A smart techno double pack with sci-fi roots.
Techno producers with sci-fi preoccupations are nothing new, but it seems especially ingrained in Duff, who gives his tracks titles like "Data Link" and "Quantum Bandwidth." "Compromised" builds with new elements every few bars until it becomes a pitch-perfect spacey techno track. With its athletic percussion and ringing FM synths, it's somewhere between Luke Slater and Jeff Mills. "Password" features the kind of undulating bassline you would hear on an old Transmat record, with one razor-sharp snare to cut in some Teutonic rigidity. "Emergent Intelligence" has smart sound design that faintly lights up its otherwise workhorse framework.
Duff also throws in two ambient tracks, "Invitations" and "Data Link," that delve into his under-explored introspective side. "Data Link," with its choral pads and epic chord swells, is especially arresting. "Quantum Bandwidth" is somewhere in between, steeped in ambience but with an indefatigable kick drum underneath. This is music that plays to Duff's strengths. It's one of his finest releases in years, even if it's not doing anything terribly new.