Xenogears – Lost Artemis

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  • Be warned: given a cursory listen at moderate volume, Lost Artemis will pass you by. The work of the raw, hardware-driven Italian house duo often known as Analogue Cops (but appearing here as Xenogears), this LP could easily be dismissed as a DJ tool—an eight-track, vinyl-only collection of wall-shaking techno weapons. But Marieu and Lucretio's fast and bustling aggro-funk is more interesting than that. Even barrelling bangers such as "Mint Drop" and "Kislev" are not quite what they seem. Both foreground zippy disco-loops, and hark back to '90s big room techno and tough, jacking house. The percussion that underpins them, however, is a loose and crunchy gravel that makes clear the influence of the Analogue Cops' adopted home, Berlin. Things get much stranger on "The X Button," a disjointed rhythmic blitzkrieg of shearing metal in which beats drop with the dead weight of Perc at his most punishing. Meanwhile, up top, a saccharine R&B sample trills away so incessantly its mania is closer to the revved-up euphoria of Rustie than, say, the elegant loop-manipulations of Floorplan. "Aveh" is just as over the top, but trades in borderline reverberating boings and bleeps of vintage, arcade game silliness. "Idol Talk," a collaboration with Objekt, is another left turn. Its perky brass samples and huge, sliding globules of bass sit atop breakbeats and tuned drums that quiver in mid-air, like those moments in old jungle tunes just before the track attacks. On the final track, "Tycho," any lingering sense of fun is eroded as thoroughly as the track's sound quality. "Nuclear war, we're talking about nuclear war," a voice repeats as a metronomic beat gradually splinters into pieces and remnants of melody are tuned in and out. Whether all this constitutes an album in the classic sense is moot, but Lost Artemis is more than just another hard techno double-pack.
  • Tracklist
      A1 Mint Drop feat. NoMadRonin A2 The X Button B1 Kislev B2 Aveh C1 Idol Talk feat. Objekt C2 Multiverse (Album Mix) D1 Langrenus D2 Tycho