With SA012 Dadub carefully collate legacies of philosophical thought and transpose them into a brilliantly deep EP. The
vinyl opens with 'Perseverance' a slick slice of bass that writhes and twists around a syncopated core. On A2 'Temptation
of Maya' seizes at the act of perception and what is captured is perfect for the mellow confusion of a Sunday morning.
On the flip side the search for transcendence goes further with 'Beyond the Veil' which crackles towards a sense
of enlightenment. The EP closes with a golden moment of contentment, 'Moksha'. The track titles hint at the search for
revelation, which is rendered in countless experimental layers and finely wrought details. SA012 is a peek into the
conceptual framework that Dadub engage with to create their vision. And just as their central image, Maya, is intangible
in the perceptible universe, the tracks seem to erupt from an equally mystical place: molten, dark and fathomlessly
'Cutlass' is the 12" that precedes 'Sword' Xhin's forthcoming full-length album on Stroboscopic Artefacts. Four tracks from the album
have been selected and spliced into completely new forms by four producers with very separate agendas. The minds, computers and
analogue tools of Surgeon, Dadub, Pfirter and Perc have extracted new visions from Xhin's 'Sword' with nothing short of scientific precision. A cutlass just like a sword but with a slightly curved blade, and accordingly the way that Surgeon, Dadub, Pfirter and Perc cut into
these tracks is experimental and left of the centre. The four producers' remixes uncover latent facets of 'Sword', adding not just anticipation to the release of Xhin's album, but also widening the scope of Stroboscopic Artefacts' soundscape.
SA010 presents three uncompromising visions from Xhin, Go Hiyama and Donor. A1 is Xhin’s aggressive return to wax on SA. ‘Hepta’ is a gnarling, snarling tale that erupts into acrid broken beat. This track comes from Xhin’s new studio sessions, and it anticipates the coming of his most ambitious project yet. B1, ‘Tasu’, comes from a new addition to the SA fold, Go Hiyama. ‘Tasu’ is perfectly swung peak-time techno and a foretaste of the Monad chapter that Go Hiyama is currently crafting. Donor’s flipside, ‘Lapse’, shares the deep atmosphere that permeated his Monad II. While hi-hats sneak into the foreground and the background is punctuated by murmuring vocals, ‘Lapse’ gathers velocity around the weight of its bassline. SA010 is concluded on digital by Markus Suckut. His hands transform ‘Hepta’ into an essence, unravel the threads of ‘Tasu’ and in looping the vocal that’s buried deep inside Donor’s ‘Lapse’ he unleashes something that’s mesmerizingly existential.
'SA009 sees Stroboscopic Artefacts return to the split vinyl format, with the formidable Pfirter taking to the A-side and the two minds behind Artefacts Mastering, Dadub, taking care of the B-side. As Pfirter's 'Monad IV' proved, his releases on SA are not as you've heard him before. His vision cut to wax is "Universe", a 10 minute odyssey that's both militantly 4/4 and peppered with unpredictability. It's 4/4 that's optimized for those liminal moments in a peak-time set. Dadub's 'Metropolis' is a cityscape rendered in all its complexity. They take dub and scissor into it. It's panoramic in scope and knottily brilliant. From these two tracks, two tools have been skillfully extracted by a new edition to the SA family: Edit Select. Out of Pfirter's 'Universe' he distills a silken serum. And what emerges from the distilled essence of the track is pure iridescence. The B-side 'Metropolis' is pushed deep; the beats drop fathoms below and leagues above the top lines reverberate with hazy memories.
'Beelines For Working Bees' is a 12” that sees four of the most innovative artists in electronic music rethinking and reconfiguring the strands of Lucy’s forthcoming album 'Wordplay for Working Bees'. The relationship between the point of origin and the end point is not a prescribed one: the beelines of Tommy Four Seven, James Ruskin, Peter Van Hoesen and Truss return to the hive of Lucy's album taking the most experimental and cross-pollinated paths. SA008 acts as a case in point for techno, melding and fusing genre boundaries to reveal new hybrid sounds. SA008 presents a utopian vision that's puckering at the seams. The artists chose the tracks that they wished to remix and fused their own defined sound identities with that of Stroboscopic Artefacts. In anticipation of Lucy’s debut album this is a delicious foretaste of what’s to come and a cryptic insight into four of techno’s leading minds.
SA007 sees Perc and Modern Heads create the first collaborations between these two core Stroboscopic Artefacts artists.
The result is a punishing hybrid of Perc’s dubstep tendencies and Modern Heads’ cutting techno. A-side “Mendax” is cavernous. Built upon solid dub foundations, it spills over into grinding, metallic territory. If the title’s to be believed it takes inspiration from the shady world of lies and deceit. The atmosphere seems to agree, there’s certainly something mendacious at work here. B1 takes the EP’s atmosphere and adds abrasion. In “Percdax” cold, hard percussion is layered over a bed of warm dub. Closer “Moddax” errs on the eerie. It skulks, is full of sticky bleeps and the result is unnervingly dubbed out. All three track titles share the same suffix and if this indicates that they also share one quality it’s that they’re best heard in the glinting shadow of a club just before day break.
Stroboscopic Artefacts rip into autumn with a masterful split vinyl. SA006 sees Jonas Kopp taking to the A-side with the punishingly good “Alkitran” and the flip side picks up where the Monad Series left off with Markus Suckut’s “Vary”. “Alkitran” writhes hissing and spitting into existence. Snares lash across the opening, to be replaced by subaqueous grumbles and whirling from above. The title “Alkitran” begs no translation; the track’s sticky, black palette and viscous textures effortlessly communicate the notion of tar. Markus Suckut’s “Vary” takes the opposite tact; his dark tones are built amid structures that are suffused with light and dappled with the grindingly ecstatic. This is superbly elegant techno that has refused to sacrifice any of its hardness in order to achieve elegance. The digital release contains two tools extracted by label owner Lucy. Striped down, but simultaneously turned up, he takes the tracks in a distinctly IDM direction.
SA005 is destined to become a vinyl collectors’ must-have. Frank Martiniq explores a whole new sonic identity on this unique 12”, forging together off-kilter beats and fists full of atmospheric compression. “Blast Corps” opens the EP with a surge of delayed baseline. Crispy static rises from below and echoes swoop and simmer beneath the full blooded base. It builds insistently, the 4/4 structure is infused with far off blips and the dusty sizzles of low-pitched white noise. On “Dark Star” warm dub keeps the sound organic. It’s elemental, the baseline seems enormous enough to have a gravity of its very own and the other elements pull together around its weight. It teases, the breathy elements twitch, fidget, become fully formed but refuse to drop. Frank Martiniq refuses the obvious, and opts for the discerning. This is the stuff of intrigue, as is the percussive opening to B2 “Lovelane”. Here a rattling, clattering sequence breaks out into a euphoric, syncopated structure. It’s dark, playful and danceable techno.
SA004 features two exceptional remixes of Lucy & Ercolino’s last 12” on Stroboscopic Artefacts. The A-side “Gmork” is given the darkly elegant techno treatment by someone who needs no introduction: Luke Slater. On the B-side, Dadub rips into “So The Nothing Grows Stronger” with a massive dub agenda, showcasing the meeting point between the UK dubstep scene and Berlin’s formidable techno output. Techno pioneer Luke Slater, AKA Planetary Assault Systems, remoulds and rethinks “Gmork” in the studio, giving the track his twisted hallmark. He takes the original elements of “Gmork” and weights them base-side-up. In his hands the track becomes more dizzying, disorientating and hypnotic than before. Dadub’s retreatment takes the original material and reconfigures it using subtractive synthesis. The analogue process assures the track’s bespoke, simmering atmosphere.
SA003 sees label owner Lucy and underground trailblazer Ercolino, inspired by novelist Michael Ende’s imagery, create two visions of a nihilistic future. The 12'' begins with the tale of fear incarnate “Gmork”, the most powerful weapon for controlling society. The A-side is a portrait of this terrifying beast: slinking baselines come from its black heartbeat and white noise grows from its unearthly appetites. Fat, squelching noises emerge as light, hope and ideas are quashed, ground up and eaten. What emerges is a genius slice of dark, brooding techno crafted from the nectar of your darkest nightmare. The story gets even bleaker with “So The Nothing Grows Stronger”, a narrative of blips, bleeps and squeals. This extreme dub techno track is a mutinous call to arms, the sound of the insurgence. It’s a wakeup call, an anthem for the malcontents. Dadub also masterfully extracts two crafty dj tools provided as digital bonuses. No excuse to not spread the savage stories that you have heard.
Stroboscopic Artefacts is proud to welcome on board Singapore-based Xhin. “Fixing the Error” is an enormous peak-time club killer. Xhin knits together the sinister sound of the revolt of the machines. High frequency drum machines and ferrous sub-bass synthesizers are working urgently against the clock. Close your eyes, dissolve, step into dystopia. You are transported into a post-human cityscape where strobes reflect off smelting metallic sounds and deafening alarms wail. These warning codes, layer upon layer, fashion a vision of a metropolis gorging itself on sprawling noises. The flip side, “Link” has no narrative. Instead, this deep, brooding slice of dub-techno is composed of pure atmospheric pressure. The undercarrige slithers and slinks, interrupted by crackles of lightening and prehistoric rumbles. The result is a construction created in a cold palate of pyrite grey: bubbling, spherical and terrifying. This is dark. This is urgent. This is Xhin.
Stroboscopic Artefacts' first vinyl release is an incendiary two track EP. Label founder Lucy gives us a visionary blueprint for the future Stroboscopic Artefacts releases, etching out the soundtrack for an apocalyptic club scenario. Out of the A-side's dark, pulsing beats and itchy baselines, a granular voice rises up. Krishnamurti's rasping vocal cuts through, creating a colossal techno track. Amid resonant piano samples and utopian 60s strings, a crystalline question emerges: "Why Don't You Change"? In the middle of a hazy, overcrowded dance floor this peak-time guerrilla track hints at a moment of epiphany. On the B-side "Dub Man Walking", Lucy's dub-roots background collides with his techno identity. The heavy drum machine structure is injected with obsessive dubby baselines and intersected by high frequency distortion. The track floats, the elements never fully solidify, instead they surge forward becoming ever more urgent.