- Dave Huismans has never exactly been risk-averse, but this year he's thrown all remaining shreds of caution to the wind. Back in January, Ahead / Endgame pushed techno-rave dynamics to incendiary extremes. Its follow-up is similarly bold, but in a different manner entirely. Gone is the itchy swing that's defined much of Huismans' output both as AMUS and 2562, to be replaced by rolling, triplet-time grooves. And the streamlined structures that have made his productions well-worn dance floor tools have been supplanted by "semi-live" arrangements that unfold with a creeping grace.
"After Hours" is the better of the two, its chunky kick-and-tom groove rolling forth for a queasy 12 minutes. This is paranoid, dubwise techno—the soundtrack to a skunk session in some under lit basement club, perhaps—and in true smoker's style, the centrepiece is a passage of sampled film dialogue, drawn from the Scoresese film of the same name. After a while the dread-filled conversation ("What did you do to her?" "I didn't do anything to her, she was asleep...") fades, leaving us once again plodding through a humid, oppressive landscape. "What Preset" is a touch more propulsive, its rounded, insistent bassline bringing to mind Shackleton. The re-pitched chord samples at the midpoint are the most trademark-Huismans thing here, and they offer some much needed ventilation. But we lose our way somewhat from that point, floating in a fluid of smeared synth bleeps and gauzy hi-hats. Then again, perhaps its druggy aimlessness is entirely deliberate.
A After Hours
B What Preset