A veteran Berlin artist returns to an iconic alias.
On Rise & Shine, he fuses these musical interests like never before. It's heavier than past Substance material. A kind of industrial dubstep atmosphere, heard in acts like Scorn, looms over the EP. You-know-where aside, you'd struggle to imagine a room big enough to contain the pounding broken beat techno of "Countdown," whose reverberant flaps suggest a dragon snoring in his lair. God-ray synth pads enhance the sense of something monstrous yet regal being roused from a deep sleep. "Cruising"'s four-on-the-floor techno aches and grinds forward with a similar heft.
There's a more suggestive power to the experimental tracks. Sawing strings, clopping footsteps and a soft electrical hum on "Bird Cave" suggest a scene of back-alley espionage unfolding, while "Distance"'s wet-plimsole rhythm and cello-like prods sound like a jog through an underground tunnel. Rise & Shine spends a lot of time in these shadowy spaces, so it's surprising to hear the title track sounding so optimistic, with blissful arps and batucada snares that bring to mind a chilly spring morning. It's a nice introduction to a fresh phase of Substance's catalogue.