- Epic, unconventional techno.
- "You're fucked," a computerized voice taunts on "This Wretched Light," a scathing techno track from the lighter of Varg's two new EPs. Abstract poetry ("Your body coughs up antisocial gifts") bristles against sentence fragments about drugs and alcohol, before the track congeals into nightmarish acid techno. It's theatrical, even for Jonas Rönnberg, but like the best of his work, it's also shaded with humour. The duality of Rönnberg's art is displayed on these two Sky City EPs, down to the way they're structured: one for straight-up techno, the other for... not so straight-up techno. Together, they highlight Rönnberg's knack for working both inside and outside the style's structure.
The first EP, Even In The Heart Of Heaven, Angels Can Still Feel Fear, is the more straightforward. It reminds me of the first Nordic Flora, which came out before Rönnberg dove into slam poetry, leftfield pop and downtempo. As usual, there are unexpected detours, like when "Death.Toggle / CheatingIntensityBuff_Fearless" fakes you out with rolling, grotty techno before freefalling into a breakbeat reverie. Even the most straightforward tracks have depth. The pounding kicks on "Cyclone" are treated with a glassy resonance that underlines it with emotion, like tears welling up and blurring your vision—an effect emphasized by howling background notes.
For fans of Rönnberg's crossover moments, A Weak Heart to Break (Spit) picks up where Crush left off, only with a firmer techno backbone. There's that aforementioned spoken-word track, a detour into gabber-inspired pulverizing kicks ("Spit!") and a piece of sludgy techno with an epic orchestral bent ("The Fallen Star Was Just A Man"). But the true highlight—of both this EP and the whole set—is "A Weak Heart To Break (BD 4-Ever)," another robust tune that starts out like a tool and unspools into a beautiful shimmering trance section. The chords are like sculpted clouds, an addictive melody that feels energizing and a little sad.
Sky City: Even in the Heart of Heaven, Angels Can Still Feel Fear
A1 Cyclone (Even in the Heart of Heaven, Angels Can Still Feel Fear)
A2 Crush the System / Soak.Create_Soak_Party_Situation
B1 Death.Toggle / CheatingIntensityBuff_Fearless feat. Fatal & Chatline
B2 Green Flames Covering the Winter Sky (Västerbotten)
Sky City: A Weak Heart to Break (Spit)
A1 A Weak Heart to Break (BD 4-Ever)
A2 The Fallen Star Was Just a Man / Buff_Depressed
B1 This Wretched Light feat. Patrick Quick
B2 Spit! / CheatingIntensityBuff_Passionate (Motherlode)