A veteran's blend of EBM and techno.
Terence Fixmer - The Swarm EP
One of the most positive things about revivals in dance music is they often pull some of the sound's original innovators back into the spotlight. It would be far too simplistic to say that the recent EBM influence on techno has reignited Terence Fixmer's career, but at the very least, the long-serving French artist must have won some new admirers. Whether in response to this or just coincidentally, in the recent past Fixmer has written some of the strongest music of his extensive catalogue. His album late last year on Ostgut Ton fell a little short of expectation, but his EPs for the label and work for NovaMute, to whom he now returns with The Swarm EP, have found Fixmer producing techno of characteristic power and distinction.
I often feel that Fixmer is at his most striking when he holds back just a touch. For sure, he can bang with the best of them. But he achieves deeper depths of dance floor hypnosis when his synths are singing rather than screaming. This is illustrated in the differences between the title track and "FRF2." Where the "The Swarm" peaks with waves of synth that border on noise, "FRF2" cunningly sucks you in. The wonderfully simple and insistent synth line is built upon until Fixmer has created a quiet frenzy. "No Dreams," although a rager, is also nicely balanced, pulling back from the brink at a few key moments. I can see it receiving the least DJ play, but "The Dawn" is the most intriguing of the four, evoking, through its tricky broken beat and poignant melody, the murky underwater scene on the EP's cover.
Mon / 24
A1 The Swarm
B1 No Dreams
B3 The Dawn