Yard: Deciduous Flood Plains
Concrete Plastic

West coast US producer Chris Jones' (Yard) gritty, atmospheric techno gets a thorough workout on Deciduous Flood Plains issued by the UK imprint Concrete Plastic. As the title indicates, the album's nine cuts take the listener on a journey through a stormy countryside where threatening clouds darken overhead. Yard's sound is fundamentally propulsive tech-house but Jones keeps things interesting by varying the sonic palette and moods. Following a prelude of shuddering waves (“Cascade”), the aptly-titled “Bees” builds into a driving swarm of synth washes, grinding acid flourishes, and tech-house rumble. A little bit of Chain Reaction appears to seep into the metronomic “Canopy” whose determined churn recalls Porter Ricks' Biokinetics; the connection is made even stronger when Yard subtly shuffles the layered deck by having one pattern slowly usurp the place of another. With its labyrinthine acid patterns, clickety techno, and gaseous storms, “Pacquet” surges as insistently as a chugging train while beats clang and snap throughout “Under the Bonnet.” At album's end, sunlight illuminates still-damp grounds in “New Beginnings” as crystalline organ chords and soft beats set a tranquil mood.

July 2007