At times undanceable, the sounds here are dense, layered, and atmospheric. This is not brash, pounding techno music, instead it’s introspective and abstract, free from the linear constraints of standard fare. Frequencies are deconstructed and reconstructed again in a freeform fashion as meandering, indirect explorations.
The music is also more twisted and dark than ever. ‘Black Acid’ is a fitting subtitle for opener ‘Even If It’s Alone’, a warped, space age mind bender, complete with disorientating bleeps, metallic snare rolls and messed up vocal overdubs. The Louderbach version is a little more dance friendly, locking in a tight bassline around the swirling sounds and sparse vocals. Be warned though, thumping techno it is not.
‘Lost On The Way To DC10’ meanders along like a child with his head in the clouds. This is the most playful track on the EP, sporting an arpeggiated melody, that dare I say it, almost sounds fun. On the remix, Konrad Black makes sure these shenanigans are quickly nipped in the bud by stripping things back and teasing us with little snippets of the hookline. Overall Black’s version is not as good as the original, but a bit more driving for the dancefloor.
The C-side is disappointing. ‘Golden’ is a sparse, hi-hat heavy, morphing acid number, which sounds less like a fully realized, done-and-dusted tune than a demo-like exercise in knob twisting. ‘Go Without Me (Comeback)’ again is a sparse minimal number with a half finished quality to it. Pierce lays down a decent rhythm and bassline, but it's like he forgot to add a melody.
‘Klilkut’, another track finds it origins in an Ibizan after-hours, is a traditional slow builder with a tribal edge to it. It never really gets nuts though, levelling after the initial build.
The final track ‘Finished’ is definitely a headphone home listener, stripped back to the bone with a droning repetitive kick drum interspersed with random high hats, atmospheric noises, hand claps and clicks. Subtle touches of dub and echo are thrown in for effect, and later Pierce adds a subtly shifting acid line. This really does sound like noodlings of a man messing around on his laptop lost in the recesses of his own altered state.
‘Gone Astray’ is not easy listening or easily digestible, but Troy Pierce is not a man who goes for the tried and true. I’ve listened to it back to front more than a few times now and still can’t make up my mind how I feel. Bits and pieces could be useful, but you'll need to be in the right mood to take it in in one sitting - its heaviness will weigh down and exhaust you. This record is far more an artistic experiment than dancefloor fodder, although a few of the tracks would work quite well in more open-minded dark and messy after-hours environments.
Mon / 30 Jul 2007
A1. Even If It's Alone (Black Acid)
A2. Even If It's Alone (Black Acid) Louderbach remix
B1. Lost on the Way to DC10 (Berlin Version)
B2. Konrad Gets Lost on the Way to DC10 (Konrad Black remix)
C2. Go Without Me (Come Back)