Manveer Dheensa has spent the last few years finding common ground between dubstep, drum & bass and techno, harnessing the most aggressive elements of each genre to build a Frankenstein that thwacks harder than all three. Following last year's Dreams, Fears & Idols, Dheensa's first release of 2015 straightens out for the purest, leanest EP of his career.
Lean is a relative term here: when the elephantine kicks storm into view on "Symbiotic," it's anything but toned-down. Rather, this slice of evil techno features chords like barbed wire and creepy voices that could've been sourced from the original Quake "Bring The Brave In" is similarly scary, as bass blankets the bottom half like a noxious spore cloud, leaving just a tiny sliver of melody at the centre. It's functional and basic compared to Dheensa's older work, but it's built reliably. The same goes for "I Was Desire"—this time serrated and rough, the tension is broken by elastic chords that stretch across each galloping bar. Only "Pascal's Gambit," with its staggered gait, offers some variety on an otherwise oppressive and rigid EP. But the biggest upside of Dheensa sticking to this kind of no-nonsense techno is that he's gotten good at it over the years.
A2 Bring The Brave In
B1 Pascal's Gambit
B2 I Was Desire