The mix begins on an ominous note with a smattering of deep bass hits and resonant chords courtesy of Scorn’s ‘Doors’ before quickly moving through a selection of tracks taken from the archives of the likes of Autechre, Aphex Twin and Surgeon’s own British Murder Boys project. The cuts simply rage forward in a relentless surge – a giant middle finger, if you will, in the collective face of the minimal and deep house producers that have overwhelmed the techno scene. No, this isn’t going to be about build-ups and subtle developments; instead This Is For You Shits is all about good ol’ fashioned banging beats and total sonic destruction. If you want to dance, great. If you don’t, bugger off.
An hour-long mix consisting of 31 tracks, the overall effect is of a careening tank truck: Dizzying breaks crash atop one another and clouds of short-circuited synth buzz drift across the hostile stereofield as unsettling voices slip through the cracks (most notably the snippet taken from the experimental noise group Whitehouse’s “Dumping The Fucking Rubbish,” which, quite frankly, makes me feel downright uncomfortable). Technically speaking, the mix is nearly flawless, with tight transitions binding the disparate tracklist into a singular mass of heaving rhythm and bass.
Stitched together in Ableton Live, ‘This is...’ treats its source material in a manner more Hawtin-esque than one might expect. Surgeon cuts up loops and samples at will, flitting from one track to the next and back again, all the while keeping the flow engaging and in constant forward motion. Of course, the impeccable track selection doesn’t hurt either – the mix boasts classic cuts from the heyday of Warp, a healthy dose from Surgeon’s Counterbalance catalog, as well as a choice assortment of picks including Monolake, Vex’d and Eight Frozen Modules.
With blatant disregard for techno’s latest micro-trends and a tracklist that seems too far-out to function, Surgeon has crafted a mix that was well worth the wait. Sure to please old school techno heads and green-around-the-gills fans of leftfield sounds alike, ‘This Is For You Shits’ is a walking tour of some of techno’s more sonically challenging realms.