- Uniquely dramatic techno.
- It comes as a surprise that Edge Of Everything is Paula Temple's debut album. After all, the Berlin-based artist has been a major part of the scene for much of the last two decades, and just about every techno fan is familiar with her punishing sound. Temple has earned her reputation through a very particular style of performing. Using what she calls a hybrid setup, the artist's club sets blur the line between DJing and producing—she layers in samples, and makes edits and remixes on the fly. This flexible technique is what brings depth and intensity to Temple's sound. More importantly, it makes her sets unique. No one else is going to bang out techno tracks in quite the same way.
But beyond noise and ferocity, the defining aspect of Temple's style is its narrative quality. For her, darkness has intention rather than being a means to an end. Conceptually, Temple works from political themes—both climate change and the fight for democracy are alluded to in track titles here—and she views her music as a call to action. This is reflected, however abstractly, in the music's urgency. Besides being hard, her club sets are wrought with emotional power, journeying between light and dark, good and evil. On Edge Of Everything, Temple applies this cinematic mindset to an album, with even more thoughtful and mesmerizing results.
Similar to her DJ sets, Temple uses each track on Edge Of Everything to build or change the mood, making for a rich and fluid listen. The beginning has a pleading undertone, ramping up from the gloomy billows of "Berlin" to the melancholic techno of "Joshua And Goliath" and the ripping "Futures Betrayed." By the album's middle part, though, Temple makes a seamless switch to soothing. "Quantum Unfolding" still hits hard, but it's memorable for sweet pads and melodies. "Don't Use Your Eyes Now" is an airy, spoken-word interlude about relaxation. Both these tracks pave the way for the album's emotional peak, "Nicole." On its own it's a spellbinding ambient piece, but its position in the tracklist intensifies its grace, a moment of pure beauty in a destructive landscape.
The rest of Edge Of Everything consists of core-shaking techno weapons. Each track features similar elements—stomping grooves, burnt atmospheres, climactic synths—but they serve wildly different ideas. "Raging Earth," with its deep drums and menacing risers, is drawn out and cinematic. "Cages," by contrast, is direct and pumping, with a climax that'll break the dance floor into shards. On the closer, "Dimension Jumping," the energy turns dangerously psychedelic, mixing brain-scattering arps with warehouse rumbling low-end.
This kind of drama is what you'd expect from Paula Temple's debut album. Which is to say, Edge Of Everything doesn't show much evolution from the producer, nor does it offer techno audiences new takes on the form. But you've got to admire Temple for that. She's an artist with a strong world view who sticks to her guns, no matter where current styles are going. Edge Of Everything, a harsh, relentless and evocative techno album, is an impeccable showcase of Temple's artistic voice.
02. Joshua & Goliath
03. Joshua & Goliath (Slow Version)
04. Futures Betrayed
05. Open The Other Eye
06. Quantum Unfolding
07. Don't Use Your Eyes Now
09. Raging Earth
11. Post-Scarcity Anarchism
12. Dimension Jumping