers of percussive rattlings and cymbals. Rispoli patiently builds the track up until, goosed with punishing anvil strikes, it assumes the epic character of a roiling, unstoppable colossus. To be honest, I expected Lolho's “Clinic” to be the comparative calm after Rispoli's storm, given its status as the set-closer. But Lolho's not interested in letting the listener off the hook gently, as proven by the furious barrage of ricocheting percussion and seething textures that confronts the listener.

April 2014