• Gritty techno.
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  • Mord and SHXCXCHCXSH were destined to work together. Both specialise in menacing techno heavy on bass and grit, best heard through fat soundsystems blasting onto packed dance floors. Word, SHXCXCHCXSH's latest EP, skews towards the more experimental end of Mord's sound, which last year stretched from vintage UK techno to intergalactic electro. The Swedish duo, who remain anonymous, are an obvious match for Mord. Their tunes rattle and shout, built around jagged rhythms and feedback. But unlike a lot of other similarly murky techno, there's finesse to their approach, which comes across in Word's crafty drums and sound design. This finesse results in a psychedelic feeling that's not often heard in such hard music. The title track's stuttering kick drum is the kind of thing you'd hear after peak-time has passed, the dance floor still busy but in need of some rest. But this tune is too good to send you to the bar—it's going to burrow into your brain. "DROW" is more abstract, which means it's hard to imagine it getting much DJ play, though its gurgling low-end begs to be heard through a proper soundsystem. "OWDR" and "ROWD" are more playable. "OWDR" is SHXCXCHCXSH at their most functional, laying paranoid chords over a simple four-on-the-floor kick. "ROWD" is deep and spacey, with bleeps and tones that shoot off in random directions. It's another well-crafted track from a duo who harness rhythm to balance hypnosis and brute force.
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