Swarm Intelligence - 47022

  • Hard, broken techno on Tommy Four Seven's label.
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  • "It is characterized by a dark, sci-fi mood, near-exclusive use of synthesised or sampled sound sources... what some writers have described as a 'clinical' sound... artists aiming to outdo each other with ever more distorted and 'twisted' bass sounds." Parts of this Wikipedia entry on the late '90s drum & bass sub-genre techstep could readily be applied to the sound Tommy Four Seven and his label, 47, have been developing. Techstep, whose most famous champions were probably Ed Rush & Optical, notoriously devolved into a game of one-upmanship that ran drum & bass down a creative cul-de-sac. It would be seriously unfair to suggest that 47 is engaged in the same sort of caper, but listening over its catalogue, it's tempting to wonder if the label can continue exploring incredibly hard and dark broken techno and maintain the same level of impact. 47022 by the Irish artist Swarm Intelligence, a new signing for 47, has all of the label's core qualities by the boatload. It's distorted, clinical (there's that word again), aggressive and challenging. Like most releases on 47, there isn't a single four-on-the-floor kick pattern across the four tracks. "Chromium Chambering," one of two more spacious tracks, actually hits drum & bass tempo in its second half, while the other, "Dismal," sounds like a terrifying CGI robot stomping through an urban landscape. "Infinite Density" and "Retribution" are more like world-ending meteor showers. They're both impeccably produced, with "Infinite Density" probably the pick thanks to its more nuanced sound design—something that's not especially easy to detect amid the onslaught.
  • Tracklist
      01. Infinite Density 02. Retribution 03. Chromium Chambering 04. Dismal