- The release of a dubstep album by a man associated heavily with dub techno via his Baum imprint on arguably the world's best dub techno label, Echocord, seems like an odd choice. But perhaps drastic steps are necessary to avoid the ennui befalling many of the producers who can't seem escape the template laid down by Basic Channel.
Given the title and the two singles released in advance of the album, it would be easy to expect The Black Void of Space to be full of brooding breakbeats. Rather, there is a good spread of four-to-the-floor and deep atmospherics to go with the bass music, but perhaps the biggest surprise is the decidedly upbeat nature of several tracks, notably "Mutation," "Nacchal" and the bright chimes of "Edith's Serenade (RIP)." The final twist might be that, despite the change in direction, if his December 2010 live set podcast is any indication, Resoe appears to be sitting on plenty of dub techno bangers.
Resoe's take on dubstep is more than welcome, however. Both tracks from the recent, underappreciated single are excellent exercises in edgy mood and rippling production. The opener "Lakeviews" and "Polarized," off the Abstrakt Dimenzions EP, are in the same vein, weaving metallic drones and dub washes through drilled bass pulses and precision percussion patterns.
The four-four tracks are good, but less successful, with "Nachhall" in particular sounding forced and bombastic. "Ventura" and "Syntax Error" stray closest to the dub techno mould. "Ventura" employs a fine spray of atomic hiss to douse the gravelly bass shuffle, while "Syntax Error" lies deep and slow. Overall, though, the haziness of dub techno is gone, replaced on the dubstep tracks by a black void of sound—much like the debut of Cyrus (Random Trio) on Tectonic—and on the techno tracks by a brighter plastic sheen. ("Mutation" almost sounds Kompakt-esque.)
Perhaps the only letdown here is the sense that Resoe isn't alone in the void. Because he's trying on so many different influences throughout Black Void, it's often hard to hear Resoe's presence in the music. Nonetheless, as a debut album, it's a solid and engaging effort.
06. Apart From Moorpark
07. Minus And Plus
10. Syntax Error
11. Radikal Alterations
12. Edith's Serenade (R.I.P.)