Cassegrain - Cotton EP

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  • Kevin Gorman's Mikrowave imprint—home to 2009's superb Elements series—ended the year on a palpable high with a killer 4-track EP that epitomised what a rosy 12 months it had been for deep, ergonomic techno. Its latest offering, arriving a healthy six months on, is an altogether messier beast, eschewing Gorman's functionalist tendencies in favour of sprawling, laissez-faire experimentalism—a brave move in what's becoming an increasingly over-saturated and, at times, predictable Berghain-centric techno milieu. The bastard child of a typically cosmopolitan RBMA encounter—Austrian composer Huseyin Evirgen, Greek techno-head Alex Tsiridis and British dubstepper Benga are hardly your average studio team—"Cotton" sounds about as off-the-hook as you'd expect, splicing shard-like fragments of the latter's schizoid utterings over a druggy quagmire of swampy bass, ghoulish chants and fizzling, THC-soaked drones. Alternating between turgid half-step and fidgety 4/4, it never really settles, but maintains a kind of lurid, morphing groove that braver jockeys will relish mixing. Perc's tough, tech-stepping remix, meanwhile, streamlines things considerably, striking a perfect balance between dance floor punch and rhythmic dexterity thanks to driving subs and scything, off-beat snares. A well-placed breakdown, replete with floating pads and big, brassy dub chords, ensures maximum club efficacy. Over on the flip, "Olbia" treads a markedly straighter path, sticking to an orthodox 4/4 template, but retains the murky, organic feel of the A-side. A plump, gluey bassline and brain-gnawing synths—well, synthesized trombone blasts, to be precise—certainly segue with current trends (one could imagine Dettmann or Dozzy wreaking havoc with this), but the idiosyncratic sound design—reminiscent of an IBS-afflicted elephant recorded from deep within—saves this from being just another faceless Berghain chugger.
  • Tracklist
      A Cotton B1 Cotton (Perc Remix) B2 Olbia