- 2014 has seen Gunnar Haslam explore ever darker, more forbidding spaces. The Porte Maillot EP for L.I.E.S. was pretty grim; Let A Hundred Flowers Bloom, a ten-inch for Mister Saturday Night, grimmer still. For his first outing on a European label, the New York native appears to have levelled things out a little. This might be for pragmatic reasons: in the past Haslam has been happy to wallow in gothic angst, but, inaugurating the Cameron series for Amsterdam stalwarts Delsin, he seems more keen to cater to the dance floor.
He does so in several ways, all of them refreshingly cliché-free. The subzero atmospheres and drifting cut-glass melody of "Corridor Metaphysics" will be most familiar to Haslam fans. "Ataxia No Logos" takes things up a notch, its yammering synth line and dissonant atmospherics making for a noxious peak-time banger. Both are techno dunked in an ice-bath of reverb (if there's one criticism here it's that Haslam could dial down the reverb). It's not exactly inviting, but compelling all the same. Over on the B-side, "Dunsinane Hill" comes as a welcome lightening of mood. Between the three-time beat and the stubbornly grotty chords, Haslam does just enough to freshen up the dub-techno formula. "Discrete Markov Dub," meanwhile, turns similar materials to brisker, funkier ends. The record's brighter side isn't quite so convincing, but Haslam's willingness to broaden his palette is admirable.
A1 Corridor Metaphysics
A2 Ataxia No Logos
B1 Dunsinane Hill
B2 Discrete Markov Dub