Population One - The Return

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  • Population One is the mostly dormant techno alias of Detroit's Terrence Dixon. The guise was home to some of the producer's strangest music in the '90s, released on labels like Utensil and Transparent, including the 1995 track that gave acclaimed Dutch label Rush Hour its name. Here, Dixon provides the inaugural release for new Thema subsidiary Chronicle, a label tailor-made for "hard heavy grooves." While I'm not sure that's quite what we get here, Return offers the same rave-rush panic of earlier Population One releases immersed in more subdued surroundings. "Transition" begins in the middle of a gallop, but its strides are swathed in fog, the kick drum lost in a cloud of what sounds like field recordings. The detuned chime melodies only add to the uneasy atmosphere, tones that sound like they could melt into thin air at any moment. Things recollect slightly for "Relay," layered thick with bells like one of Luke Slater's madder moments, before dissipating into gaseous ambient drones for "Approaching." The other two tracks on the flipside are generally more of the same—"Escape" centres the delirium a bit with softly-textured pads and "Population One" throws tinkling ivories on top of a rumbling beat buried underneath six feet of concrete—which is to say, marginally functional techno with fascinating textural interplay. The Return is an unconventional comeback, but maybe not for a producer who seems to avoid convention at every turn.
  • Tracklist
      A1 Transition A2 Relay B1 Approaching B2 Escape B3 Thinking