- While Agony Forces may be best known for a remix on Semantica in 2010, these days the focus is on their own Lycaon imprint, which enters its second year of operation with the second vinyl EP and fourth overall release, Polar Era. The duo's original tracks—"Polar Era," "Vertebra" and the digital bonus "Atom Vanguard"—take a few minutes to reveal themselves, but the patient listener is rewarded with gorgeous synth work in the later sections of each track. My favorite of those three is "Vertebra," whose lean acid lines and dramatic melodies conjure up cinematic chase-scene imagery.
Handling remix duties are Berlin's Ancient Methods and AF's fellow Spaniard Oscar Mulero, both of whom head out on predictable but nonetheless interesting tangents. Ancient Methods tosses a bunch of low-end sludge and detuned, trebly anxiety into "Polar Era"—two signature moves from that duo which are further emphasized in a slower, extended digital version. In contrast, Mulero's syncopated take on "Atom Vanguard" blows up to near-anthem proportions. It rounds out an EP whose variety and depth provide a refreshing counterpoint to the monochromatic sounds that course heavily through today's techno landscape.
A1 Polar Era
B1 Polar Era (Ancient Methods Remix)
B2 Atom Vanguard (Oscar Mulero Remix)