Detroit's Manuel Gonzales is the latest to bring his frayed wires to Trilogy Tapes, Will Bankhead's UK-based nursing home for frazzled house and broken techno. The Wild Oats producer responds in kind with some of his most fractured material. Like his past work, there's a distant rooting in techno, but more than ever he lets his ear drift to more abstract places, starting with the imploded funk of "2." Melting synths are smeared on a rhythm that sounds like it was lifted from a disintegrating record, a subtle chaos where elements double up and hats spit out almost at random.
"The Race" takes it a step further, like a Drexciya outtake rerouted through the sewers instead of Neptune's lair, and "Shamen" builds and dissolves a classic Detroit techno riff under the thumb of an all-consuming kick drum and some rather unnerving scraping. All that extraneous sound falls away for the crunchy "Flutter's Brother," which sounds like the charred exoskeleton of its predecessors. "Tiles" could be that track's missing high-end—bleep techno in the most literal sense of the term.
All of these tracks offer heavily lo-fi takes on recognizable house and techno forms, a theme which by now is par for the course more than anything. But there's something almost aggressively grungy about these tracks, and it's the odd one out on the EP which best spells out why they're so appealing. "Walk With Me" isn't so much a techno track as the cheapest, most filthy disco-style edit you could imagine. A Jefferson Airplane sample gets chewed up by static so that the folky mumblings resemble a beat shorn clumsily with a dull knife. Mystifying, frustrating and tantalizing all at once, MGUN is a lot of things, but never boring.
Tracklist A1 2
A2 Walk With Me
A3 The Race
B1 Flutter's Brother