After a strong EP on UK outpost Perc Trax, Denver's Mick Finesse takes a turn on Scottish experimental imprint broken_20. Though a veteran of the techno industry, Finesse is still a new name on the production side of things. Here he shows a wandering eye with three very different styles of techno, some more convincing than others.
The first thing you'll notice about "Concept Trauma" is how waify it is; the track is framed by flimsy hi-hats that sound forged from razor-thin blades. They're not quite in time with the kicks, which would have been jarring if everything didn't feel like it was padded with styrofoam. Returning to the tough sound of his Perc Trax EP, "Mettle Debris" is deeply droning techno that keeps one foot firmly above the fog at all times. Its free-floating woodblocks bring to mind Sandwell District but its grotty thump is totally singular; this is a brand of techno that prefers the atmospherics of a humid rainforest over a clanging warehouse. Testing listeners' patience, "The Ebb of Crime" emerges from three minutes of near-silence to a deliberate wade through post-punk atmospherics, like it's softly whispering every percussive element. Here Finesse's restraint is elegant rather than hesitant.
A few broken_20 associates jump on board to give the tracks some healthy, sanguine makeovers. Greek duo Cassegrain strangle the subtlety out of "Ebb of Crime," turning its dusky ambience into a de facto chord progression for the percussion to trample over. Label boss TVO beefs up "Concept Trauma" two ways: first with a heart-flutter pitter-patter that gives it some welcome low-end oomph, and secondly by turning the track to dub techno jelly. But it's Colony party associate Tengui who wins the EP's crown with a noise/drone rework of "Mettle Debris" that unfolds slowly over its ten minutes like a wide yawn into a churning abyss.
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Tracklist: Mick Finesse - Spatial Anxiety 01. Concept Trauma
02. Mettle Debris
03. The Ebb of Crime
04. The Ebb of Crime (Cassegrain Mix)
05. Concept Trauma (TVO Mix 1)
06. Mettle Debris (Tengui Mettle Jacket Mix)
07. Concept Trauma (TVO Mix 2)