- Mord first picked up Shards, giving us Rowing Sheep Smile For The Dead last year, which kept up nicely with the label's grinding, contemporary industrial sound. The anonymous entity has since struck out on its own, keeping titles eponymous, tracks untitled and releases limited. With such an agonisingly low profile, Shards' techno broils away largely undetected and unchecked. But each record unscrews the rivets a bit, and on Shards 003 the gap widens, growing more wonderfully incongruent with every listen.
The A-side begins with a quick pulse and some smeared chimes, using the seven-odd minutes to distract and disorientate. It's the A2 that's the real bombshell here—a minute in and out of nowhere the thing becomes a caustic bleep barrage. In the vein of a classic Autechre tear-out, this one has the clout of a wrecking ball, made all the more effective for being so unexpected. It blows apart any preconceptions you might have formed about Shards, transforming their low profile into something dangerously volatile. The deconstruction continues on the B-side, following more of a broken, tribal-ish, 2-step style of techno that evokes the likes of Szare and the darker strains of Idle Hands' catalogue. But none of it touches the absolute knockout A2.