- AFX-schooled techno for adventurous DJs and listeners.
- The third track on Generic TARGZ by the Russian artist Flaty is one of my favourites of this year. I've always been a sucker for exaggerated zaps, zips and pings, sounds that still evoke a distant digital future, and "Self Assembled," and indeed this album, is full of them. The track is cut from a similar cloth to Objekt's spectacular "Ganzfeld" from 2014, albeit with very different aims. An electro-ish beat shudders through an atmosphere rich with tension, and while the introduction of the dive-bombing bassline is deadly, "Self Assembled" is more a bridge track than a banger, the type of thing DJs use to reset the mood or make a transition. The combination of emotive pads and glitchy electronics Flaty calls on here is typical of the album. It doesn't necessarily work this impressively throughout, but Generic TARGZ is still an intriguing record that deserves attention.
The same could actually be said of Flaty generally. Across different aliases, groups and labels, Evgenii Fadeev has been on a hot streak in recent years. Among his notable releases was an album as AEM Rhythm Cascade on Gost Zvuk (a label that seems to share his curious mindset) that was charming, adventerous and mostly house and techno. Spend some time with his discography, though, and you'll discover an artist who might sound like Actress, Dean Blunt or Traumprinz from release to release, a chameleonic approach that he mostly nails. There's perhaps an alternate reality out there in which Fadeev is signed to Planet Mu or Warp and is widely hailed as a gifted, versatile producer. For now, it seems he'll continue releasing ear-catching projects like Generic TARGZ and building a word-of-mouth reputation.
Fadeev creates a false sense of security in the album's opening stages, sequencing three relatively straight club tracks before unleashing bedlam. "Elevation" majestically opens things—the strings and pads are as lovely as the beats and synths are icy. When it arrives, then, the post-Aphex freakout of "Thread" is explosive, though it's a move Fadeev foreshadows through the use of extreme effects settings earlier on. The also bonkers "Horn Of Plenty" is contrasted by "Praaai" and "Key Keeper," tracks whose melodies could be influenced by sino grime or RPG soundtracks. And that's pretty much it. Generic TARGZ offers a brief moment of ambient beauty ("Pokrov") and then closes after 31 minutes. Too short? Perhaps. But the album's length and musical immediacy make it a strong introduction to the world Evgenii is building.
02. Init Ignit
03. Self Assembled
06. Key Keeper
07. Horn Of Plenty