- A shift in focus from the artist formerly known as Abdulla Rashim results in a stunning techno EP.
- I've long felt there are two types of techno. The first—and far more widespread—says, "I'm coming to you." The second says, "No, you come to me." The techno of Anthony Linell and his Northern Electronics label is often in this second category. Words like "deep," "heady" and "psychedelic" are often shorthand for music that asks for a little more from the listener: to be willing to submit themselves; to be satisfied with less; for the musical payoffs to be harder to discern but ultimately more rewarding. Since switching from Abdulla Rashim to his real name a few years, the techno Linell has put out (he also frequently makes ambient and connected genres), while often strong, has occasionally bordered on repetitive rather than hypnotic, a tough balance for any artist working with this sound to attain. With Core Field Horizon, however, he shifts slightly towards a direct appeal to the listener and sounds great for it.
This is most clear on "Crystal Storms," where sparks fly from a churning arpeggio. The lead synth seems to be perpetually shape-shifting, Linell modulating the line to keep attention locked on its metal-like contours. The kick drums melts away momentarily but really, this one is about a single, powerful focal point. That's followed by another rip-snorting arpeggio workout, "Core Field Horizon," only this time there's no beat. No matter. Linell still manages to craft a banger, a track that could serve as a mind-bending mid-set reset or be layered with a heavy drum groove. Similarly, you won't find a track like "Not Present (Aeterna)" on too many techno EPs. It's essentially a five-minute locked groove but its irregular time signature and layered arrangement make it pop. That just leaves the lovely "Evaporating Entities," a more gentle melodic cut that brings to mind both old progressive house and classic UR records but also feels very modern. If it wasn't already clear, Linell's small change in mood and direction has yielded some fairly fantastic results.
A1 Crystal Storms
A2 Core Field Horizon
B1 Evaporating Entities
B2 Not Present (Aeterna)