- One of the more interesting side-effects of the "Berghain phenomenon" (or whatever you choose to call it) is the degree to which the sound has permeated hitherto unrelated areas of dance music, for better or for worse. Amongst the most striking—and successful—instances is Commix's shift from deepside D&B into full-on Ostgut Ton/Fachwerk territory, as evidenced by their recent RA 'cast, not to mention a thumping, four-to-the-floor DJ set at London's Re:Call To Mind launch party late last year. Elsewhere, younger producers like Sigha and Furesshu have made the leap from swung bass music into darkside techno, abandoning the Continuum in favour of something altogether more continental. And now there's Shifted, whose identity is, for the time being, classified, but whose pedigree cannot be questioned. A debut release for Luke Slater's high-flying Mote Evolver imprint says as much.
The context might be novel, but in reality there's nothing terribly new about this EP. Rather, the four tracks on display document a(nother) particular take on the Ostgut/Prologue/Blueprint axis, with occasional hints—slate-edged hats, caving sub-bass—of a past, faster-paced life. It's a shame the best tune—a thick, bass-heavy take on Dozzy's droning psych-techno—is available to digital shoppers only. Entitled "Junk," it's anything but: alongside Sigha's recent Echocord workout, it ranks among the best pieces of deep techno to come out of the UK in months. But that's not to take away from the three pressed pieces, each of which thumps along in pleasing, if uneventful, fashion, "Polaron" by way of slinky hats and throbbing subs, "Drained" on a gaseous, Klock-esque foot dragging tip, and "Bound" in full-on headfuck mode, all gurgling bass, squelchy claps and decaying bleeps. Much like the debut of fellow anonym SP-X, this is all very Bleeding Edge, to the point, ironically, of orthodoxy. But that's fine. Such ambiguity is built into techno's very core, and played out over a big rig, makes for the most blackly immersive of experiences.