- New York institution The Bunker has been riding high for over ten years now, throwing some of the city's best electronic music events, and more recently launching one of RA's favorite labels of the year, The Bunker New York. With releases ranging from the kosmische-kissed work of FORMA to the headiness of Donato Dozzy and Neel's Voices From The Lake project, it's been a busy year. But it seems the label has been keeping an ace in the hole: The Periodic Table, a new album from Reagenz (AKA Move D and Jonah Sharp), might be The Bunker's best record yet.
The Periodic Table is a 75-minute set recorded at The Bunker's tenth anniversary party in 2013. It's separated into six tracks that take their names from elemental symbols. Reaganz live sets are hardware-intensive, and it shows—the music, which progresses more as a single improvised piece rather than a series of songs, is rich, resonant and occasionally dense. But even in its most sonically packed moments, there's room for small details to stream in and out of the mix. Sharpe and Moufang have been working together on and off for two decades, and they've developed an innate sense of where the other is going when they perform.
The overall sound gently sways between Detroit-tinged techno, more acidic passages and billowing ambience, all anchored by a Roland TR-909 and a 606. But the flow is subtle—the effect is like drifting in and out of a dream while afloat on a gently bobbing sea.
There are moments that stand out from the reverie. At one point, the moody "Tc" ebbs to a throbbing passage of acid bleeps, handclaps and cavernous effects. Then, at the ten-minute mark, a heavenly, hymnal two-chord melody arises for a blissful time-out. "Au" seamlessly evolves from a tenacious jack-track to dubbed-out techno to abstract drama in its 12-minute run time. A stretch of "Ge" could almost be a lost track from Abacus in his ultra-deep "Phases" era, albeit in somewhat steelier form. The final two cuts, "Co" and "Db," include some of the album's most intimate moments, with a wistful melodicism only hinted at earlier on. At times sinewy and squelchy, at others warm and welcoming, but always full of buoyancy and purpose, The Periodic Table is a fitting finale to the Bunker's brilliant year.