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Propulsion EP


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Boomkat Product Review:
Body-chewing abstract techno of the kind that really gets between your teeth - fresh from the machines of Germany’s by-now legendary Siegmar Fricke - a producer who has been active for 4 decades and still going strong, out now via Hamburg’s excellent V I S label.

Toiling under the Pharmakustik moniker that’s been his main hood since 2009, ‘Propulsion’ deftly dices with ideals of inexorable forward motion that have driven techno and electronic dance music over the past three decades. He’s been at it since the late ‘80s at the least, so he surely knows a thing or two about this stuff, and more importantly has worked out how to really get within the structure and f#ck with it from the inside-out.

Cannily following suit with the ‘Yield’ tape by Herron - another artist who’s recently got to grips with his style - and also compatible with the likes of L. Lund’s mutant moves on Youth, the five tracks of ‘Propulsion’ diffract the idea of forward motion in as many ways. From the gritty brownian slosh of the first, to the 2.1-step origami of the 2nd part, thru the Autechrian refusal/acceptance of linearity in the 3rd, to the fine-tuned robotic mechanics of the 4th cut, and the persistently morphing algorithmic swagger of the 5th part, this one’s a must for all hard-to-satisfy ravers with three feet and extra hips.

Vis have gone FLOORED us with this jaw-dropping, armour-piercing 12” of twisted, vortical/minimal free tekno and MANY-ANGLED braindance bio-mechanics from veteran bad-lad Siegmar Fricke. Although Fricke has been active in the post-industrial/electro-acoustic hinterlands since the early '80s, he has delivered here a record that feels shockingly contemporary and fight-ready. If it triggers some nostalgia, then it's for a future that didn't quite come to pass - the one we imagined reading Datacide reviews of sundry early 2000s avant-gabba/breakcore/IDM 12"s we couldn't find anywhere in real life (or which when we did, were always disappointing). What really makes this record special is how it takes that DNA of anti-social, weed'n'speed'n'computer-crazed HARD techno-terror and splices it with the ultra-compressed breakbeat hydraulics of T++ and the scalpelling precision of early 2000s micro-house - not least on the opener, which sharpens layers of smouldering-battlefield drone and hard-drive malfunction into jabs of SND or Akufen-grade needlepoint funk. The whole EP is a miracle of sound-design, each track a fiendishly complex mechanism rendered with zero unnecessary ornament - yeah somehow Fricke writes acres of SPACE, and the faintest hint of dubby dissolve/haunt, into these tail-thrashing, mainframe-breaching dreadnoughts.

Best 12" I've heard all year, makes pretty much all other dance music on the block sound like the vanilla shite it is. Big up the Hamburg blooz crew for midwifing this one. BUSINESS LUNCH!


released October 31, 2019


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V I S Hamburg, Germany

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