Various Artists - Eight

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  • It would be hard to usefully describe most of the tracks presented on Eight. Ignoring Stanislav Tolkachev's "Building Peaks," seven are cut from the same cloth. That's not a criticism by any measure. It's just that this kind of hard, dark techno is very much about nuance and refinement, rather than wild variation. But I can say this: the second 12-inch, featuring Developer's two versions of "Dirty Drive," makes a much better job of these ideals. "1"'s kick drum is particularly weighty, for instance, and its dissonant chord loop has a faint yet superb sense of funk. Similarly, the detuned piano in "2" feels a little out of the ordinary, and Shifted's grit-covered remix of the same feels individual, not faceless. And with its flittering, frantic chords, the aforementioned "Building Peaks" seems a vital DJ tool, if not a succinct track in its own right. It's these kind of distinctions which are largely absent from the first record. Truncate's "Diffraction" seems light on detail, merely beefing up by-the-numbers dub for a harder shell. Following suit, the versions from Jonas Kopp and Marcus Suckut—usually remixers par excellence—do little more than re-position or mellow Truncate's basic, delay-driven chords over new percussion. Only Developer's "Heater" is truly ear-catching, with its off-beat, zombie-like grunts and faintly pirouetting chords. It feels like an uncharacteristically plain record from a label that's otherwise shown itself capable of topping the class—Eight's second 12-inch being ample proof.
  • Tracklist
      A1 Developer - Heated A2 Truncate - Diffraction B1 Truncate - Diffraction (Jonas Kopp Remix) B2 Truncate - Diffraction (Markus Suckut Remix) A1 Developer - Dirty Drive A2 Developer - Dirty Drive 2 B1 Developer - Dirty Drive (Shifted Mix) B2 Stanislav Tolkachev - Building Peaks