Spotlight 17
Anneli Drecker

Aegri Somnia
Susan Alcorn
Damián Anache
A Sides and Makoto
Heather Woods Broderick
Atrium Carceri
Robert Crouch
Anneli Drecker
David Evans
Anne Garner
Tania Giannouli
Peter Gregson
Grönnert and Mondfish
Emily Hall
Hidden Orchestra
Hior Chronik
Hilde Marie Holsen
Deborah Martin
Scott Miller
Monkey Plot
Kate Moore
Mr. Jones
NOW Ensemble
Numina + Zero Ohms
Kristoffer Oustad
Pete Oxley & Nicolas Meier
Bruno Sanfilippo
Maria Schneider
Dirk Serries
Robert Scott Thompson
Skydive Trio
Time Being
toy.bizarre / EMERGE
T_st & Dronelock
Kamasi Washington
Andrew Weathers
Yen Pox
Young & Martin

EPs / Cassettes / DVDs / Mini-Albums / Singles
Alex Agore
Bird People / Waterflower
Donna McKevitt
M. Mucci
Nattavaara Rocks

T_st & Dronelock: The Eternal Now
Sphere Gear

Techno productions are usually created by either individual artists or duos, which makes T_st & Dronelock's The Eternal Now something of an anomaly. For this project four individuals come together—the Bradford-based duo of Martin Cartledge and Alexander Church (Dronelock) and Armenian born-and-raised friends Davit Sukiasian and Garik Apinian (T_st)—though not in such a way that they get in the way of one another. If anything, the four have produced a sixty-four-minute collection of melodic experimental techno that speaks positively on behalf of cultural and collaborative partnerships in general.

The four approach The Eternal Now very much in the spirit of a full artist album by opening it with the requisite ethereal intro (“Aqua Prelude”) and sequencing the twelve tracks that follow as a wide-ranging, multi-scenic travelogue. They flex muscular dancefloor chops in the album's first formal cut, “No Sleep, No Dreams,” a punchy throwdown as rich in bass throb as sweeping textural atmospherics, and in impressively developed productions such as “RT1 Montibus” and the Moroccan-tinted “Syringa x Persica.” With so much sonic detail on display, it's easy to picture the four onstage, feverishly generating the music in real-time from their respective workstations.

With the collaborators bringing diverse backgrounds to the project, it doesn't surprise that ample stylistic ground is covered. Techno might be the foundation, but ambient, dub, industrial, and house also seep into the material. And while rhythm is a similarly fundamental concern (see “Further Than You Thought” and “RT2 Anemoi,” arguably the recording's most dancefloor-ready offerings), the recording is more than a string of thudding 4/4 bangers, something never more evident than when the entrancing ambient setting “Inbetween the Mirrors” surfaces nine tracks into the release.

Melody and textural design are central concerns, and the tracks are consistently elevated by the wealth of detail the four work into their arrangements. Surprisingly so given its title, “Virtues of Venom” exudes a sunny, uplifting vibe thanks to its melodic content, and the crackle and thrum that peppers both “Navzike” and the title cut's spiraling house pulse hint that The Eternal Now would sound as much at home on Raster-Noton as Sphere Gear.

July-August 2015