- When Houndstooth was launched with Call Super's The Present Tense EP earlier this year, many people didn't seem quite sure what to make of it. Here was a lesser-known (though by no means novice) producer, turning out a collection of tracks that, while near-flawlessly executed, cut across the tribal divides of contemporary techno, refusing to throw their lot in with a single sound or scene. As it turns out, there couldn't have been a more appropriate introduction for a label that has gone on to sign artists as diverse as Snow Ghosts and Special Request. Still, far from the committed eclecticist some may have assumed him to be, the vision of Berlin resident JR Seaton appears to be growing clearer and more singular with each release.
Past press material has described Call Super as "an outlet for hallucinatory club music," and Black Octagons, perhaps even more so that its predecessor, lives up to that description. This is dark, absorbing club music, laced with vivid incidental detail and rabbit-hole breakdowns seemingly tailor-made for chemically assisted listening. Visceral techno burner "Informer" might just be Seaton's finest hour. It's a distorted death march at the opening, but Seaton's taste for radiance soon wins out—first through the burbling central synth, and then a bassline buried deep in the mix, implying harmonic progression on some tectonic level. The title track is far bleaker, a masterful exercise in paranoiac cruise control executed with that exhaustive attention to detail Seaton seems to share with his close associate Objekt. "Dewsbury Severance" is the odd one out, an inverse-techno curio whose thick folds of sub-bass and impressionistic synth work warrant an Actress comparison, though there's no mistaking their creator.
B1 Dewsbury Severance
B2 Black Octagons