- Over the past few years, Retina.it has taken their sound in a heavier direction. Once known as purveyors of lush IDM and minimal, the Naples-based duo have been switching things up with dark, cerebral productions that explore the fringes of techno. A collaboration with Dadub on Stroboscopic Artefacts in late 2013 first pointed to this updated approach, and last year's two releases of mind-bending, mostly 4/4 music on Semantica, De Occulta Philosophia Vol. 1 and a split EP with Donato Dozzy, seemed to seal the deal.
The duo's Octagon EP, for low-key Roman label Eklero, further embraces abstraction, and the results are compelling. "Reflection In A Symmetric Space" is high-tech broken-beat that thumps, squelches and grinds in a manner redolent of Alva Noto's hard-hitting output. When pitched up, it should work well for those seeking some clinical but confrontational DJ fare. The shorter, more experimental "Cellular Structures" unspools long sequences of syncopated percussion, bubbling bass and heady electronic noise. It's all easy to get lost in and impossible to resist.
On remix duty are Acronym and Ntogn, two Swedes who have each played a role in developing today's deep-techno scene. Acronym flips the mood of "Reflection In A Symmetric Space" with a warm and airy remix that's as straightforward as Octagon gets. Ntogn proves a perfect match for "Cellular Structures." A devoted proponent of rhythmically intricate techno, the Hypnus boss stretches Retina.it's source material into a slithery groove. Like his label's ritualistic output, this one's probably best heard during a romp around a bonfire.
A1 Reflection In A Symmetric Space
A2 Cellular Structures
B1 Reflection In A Symmetric Space (Acronym Remix)
B2 Cellular Structures (Ntogn Interpretation)