Idol Hanse is a low-key imprint run by Alixander III, better known as one quarter of Toronto's Azari & III. It sets itself in opposition to "plasticky typical laptop fodder," and specialises in trippy, forbidding analogue techno, whether solo from Alixander or in collaboration with such Toronto producers as Gingy and Ali Black. The label's sixth release, then, is something of a departure, in that its creators, Phil Moffa and Paul Raffaele, are both NYC residents, the former known for collaborations with Anthony Parasole and DJ Spider, the latter as resident at the Dog & Pony Show. Sonically, though, this EP falls satisfyingly close to home.
The title track sets the tone, an austere hardware workout whose scything hi-hats and mucky clap and tom work aren't exactly friendly on the ears. Rather than opting for the slow-burning dynamics often associated with warehouse techno, it's surprisingly punchy and concise, packed with detail and thriving on quick textural changes that climb to fever pitch in the closing minute. The dub version, revelling in delay trails and gaseous soundscaping, is more satisfying still. Remixing the track under his Huren alias, Dave Foster (from the veteran techno trio Teste) takes things the other way: drier, loopier and a mite more obnoxious. The real highlight here is "Next Phase," a slower, chunkier number, whose bright but tentative chords come as welcome relief, like feeble shafts of light piercing the darkness.
Tracklist: Phil Moffa & Paul Raffaele - Don’t Come Back Alive01. Don't Come Back Alive
02. Next Phase
03. Don't Come Back Alive (Dub)
04. Don't Come Back Alive (Huren Remix)