D5 - Floatation Tank EP

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  • Though he's hardly a prolific producer, England's D5 (John Harvey to his parents) has turned out a couple of the most breathtaking records in Delsin's esteemed discography. I'm holding on to 2006's "Sides of Space" as my personal favorite, but plenty will plead the case for 2005's "Floatation Tank," and understandably so. The track—which is finally made an honest single here after being previously only available on the Planet Delsin compilation—opens with light pads, a plucked-sounding bass pattern and a flurry of clipped hi-hats like raindrops on a windshield. About two minutes in, handclaps begin bouncing like skipping stones over bright pools of slowly shifting melody, a sequence that plays out for the bulk of the track. "Floatation Tank" doesn't push forward so much as dilate, seemingly opening onto a zero-gravity environment that surely inspired its title. You rarely encounter lush, outer-space techno of this caliber outside of Juan Atkins or Kenny Larkin's best work. In short: perfection. Despite my high opinion of this track and a number of others by D5, I never did get around to picking up Alien Artform, the 2002 long-player Harvey released as Dimension 5. An overdue tsk-tsk comes on the B-side, which features a remaster of that album's "Intruders," apparently Harvey's favorite of his own tracks. There are more of the darting skitters of percussion here, but quite a bit more going on as well. Though "Intruders" hasn't left off vintage techno, the variety and detail of its restrained yet full drum programming invites comparison to some of today's dubstep, the moody synth swells and panning blips handily corroborating. Its spectral, atmospheric sounds chart a different course than the colorful, dreamy "Floatation Tank," but both sides represent deep techno at its finest, and do Delsin very proud.
  • Tracklist
      A Floatation Tank B Intruders