Shadowy Mancunian duo Szare may be comparatively new to the game, but they're one of the most compelling voices to emerge from the UK's recent house/techno dalliances. More forthright and less unremittingly icy than, say, their releases on Idle Hands and Horizontal Ground last year, this record—for Manchester's own Mindset imprint—sees the duo broaden and deepen the parameters of their sound while still keeping things distinctively, undeniably Szare.
"Dust" opens proceedings at a brisk trot, its decentred syncopations and complex percussive flourishes finding their closest cousin in Shackleton's latter-day sound. The comparison is more than skin deep: you get the sense that both artists approach the conventions of techno clutching epiphanies gleaned from dubstep; "Dust" is certainly best digested on the floor through a cool halfstep rather than anything more quick-footed.
On the B-side, "Leaning Towers of Concrete" begins in anxious stasis, furtive clouds of synth questing for a coherence that never quite materialises. Instead, we're plunged into twitchy, throbbing electro. Closer "Você Aí" is the most effective dance floor touchpaper of the lot, and perhaps the most reminiscent of Szare's past form. Rigidly grid-quantised it may be, but sexless it ain't: those lithe tribal rhythms will gradually, luxuriously massage you into the groove, while the inspired vocal cutups will throw you off again. In one sense this record is strictly functional techno—just drums with the bare minimum of textural adornment. But at the same time Szare beats are always lithe, infused with a canniness to the requirements of swinging hips and shuffling feet far beyond their relatively tender years.
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Tracklist: Szare - Dust A Dust
B1 Leaning Towers Of Concrete
B2 Voce Ai
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