Eight tracks, Pangaea? To paraphrase British comedy genius Tony Hancock, that's nearly an album full. But no, the Hessle Audio co-founder's first single of 2012 is a "double EP," despite totaling 43 minutes. It's also further proof that Kevin McAuley's music, which has been informed by such a range of electronic music influences, edges closer to trad techno with every release. But as it's Pangaea, this is techno of a unique strain.
That's apparent from the outset, as "Game" vividly, and vocally, exhibits. Atop a dissipated, jerky techno/hip-hop hybrid rhythm, Missy Elliott opines "Do your thang, just make sure you ahead of the game…" "Release" is a further manifestation of that credo; beatless for the first half, save for a kick drum-free, steam train rhythm, it features hollowed out, proto-synth chords à la electronic pioneer Delia Derbyshire, before offering up some distorted sub-bass.
On "Trouble," McAuley invokes the spirit of early hardcore in its sound textures, albeit with its heartbeat slowed to bedtime pace. In contrast, "Majestic 12" is perhaps the danciest track here, a frantic snare peppering the unwavering 140+ BPM techno kick. If someone told you in a blind taste challenge that it was by Scottish techno pioneer Neil Landstrumm, you wouldn't question them.
And we've only reached the midway point. The second half opens up with the itchy, whipcracking "Time Bomb," while "Middleman" features a snare that strides its length in giant steps, populated by ravey, sped-up vocal drops and wah-wah synth stabs. "Aware" manages to pull off the trick of running several time structures at once; the top layer is an off-beat single drum thwack, but it's underpinned by light, typewriter-style snare clicks and echoey tribal toms while a rudeboy bassline seems to decay with every drop.
And if such a monumental undertaking needed a tin hat putting on it, then the twisted ambience of "High" is just that, its stretched-out primal scream helping to complete the majestic, sublimely uncomfortable nightmare. The sound of Pangaea doing his thang, then? Yep. Ahead of the game? On this evidence, most certainly.
Buy Pangaea - Release at
Tracklist: Pangaea - Release 01. 1Game
04. Majestic 12
05. Time Bomb
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