- Until now, Downfall Theory has almost exclusively released records by its owner, Sanys. With hard techno records bearing titles like Seizure, Dominance and Manipulated, the Saint Petersburg artist has created a severe empire for himself. His label turns a corner on Drugs—sonically, conceptually, stylistically.
This record comes from Berlin-based Ukrainian Myztical, with artwork from Zigendemonic, and there's an appreciably casual attitude about it that feels seeded from the producer's own label venture, Nicz Records. His first Nicz EP threw shameless '90s samples together with more up-to-date techno permutations. Things got a lot darker on the follow-up, but no less unsettled. Drugs comes from a similar place: it's a stinging, black pit of tortured techno, and the heaviest material to hit Downfall Theory yet.
The thing is, though, the doom is so exaggerated that it's almost comical. Coupled with the artwork (an officer sprouting mushrooms, with a hypodermic needle between its teeth) and the record's theme, it's hard to take Drugs seriously. But that could be the point, and the music is endearingly unconventional. Take the way "Faith Of Our Fathers" works itself up to a standstill for a few seconds, before creeping back into an intensified, claustrophobic finale. "Substance D" crosses over into a grungy, technoid party zone that's either a work of genius or madness. Drugs is a horror-fun EP that won't be to everyone's taste, but those seeking something off-the-wall might get a kick out of it.
A2 Faith Of Our Fathers
B1 Substance D
B2 Shifted Realities