- Decon/Recon #1 launches a new series on Paula Temple's Noise Manifesto, reflecting the label's desire to promote a "collective, non-hierarchical" approach to dance music. It's a collaborative record, but an unconventional one. Samples from all contributing artists were collected in an "open archive," which they all then used as the source material for a new production. All of the tracks have been credited to all four producers, the intention being to break down traditional ideas of authorship.
This opening installment features artists from Temple's extended circle: Rroxymore, Oni Ayhun, Planningtorock and Temple herself. (The latter two appear as Aquarian Jugs and Jaguar Woman respectively.) It's tempting to make guesses as to who did what—there are some pretty heavy clues—but that's not in the spirit of the thing. Instead, it's fun to pick out the common thread binding together these four diverse productions.
Mostly it's the saxophones. With its swung drums and shoulder-shrugging bassline, "DR1-1" could be a Masters At Work-style deep house number, but it's MAW run ragged, those unruly sax melodies sliding into dissonance. The track is slowly bled of its jittery energy, leading nicely into the moodier "DR1-2." This time the saxophones form wispy chords over a brooding rhythmic chassis; on "DR1-3," they're sliced into micro-loops that ride undulating waves of tension and release.
Both of these middle tracks follow more conventional techno contours, and do so effectively, but the deeply weird closer, "DR1-4," steals the show. Its globular melodies patter like rainfall, forming asymmetrical shapes over a slouching electro beat. The whole thing shuffles oddly along before regrouping for a gorgeous downtempo coda. Stylistically jumbled, Decon/Recon #1 isn't quite the unified front its creators might have hoped. But as a study in the different places you can reach from the same starting point, it's fascinating.