- A veteran Berlin artist returns to an iconic alias.
- When listening to 1998's Session Elements, Peter Kuschnereit's last and most comprehensive record as Substance, you quickly get a sense of his appetite for different musical ideas. While operating in a universe dedicated to a unified form and philosophy, Kuschnereit's dub techno came in several distinct shades, from the quintessential ("Relish," "Sensualize") to the irregular ("As," "Scent"). But his curiosity for alternate forms has been most apparent in his DJing. On the Wax Treatment mix series, named after the Berlin party that's run since 2009, Kuschnereit's deep interest in dubstep, and how that might mix with techno, is clear.
On Rise & Shine, he fuses these musical interests like never before. It's heavier than past Substance material. A kind of industrial dubstep atmosphere, heard in acts like Scorn, looms over the EP. You-know-where aside, you'd struggle to imagine a room big enough to contain the pounding broken beat techno of "Countdown," whose reverberant flaps suggest a dragon snoring in his lair. God-ray synth pads enhance the sense of something monstrous yet regal being roused from a deep sleep. "Cruising"'s four-on-the-floor techno aches and grinds forward with a similar heft.
There's a more suggestive power to the experimental tracks. Sawing strings, clopping footsteps and a soft electrical hum on "Bird Cave" suggest a scene of back-alley espionage unfolding, while "Distance"'s wet-plimsole rhythm and cello-like prods sound like a jog through an underground tunnel. Rise & Shine spends a lot of time in these shadowy spaces, so it's surprising to hear the title track sounding so optimistic, with blissful arps and batucada snares that bring to mind a chilly spring morning. It's a nice introduction to a fresh phase of Substance's catalogue.
A1 Rise And Shine
A3 Bird Cave