- Alvin Aronson is part of White Material's second wave, if that's not too grand a formulation. At the birth of the label there was Young Male, DJ Richard and Galcher Lustwerk, each coming out of nowhere with an impressive clarity of vision. In the past year they've been joined by Aronson and Morgan Louis, extended crew members who've been around for just as long, but took a little while longer to put their records together. Aronson's White Material debut was as strong as anything on the label, outlining a techno world that was half foggy drift, half after-hours gone bad. His High Rise EP for Nord is better still, marking Aronson out as a dangerous talent.
The New York producer brings two of his labelmates along—Lustwerk on "Brain Gray," Louis on "High Rise"—but they have little detectable impact on the EP's bleak, windswept mood. (Incidentally, this mood is a great fit for Nord's greyscale sleeves.) Bleep-techno track "Brain Gray" grows increasingly unstable thanks to wild spumes of distortion; it's easy to imagine the duo gleefully shoving faders around. "High Rise" is more restrained but no less sinister, its sleek 303 line and seasick synth pads recalling late-'90s Plastikman. Aronson reprises the bleepy vibe on the less focussed "Black Car"—some extravagant filtering effects at the midpoint are its main redeeming feature. Closer "Mat" is the pick, thanks to the cool chords lurking beneath its forbidding surface.
A1 Brain Gray (feat. Galcher Lustwerk)
A2 Black Car
B1 High Rise (feat. Morgan Louis)