Shimmering dub techno inspired by a 19th-century conman.
Gunnar Haslam - Cacique De Poyais
Cacique De Poyais, Gunnar Haslam's latest EP on Delsin, was named after a 19th-century conman who convinced hundreds of Scots to sail to a fictitious Honduran paradise. Though that story isn't immediately recognisable on a dance floor record like this, it's an evocative reference for the soured, disorienting mode of deep techno at which Haslam excels. You can hear that most obviously on "Port Sommeil," whose waspish lead, run through lots of subtly prismatic effects, is agile and sinister. "Azote Du Guano" is a lot like "Port Sommeil" in its athletic groove and pointillist lead, but the hostility is cooled by tweeting synth accents and dub-treated chords that spin in the midground.
The standout title track is an imperial 13-minute dub techno panorama. The carefully deployed reverb helps illustrate the imposing space being portrayed—a grand hall with relief-sculpted pillars and light streaming through the windows, maybe the sort of residence settlers imagined their cacique, or prince, lived in. "Cacique De Poyais"'s bassline not only conveys the scale of this imagined room, but the reassurance of a supposedly safe bet. On each loop, it rings out three times with earnest force, answering a hopeful chord with rumbling sub-bass frequencies. It's hard to resist.
Mon / 25
A1 Cacique De Poyais
B1 Port Sommeil
B2 Azote Du Guano